The Shane Morris Incident

Submitted by Brian on September 28th, 2014 at 2:38 PM

For posterity I've clipped the video of the helmet to helmet hit and Michigan's actions after, plus the decision to insert him into the game after Gardner's helmet popped off.

The booing you hear in the background is fans demanding that Morris be removed, as it was even more obvious Morris was not right if you were looking at him for those 20 seconds uninterrupted. The only guy in the stadium who didn't know was Hoke.

Bluntly, anyone arguing that we shouldn't jump down Hoke's throat because of the slight possibility Morris was not concussed is an idiot.



September 28th, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

At 1:17, Nuss slaps Morris on the helmet as Nuss turns back to the field. These guys clearly just don't understand player safety or modern brain science. That's on Dave Brandon and Paul Schmidt.

Heads should start rolling this week.

Undefeated dre…

September 28th, 2014 at 3:05 PM ^

From the view in section 41: After the hit and with Morris woozy, Nuss waved for Morris to go down and take an injury time out. That's when Morris waved off Nuss. Nuss clearly knew by apparently didn't have the authority or desire to pull him.


September 28th, 2014 at 3:07 PM ^

On review, it does look pretty bad.  I guess the only mitigating argument is that he's watched Gardner get hammered for 2 years now and get back up, so perhaps he has become a bit immune to seeing his QB stagger up after a hit.

This probably won't be the thing that sinks Hoke (the losses will do that), but this will be his legacy at UM.  It's a bit sad because I know people are out for blood and he definitely deserves blame, but at the same time branding him some cold, heartless guy who would risk his players' health isn't fair either.  He's just over his head as a HC here at UM, and that should be enough to see him gone.


September 28th, 2014 at 4:31 PM ^

I don't think he's dumb; he wouldn't have been as successful as he has been at his job during his career if he wasn't.

What I think he is, though, is a guy under extreme stress and, frankly, doesn't seem capable of handling it all that well.  He's also been a victim somewhat of bad luck; for all the luck he got in 2011 on the way to 11 wins has been lost in spades these past couple of years.  Much of that does fall on him and this staff, but there is a world not too different than this one where he keeps winning 8-9 games and people are generally content.


September 28th, 2014 at 9:32 PM ^

I mean no disrespect, but that's a dumb argument.  Hoke absolutely believed he was good enough for the job, and for that first year the job sure looked within his reach.  

He is struggling with a program in turmoil and seems unable to fix it; that doesn't make him a terrible coach when they hired him, and it doesn't make him arrogant for believing in himself and his coaching history.  

Swayze Howell Sheen

September 29th, 2014 at 6:09 AM ^

"Having an exaggerated sense of one's own abilities" is what the dictionary says arrogance is, and to me, being willing to take on a premier job like Michigan with a Ball State/SDSU history and .500 record sounds like it fits the bill.  

I don't think you can point to the first year (where he went 11-2 with someone else's players, largely by lucking into one Denard Robinson and adding a respectable defensive coordinator to a team poised for success) and somehow say "hey this guy could have been good, look!". The team has gotten worse and worse each year, and each week Hoke's explanations have remained the same: "execute", "toughness", etc. The only "dumb" thing is to think that somehow Hoke's tenure could have ended with anything other than mediocrity.

But whatever. 



September 28th, 2014 at 3:08 PM ^

I usually don't comment on this blog but after watching this I have to say I'm sickened by what I'm seeing. I just feel like I'm in a fog with regards to this program, probably similar to the way the players feel actually playing for this man. Something has to be done immediately,

Blue Balls Afire

September 28th, 2014 at 3:10 PM ^

I seem to be in the minority here, but for all Hoke's faults, he has never come off as someone who would willingly put his kids at risk or lie.  As someone mentioned earlier in this thread, when Hoke says he didn't know, I take him at his word--I honestly believe he didn't know, and that is the greater failing.  Put on a headset and you might have heard the chatter from the spotter and coaches in the box who likely said Shane shouldn't be in.  


September 28th, 2014 at 3:59 PM ^

Hey 77..its on the tape.  The official recognizes the dazed Shane that came in, he stops play and askes Hoke "Do you want a time out?"...Hoke refuses and tells him to roll clock.

What part of that sequence is not clear to you?  I know you want to give the guy a benefit of a doubt...but its so clear on the video that its impossible for any sane or rational person to do it.  Hoke knew what was happening and refused the officials help in managing the situation.


September 28th, 2014 at 9:36 PM ^

This is wrong.  To me at least, it is becoming more and more clear that Hoke didn't know Morris was that hurt; once he found out he pulled him after the play.  But Hoke can't be as dumb as everyone here wants him to be AND that calculated so as to purposely risk a player's health because he wants to conserve a TO and figured Morris was faking it.  


September 28th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

I think this is the right way of looking at it.  Hoke was probably negligent in not being aware of Morris's state, not that he knew Morris was injured and still left him out there.  

There is clearly a disconnect between how Hoke views this team and reality; that's probably true for most coaches.  But him being myopic should not be construed as a coach who would knowingly risk his players' health.


September 28th, 2014 at 3:24 PM ^

the players. But this incidenece demonstrates that BH is in over his head. Yes, he does not wear a headset throughout the game, but where is his staff like Nuss pulling Shane out or saying something?  What about the other coaches, trainers, doing anything  or  saying something? In the end, Hoke is responsible but the entire Hoke  staff failed as well.  I like BH and will always root for M but this is just sad in so many ways. 

EDIT: Apparently, Nuss did try to pull Shane out but Shane waived him off. My bad


September 28th, 2014 at 3:10 PM ^

Going beyond Hoke's failure to see this at the stadium, his press conference was just reprehensible.  I didn't see anything. Shane's a tough kid and could have come out if he wanted.  So on and so forth.

How can you fail to grasp that clearly concussion protocols weren't followed, that is wrong, and you need to step up and do something about that.  

At this point, the best thing we can do for the future of the program is not to preserve some half assed 6 and 6 season, but start cleaning out and make it so "Michigan doesn't care about player health" doesn't become a negative recruiting pitch our next head coach has to fight against.  Clark and Roseboro are likely gone based on insider chatter, there is nothing to save.  Just do our best to set the stage for the next guy, with apologies to the 2014 seniors who get their last season flushed.


September 28th, 2014 at 3:11 PM ^

This is way minor compared to Shane's situation, but it's an additional indictment on the cluelessness of our program that Bellomy couldn't find his damn helmet. With Gardner in the game, and Morris possibly concussed, Bellomy was our second-string QB. He shouldn't have been holding a clipboard and looking all over the sidelines for his helmet. He should have been standing next to Fred Flinstone ready to go in if needed.



September 28th, 2014 at 3:17 PM ^

People have noted how crazy that sequence was, but that probably falls on a staffer.  It's not Hoke's job to make sure every guy on the sideline has his helmet; you have to expect a certain level of competency from your players and staff.  Ultimately it falls on the coaches, but Bellomy deserves a fair bit of blame for not having his helmet (or really anyone's helmet) nearby.


September 28th, 2014 at 9:40 PM ^

My point is that no head coach is going to micro-manage his team the way people here want him to; he couldn't do his job if he did.  My point is that Hoke was probably as blown away as anyone that Bellomy didn't have his fricking helmet nearby, and seemed absolutely dumbfounded that he was the backup.  Yes, Hoke could and probably should have called a TO there, but I'm not going to blame him for Bellomy and someone on the staff not paying attention to the situation.  

And let's not bring Saban into this.  If he was the coach, he'd have fired the staffer and then medical'd Morris so that he could get another kid in on the recruiting class.


September 28th, 2014 at 3:40 PM ^

Agreed, it's ridiculous. Hoke calls timeout nearly every week when Gardner's helmet pops off, but he neglects to do that this time? Fine, maybe he wants to save timeouts, but can't Bellomy execute a handoff (I had to chuckle when he couldn't find his helmet, so perhaps a handoff would have been difficult)? Between this player safety fiasco, the non-spread punting, the lack of a headset/involvement in the happenings of the game, the lack of responsibility taken for the struggles of the team, Hoke has evidenced his stubborn, narrow-minded ignorance far too frequently.


September 28th, 2014 at 3:17 PM ^

I have been one of the few that has been going easy on Hoke. A loss, even an embarrassing one, doesn't stain the program. But this, this is unacceptable.

Hoke needs to be fired and as fast as possible. The Yahoo article make a valid point. If you're the parent of one of the kids playing for Michigan or a parent of a potential recruit, would you trust the safety of your child to Hoke? I sure as hell would not.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


September 28th, 2014 at 3:21 PM ^

hammer away at hoke for this incident, by all means bc actions deserve harsh response.  my only argument - do not let 1 incident detract from the larger issue which obviously remains hoke is a fool, hoke cannot successfully run this program, hoke simply cannot coach with the big boys


September 28th, 2014 at 3:27 PM ^

Look, I know it looks bad, and I get people are rightly sensitive when it comes to head injuries...  but we don't have any confirmation that Morris is concussed. All armchair doctoring based on the video is just that. Again, it doen't look good, but there are still other possibilities to explain the way Morris looked, not the least possible of which is that he was just in so much pain from the aggregate hits to the leg. Paul Schmidt, 21 year veteran athletic trainer, attended to Morris immediately when he came out and unless Paul too is irresponsible and incompetent, didn't hold Morris out for the helmet fiasco a few plays later.

Yes, you take the kid out either way until you're sure, but on the other hand he vehemently waved off the sidelines and got exactly one more play before the coaches overruled him. Bad judgement? Yes. Incompetent? Sure. Criminal? Evil? Abhorrent? I dunno... I can't help but feel that people are at least in part using this incident to get what they want, which is an immediate exit for Hoke. 



September 28th, 2014 at 3:28 PM ^

There is this thing called concussion protocol.  Brady and Michigan did not follow it.  That in it of itself is neglect.  Brady Hoke is beyond clueless and this is just another example of his atrocious management of this great university.  If he loved Michigan as much as he says he would resign and do so immediately. 


September 28th, 2014 at 3:47 PM ^

We have paid this meathead nearly 13 million dollars. It is his JOB to know this! Not mine! How do I know it wasn't followed? Becasue I'm 100% postive that the first thing on the protocal list is NOT continue playing quaterback as if nothing happend! 


September 28th, 2014 at 5:07 PM ^

It is not my job to know, it is the guy we have paid nearly 13 million dollars' job to know! He stated in the press conference that he did not know. He didn't even know that Shane left on a cart. So how do I know that Hoke didn't know Shane was cleared, because he stated after the game that he didn't know anything about Shane's injuries.

The meathead, in his rush to protect his butt by claiming ignorance, has told us that he had no idea what was going on.


September 28th, 2014 at 3:48 PM ^

Paul Schmidt was right there immediately when he came off. I don't know what the initial evaluation is and if it was handled properly, but clearly Schmidt was on the situation. If he failed to do what the protocols say he should then that's one thing, but it could just as easily be that his initial interaction with Shane didn't suggest a concussion.


September 28th, 2014 at 5:50 PM ^

The problem is the rules are fairly ambiguous:

Here's the relevant section on diagnosis (bold emphasis mine)

"Recognition and diagnosis of concussion: All student-athletes who are experiencing signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a sport-related concussion, at rest or with exertion, must be removed from practice or competition and referred to an athletic trainer or team physician with experience in concussion management.  A student-athlete’s health care provider experienced in the diagnosis and management of concussion should conduct and document serial clinical evaluation inclusive of symptom inventory and evaluation of cognition and balance.  A student-athlete diagnosed with sport-related concussion should not be allowed to return to play in the current game or practice and should be withheld from athletic activity for the remainder of the day.  Disposition decisions for more serious injuries such as cervical spine trauma, skull fracture or intracranial bleed, should be made at the time of presentation."

So, Paul Schmidt talking to Morris and not seeing concussion like symptoms seems to have the discretion to not conduct the evaluation. Again, concussion seems like a forgone conclusion given the video we saw, but Schmidt is right there next to the guy talking to him and in a much better position to make the call, as well has being more qualified. I will concede it's possible that Schmidt simply screwed up as well. We don't know at this point..


September 28th, 2014 at 6:03 PM ^

Nearly passing out on the field is a symtpom, and if Paul Schmidt if cleared Morris some 90 seconds after that happened he is not qualified to have his job. You cannot clear a guy who took that hit and reacted that way that quickly. To do so is pure negligence. 

This has nothing to do with wanting Hoke fired. Hoke's already fired. Every neutral commentator thinks Michigan's handling of Morris was reprehensible, from the ESPN announcers to Dan Dierdorf to every major journalist covering college fotball. You. Are. Wrong.