Technically Truthful Is The Worst Kind Of Truthful Comment Count

Brian September 30th, 2014 at 10:37 AM


by Seth

Over the past three days, Michigan's addressed the Shane Morris incident in three different ways:

1) Two-paragraph statement with boilerplate language about student health that claims Morris was removed from the game because of a leg injury and doesn't even mention the possibility of a concussion.

2) Testy Hoke press conference in which Hoke says Morris would have practiced Sunday if not for a high ankle sprain, says there is a statement from medical staff forthcoming, says he hasn't talked to Brandon since Saturday.

3) Medical staff release becomes Brandon statement released at 1:30 AM in which it is admitted that Morris had a mild concussion BUT BUT BUT all this other stuff.

I'm not particularly interested in arguing about whether Brady Hoke is a great dude who's too incompetent to be Michigan's coach or a careless rub-some-dirt-on-it dinosaur who's too incompetent to be Michigan's coach. Either way his lifespan in our lives is measured in weeks, with no pardon coming.

You say he's a great dude, fine. Michigan's still been blown out by every Power 5 team they've played in year four. I'll agree with you that he's a great dude as long as he's a great dude with another job.

The real issue is Dave Brandon. Michigan is caught in a web of contradictions that the Rosenbergs of the world will contort themselves through to say that Michigan technically didn't lie to the world about player safety, and fine! I'm not even going to comb this pile to find the parts that directly contradict other parts. Sure, Dave Brandon is… a great… dude. Let's even stipulate that.

He just evaporated for 52 hours, left his coach out to dry with information that was incorrect, contradicted him on half the stuff he said after most of the western world had gone to bed, and helped spin Michigan Can't Protect Its Players from

  • a one-day story in which Michigan acts like adults about a bad situation and addresses the failures that culminated in Morris putting his helmet back on to
  • a three-days-and-counting story that makes Michigan look like a mendacious clownshow.

The Brand has been tarnished by Dave Brandon's incompetence, by his instinct to obfuscate and cover his ass. The #1 play of this athletic department is to not quite lie to your face and ask "are you calling me a liar?"

I am. And you need to GTFO.


Blue in Yarmouth

September 30th, 2014 at 10:41 AM ^

Let this regents meeting be about firing this f'ing clown. Honestly, at this point I don't even care what happens to BH it's DB that I want gone today, we can worry about Hoke later. Someone get that petition to the regents so they can go over that too. 

Wolverine In Exile

September 30th, 2014 at 11:00 AM ^

Gary Moeller's phone number handy?

"Hi, Gary, Mark. Yeah... the President guy. You, uh, you know,doing anything around 1pm today? I'd like to talk to you about an opportunity I have... yes, I'll bring Zingerman's. Yes with extra pickles.... No, no, Mr Brandon will DEFINATELY not be there."

Yost Ghost

September 30th, 2014 at 11:10 AM ^

There was a regents meeting this morning and there's a possiblity we'll hear something more:…

"We're going to be checking in later this morning. We're going to be talking about the situation. It's just a communications meeting at this point, but we'll probably have something to share after that."


September 30th, 2014 at 10:44 AM ^

There is one way for Michigan to look good in this situation.  The President should make a statement that student safety is the university's number 1 prioritiy and due to putting a student at risk, Hoke is fired.  Due to Brandon not taking care of this matter within his own department, he is fired.  Michigan takes a hard stance on student safety and looks good.  Also, Hoke and Brandon are gone and the fan/donor base is satisfied.  Seems like a win win to me.


September 30th, 2014 at 11:28 AM ^

Our new president appears to come off as calm and measured

I know he didn't want this scandal to happen in his first weeks in office, but its now his to own


I am guessing he will make a deliberate decision at the appropriate time


There is 0% chance, either of them get fired during the season

Let them soldier on, and keep some dignity - if they can perform adequately in the next months

And replace them in December


September 30th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

"@mgoblog: This statement took so long because the medical staff refused to lie."

If any credible corroboration of the implications in Brian's tweet is made available to the Regents or Schlissel, the situation changes drastically. Any appearance that the AD pressured professional medical personnel to lie about the health of a student for PR purposes is a immediate firing offense if there ever was one.


September 30th, 2014 at 11:41 AM ^

but there isn't any credible corroboration

more likely answer is  -HIPPA standards and all that -

maybe shane didn't want to admit a concussion - maybe it was not a clear cut case of concussion.  maybe he saw a trainer and a Dr and they could not come to a conclusion.

There may not be concensus on the medical staff - so in that case someone would be asked to sign off on something they don't agree with


I am in no way saying either of them deserve to be around in 2015 - but there isn't a glaring need to remove them now

The Die has been cast - The president can deliberate and make his decision in due time (as long as he fires them both)


September 30th, 2014 at 1:54 PM ^

I like it but....who will be the interim coach?  Likely Mattison will resign if Hoke is fired and that leaves Nussmeier and he might decline considering all the fireworks going on.  Then what?  Lloyd Carr obviously is in no position to step in with his recent family crisis.  Who ya gonna call if this is how it plays out?   There has to be a plan in place to cover all the bases here, which is something that hasn't been done up to this point in the program.

Just Maize

September 30th, 2014 at 10:44 AM ^

The only silver lining I can find in this shitstorm is that the powers that be will have to realize that no sane coaching candidate would ever come to Michigan under DB after the way he threw Hoke under the bus. I don't think losing alone would have been enough to get rid of Brandon but this whole fiasco just might be.


September 30th, 2014 at 11:23 AM ^

I don't even think DB threw Hoke under the bus.  I think he had a plan to protect Hoke by pressuring the medical staff to issue that release and lost the battle.  That's what took so long, and accounts for Hoke's "lie".  He was probably told to expect a release and went to the press conference with that in mind.  Hoke's biggest post-game mistake was trusting Brandon (though I think Hoke should be fired for his on-field conduct alone).  There was a breakdown by the medical staff, but their accountability after the fact has been of the highest order.  The medical staff might've just gotten Hoke fired.  Knowing Brandon they could've lost their jobs.  I didn't think people like this still existed in this country.

But as Brian says, while the on-field stuff was a debacle, it could've been mitigated if they just acted like adults and swiftly acted to fix the underlying problems.  But DB is the worst kind of American-style CEO -- wants the power without any understanding or concern for responsibility, likes pushing buttons but has no fucking clue how things get done.  To him, it was all about legalese and PR and the word "concussion" was a semantic nuisance I daresay he sincerely thought he could avoid by using his good ol' negotiation skills on the medical staff.  It's the perfect mindset to turn a breakdown into a clusterfuck.

Just Maize

September 30th, 2014 at 11:45 AM ^

Good point. Maybe he didn't intend to throw Hoke under the bus but that's essentially what's happened after DB's statement (and the total radio silence prior to it). I think his arrogance has gotten the best of him yet again, hopefully for the last time.

I haven't seen it discussed here yet but somebody on Reddit made a good point that the use of the qualifier "mild" to describe the concussion is medically outdated as well (apparently they don't differentiate between the severities of concussions beyond whether or not they require surgery nowadays). Presumably DB was hoping people would read "mild" and think that at least it could've been worse? Who knows. If there's one thing we know about Brandon it's that always thinks he's smarter than everyone around him.





September 30th, 2014 at 12:00 PM ^

DB absolutely threw Hoke under the bus.

Yesterday, Brady said he had NOT spoken to Brandon EVER about the game.

Ignore the issue of the medical staff.

DB essentially stated he had extensive discussions with everyone involved for two full days as he "investigated" what happened. 

That more than anything said, "Believe me or believe Brady but you cannot believe both".


September 30th, 2014 at 12:21 PM ^

I mean to say Brandon initially didn't intend to throw Hoke under the bus.  Plan A was probably to bully the doctors into giving them what he wanted.  When that failed, like any other big-wig corporate CEO, he decided to use Hoke as a human shield.

That's what I mean that the doctors might've just gotten Hoke fired.  Brandon's first instinct wasn't to sacrifice his own homey, but to use his underlings like tools.  He was probably amazed and thwarted at the sight of professionals showing integrity (whatwhatwhat?  you're going to tell the truth even though it implicates you and you're not getting bribed??) and was forced to make a tough decision -- admit fault or set up a fall guy.  Welp, that's not a tough decision for a socipath.  Bye Hoke!


September 30th, 2014 at 11:31 AM ^

If you're looking for a silver lining, it's that the fans have responded to Hoke blaming them for not supporting the players with flying colors.  Hell, it's rare to see people actually talking about the score.  He'd better not roll out that "support the players" crap again because I've never seen a fanbase more concerned for the players.  Despite the fact that our football team is terrible and our athletic department is a disgrace, I've never been more proud to have graduated from Michigan.  In its own way, seeing how this community places much greater importance on Morris' health than the dead season means more to me than witnessing the '97 season firsthand.  That was success, but times like this give that success meaning.  It's just too bad the people in charge are the cause of all this.

Just Maize

September 30th, 2014 at 11:55 AM ^

You're right about that as well. I can't imagine him playing the "support the players" card after all this, but every time I think the program's public relations couldn't possibly get more tone deaf, they find a way to outdo themselves.


September 30th, 2014 at 10:52 AM ^

As a former D-Line coach, maybe he was watching the line play.  

Can someone who was there Saturday tell us if they showed a replay of the hit on the scoreboard?  That would be two separate opportunities for Hoke to see the play.  

Either way, the once thought to be non-sensical argument over whether he should wear a headset has really taken a great deal more importance after Saturday's game.  

Wouldn't it have been much easier for someone to tell him, through his headset, that Shane may need a concussion eval?

This is a fucking tire fire that will not go out until DB and/or Hoke are dismissed.  

Unfortunately, Michigan athletics seem to be taking a page from the NFL's playbook for how to get ahead of a shitstorm.  

The FannMan

September 30th, 2014 at 12:24 PM ^

I don't recall seeing the hit on the jumbtron until later.  They did show Braden holding Morris up live as it happened. That was what got the crowd howling.  Perhaps they showed the hit after that.  By that point, I was yelling something along the lines of 'What are you fucking doing?" in the direction of the Michigan sideline and wasn't paying attention to the replay.


September 30th, 2014 at 12:46 PM ^

There's a second level of breakdown in communication here beyond just the headset issue though. Hoke's (and Nussmeier's) statements make clear that they take a passive role w/r/t the medical staff: if the medical staff says "you can't play this guy" then they don't, but at least in-game, they don't actively seek the medical staff's opinions. Meanwhile, of course, the medical staff on the sidelines reportedly also "didn't see the hit." So even if Hoke has a headset on, if he's not actively asking the medical staff a question over it, and they don't see the play, then the outcome is exactly the same as the one we witnessed.

Poor communication on multiple levels here, but the equipment isn't the issue. It's the attitudes of the people involved.

MI Expat NY

September 30th, 2014 at 10:54 AM ^

Theoretically it could have been a shot low.  There is nothing about the penalty itself that indicates the player should be checked for a concussion.  If the call was targetting, you'd be absolutely right.  

I give Nuss the most leeway on the issue.  He hears the penalty, realizes he has another play, starts looking at his play sheet, thinking about substitutions, etc.  He has more to do than look at Morris and see if he's ok.  Hoke on the other hand... If you keep the headset off, shouldn't watching your players be something you have time for?

Yost Ghost

September 30th, 2014 at 12:55 PM ^

Roughing the passer calls happen maybe once or twice in a game. Why wouldn't it make sense to take a moment to at least review a replay in the booth?  Just in case the 150 people standing on the sideline 20 yards away missed a brutal and potentially dangerous hit? I mean if player safety is the goal then...


September 30th, 2014 at 10:47 AM ^

The obfuscation and outright lying is giving me haunts of Tressel's last days at OSU. I don't want to feel like Michigan is handling this the same way OSU handled the tattoo scandal. At this point, though, it appears that's already true. The only thing that makes me smile right now is thinking about the rest of the season sans Hoke and DB.


September 30th, 2014 at 11:28 AM ^

Vote Brian Cook and Carlos Angel Juan Pablo Abanger for Board of Regents in 2016.

That's Cook/Abanger.

Fire Brandon.

Fire Hoke.

Spread punting.

All the water you can carry.

If you like your seat cushion you can keep it.

Timely medical statements.

We wont make national news for doing dumb things!

Cook/Abanger 2016

Edit: Sadly, I must inform you all that due to extenuating circumstances, I, Carlos Angel Juan Pablo Abanger am no longer running for the Board of Regents. 

Cook/Abanger is dead.

I have however, informed Brian of a suitable replacement. He is a hard worker, has a deep love of Michigan athletics as well as academics, stretching back over a long career of dedicated service. He is my cousin, Clint Alabster Dane.

I have floated the idea to Brian and he was thrilled at the prospect of teaming up with Clint.

So I hereby announce Dane/Cook for Board of Regents 2016!


September 30th, 2014 at 1:03 PM ^

My two year old daughter.  She, like Brian, can throw the most adorable temper tantrums when she doesn't immediately get what she wants.  She can also make statements and accusations, without being held to any sort of standard to back anything up with facts or proof.  Now...don't get me wrong here.  I am in no way backing Brandon or Hoke (Hoke, at least, seems to be a cluelesss pawn at worst), but I do wonder if making accusations of pressuring the medical staff to lie without any sort of evidence to back it up is any better than what the administration is or isn't trying to cover up.  The talk of  the lack of integrity around the program is laughable coming from this site at this moment.  And that's a shame, because this is a great site, and I hope it returns to having some sort of standard at some point.  At this moment, however, mgoblog is every bit as dysfunctional and reckless as the administration it's trying to overthrow.  Hoke and Brandon will almost certainly be fired on their own.  There's no need to ruin the credibility of the site to speed it up.  I'll get you a rattle, or a bottle, or something.  Calm down.


September 30th, 2014 at 10:47 AM ^

At this point, I'm way angrier at Brandon than I am at Hoke.  Hoke's failures came under intense time pressures.  Brandon had plenty of time to think and decide to come clean.  Hoke probably needs to go eventually.  BRANDON NEEDS TO GO RIGHT NOW!

turd ferguson

September 30th, 2014 at 10:48 AM ^

It's so appropriate that Brandon released that statement at 1:30 AM.

Count me as one who believes that we have a great guy as our head coach who's not up to the (very difficult) job of coaching Michigan football; and we have a true fucking asshole as our AD who has done a terrible disservice to the long-term prospects of Michigan athletics in order to personally get credit for some short-term profits.