Unverified Voracity Had The Wind Knocked Out Of Its Head Comment Count

Brian October 1st, 2012 at 5:52 PM

New Yost. Looks nice


…but is set to further erode the atmosphere in the stadium as the first three rows of the student section have been excised for additional handicap seating. I guess it's inevitable that would eat out a chunk of the students because money is the primary motivator for the department, but that continues a long tradition of crapping on the student section without offering anything in return that started with the terribly-designed (and perpetually half-empty) club seat overhang that eliminated the last four rows on that side of the arena and made a further four or five partially obstructed when you stand, as students do. With every renovation the capacity gets smaller and the prices go up.

Meanwhile, this is not a good idea:

On the bright side, it appears that opposing parents are sitting next to us this year. [insert evil laugh here]

Maybe the student section has mellowed enough in the past five years to make this workable but the last time this happened, hockey parents moving into the students to find who was talking about their boy were an annual occurrence. Michigan's asking for it.

Descent into Captain Queeg-dom: 75% complete. Mark Dantonio's presided over two mass player brawls, picked multiple players up from jail to drive them to practice, seen William Gholston treat Denard Robinson's head like a beer with a twist-off cap and punch Taylor Lewan without lifting a finger (the Big Ten levied the suspension, remember), had a public hissy fit after last week's EMU game, and he's just getting started.

As I was checking out the Brayfriend Experience in Athens, Michigan State was playing Ohio State in East Lansing. A film kerfuffle and eye-gouging incident have obscured the true WTF moment from that game:


via cjzero

Will Gholston laid motionless on top of Braxton Miller for a good 30 seconds after that hit, wobbled off the field, and then returned. The sideline reporter dutifully related that Gholston "had the wind knocked out of him."

That's appalling. Anyone who hits the video above can see the ref tapping Gholston in the back to get up; he does not get up. He's just taken a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit and lays there for 30 seconds. Does it matter if he's actually unconscious or just incapable of moving for 30 seconds? No. That guy is done for the day, unless you're Dantonio. The blatant lie about what happened to him is just the cherry on top.

I guess it's nice that Dantonio has the same disregard for the safety of his own players as he does for his opponents, though. (Remember who was Robert Reynolds's DC: Dantonio.) He's got that going for him.

I assume this will once and for all end the bible-thumping, square-jawed discipline dean media meme, right?

BONUS: hey, guess what everyone who said words to the effect of "good" in the thread on this on the board got? Banned.

In other MSU news. Their OL took another hit when starting center Travis Jackson went out for the year against OSU. They inserted journeyman senior Ethan Ruhland at center after the injury and are rolling with a redshirt freshman at LG; Blake Treadwell has been bouncing in and out of the lineup with injury. If Michigan had suffered the injuries they have already we'd be sitting here in sackcloth and ashes—okay, more sackcloth and ashes—gibbering.

OSU's Jordan Hall tore his PCL and is doubtful for next week but apparently will be "evaluated on a week to week basis."

Uniforms. No Z. We'll see how the motion shortz go with these things but these actually look pretty slick from the rear:


This will all be ruined by Muff the Magic Block M on the front, I know.

UPDATE: front. I like 'em.

Why are we stopping this again? Michigan-ND kills, man:

Michigan-Notre Dame
Clemson-Florida State
Kansas State-Oklahoma

That was an NBC record. Surely NBC is pissed off that Stanford for some reason is taking the place of M-ND and that Purdue and Duke and Wake Forest are hitting up Irish schedules now.

Maisel also points out that this is all Texas's fault.

If only anyone had paid any attention last year. Gholston a draft faller:

William Gholston*/DE/Michigan State: Gholston failed to impress during the Spartans' devastating conference defeat at the hands of Ohio State. Though he continued to play despite being injured in the first half, Gholston provided no impact and was minimally productive. In five games this season, he has posted just a single sack.

I thought they were nice. I may have been wrong.

Yeah, but have they had two people on Survivor? Georgia has. I saw it on their jumbotron.

Etc.: Google docs spreadsheet with Michigan hockey TV appearances from the HSR. Things that should have been at the estate sale that wasn't.



October 2nd, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

Not libel, not slander, not disparagement.  The doctor is not mentioned by name anywhere in this post, it is not even clear if he was looked at by an actual doctor or that any doctor cleared him to play.  You can't sue for this.  The judge growls and throws your case out of court and then charges you money for bringing the silly case and wasting everybody's time.


October 1st, 2012 at 7:08 PM ^

there is no way a paper could put what Brian or what anyone is writing in print. You MUST have proof. I have little love for MSU or Dantonio, but this spectulation is irresponsible.Unless you can offer some tangible evidence of malfeasance beyond an interpretation of a video then I think it would be wise to let this one go.


You can bring your doctor, but I am willing to bet that MSU's doctors would say "We were there and you were not." I don't think anyone would believe the testimony of a doctor who viewed the injury via video over a doctor who directly interacted with the allegedly concussed Gholston.


October 1st, 2012 at 7:35 PM ^

After a quick Westlaw search I discovered this...

M.C.L.A. 600.2911 : "An action for libel or slander shall not be brought based upon a communication involving public officials or public figures unless the claim is sustained by clear and convincing proof that the defamatory falsehood was published with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether or not it was false"

Yeah, I think there is plenty of evidence showing that Brian is acting in good faith in publishing his thoughts on the matter at hand given the evidence available to him. As he clearly did not have actual knowledge, you would have to prove reckless disregard byt clear and convincing proof (a fairly high standard)...good luck on that one. So yeah, I'm putting my money on Brian in that case.




October 1st, 2012 at 7:47 PM ^

How people interpret what you write is key here. MSU may interpret Brian has have acted in reckless disregard. That's all it would take for them to file. That he would(probably) win is secondary to the hit to his reputation that would come with a libel suit.


All I am saying is be careful. That's it.


October 1st, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

or with reckless disregard of whether or not it was false." If a doctor clears a player to play and then Brian continues to beat the drum that the player had a concussion, isn't that publishing the information with knowledge that it was false? At the very least, it's reckless disregard, or something very close to it. Of course, if it actually went to court, it'd likely depend on if the jurors were Michigan fans or MSU fans. Legal realism!


October 1st, 2012 at 8:27 PM ^

If a doctor clears a player to play and then Brian continues to beat the drum that the player had a concussion, isn't that publishing the information with knowledge that it was false?

Dear God, no.  In a doctor's opinion he was OK to play.  Publishing something that Brian knows to be false would be if he witnessed an MSU practice where Dantonio did not beat his players with a whip and then published that Dantonio beat his players with a whip.

Doctors, on the other hand, can be wrong, even when not committing purposeful malpractice.  They are not infallible and no court would ever say, "well, a doctor said so, it must be true." 


October 1st, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

or with reckless disregard of whether or not it was false." If a doctor clears a player to play and then Brian continues to beat the drum that the player had a concussion, isn't that publishing the information with knowledge that it was false? At the very least, it's reckless disregard, or something very close to it. Of course, if it actually went to court, it'd likely depend on if the jurors were Michigan fans or MSU fans. Legal realism!


October 1st, 2012 at 7:41 PM ^

Brian says the following:

 Does it matter if he's actually unconscious or just incapable of moving for 30 seconds? No. That guy is done for the day, unless you're Dantonio. The blatant lie about what happened to him is just the cherry on top.

The only thing he flat-out says is that they lied about what happened (he doesn't even overtly say who lied).  The word "concussion" does not appear, and Brian allows for the fact that Gholston may not have even been unconscious. 


October 2nd, 2012 at 9:21 AM ^

Exactly. Part one is providing his opinion on what Dantonio SHOULD have done. This does not even enter the realm of libel. Part two he accuses (implied) that Dantonio/MSU staff/broadcast crew is lying about the fact that he simply had the wind knocked out of him. If someone wants to file a lawsuit on part two, good luck, but it doesn't take a Johns Hopkins doctor to tell you that there was something beyond the "wind knocked out" there.

Everyone Murders

October 1st, 2012 at 7:46 PM ^

It's been an interesting discussion on defamation so far, but it's pretty clear that Dantonio is a public figure, and as such even if a statement made about Dantonio was shown to be false, it would also need to be proven the statement was made with "actual malice".   That is, the person making the allegation knew it to be false, or issued the statement with reckless disregard as to its truth. New York Times v. Sullivan and its progeny back that up. 

In light of the video it seems perfectly reasonable to conclude Dantonio was reckless with respect to Gholston's well-being.  Again, to avoid a claim of defamation of a public figure, the "speaker" doesn't have to be right so long as the speaker is moderately careful and speaking/writing in good faith.

Also, the plaintiff have to show that the statements damaged Dantonio's reputation.  /insert punchline here/

Defamation law is a bit more nuanced than what's above, but it seems pretty clear that publically declaring Dantonio to have been reckless here is pretty safe stuff. 


October 1st, 2012 at 7:57 PM ^

and an UM blogger and use that as a basis for their accusation of  "actual malice". They could also point to the various negative comments/references to Dantonio as "proof". That sounds ridiculous to us, but in light of the publicitiy that the "Toomer's Corner Affair" generated we should not automatically assume that people would reject such an argument.

A good lawyer can make a convincing argument out of the shoddiest evidence.

Everyone Murders

October 1st, 2012 at 8:07 PM ^

Aren't you worried that a "good lawyer" will make a convincing argument that your signature line is calling Urban Meyer a Nazi?  I mean, I suspect that you don't mean it literally, but since a "good lawyer" can make a convincing argument out of the shoddiest evidence, aren't you at risk?

Put another way, just because someone can twist your words into a ridiculous argument doesn't make it defamation.  Your hypothetical good lawyer would have their case tossed out via motion, and might be subject to Rule 11 sanctions (if the case were brought in federal court) for bringing a case - citing the FRCP - that "only a total dipshit would file".


October 1st, 2012 at 8:53 PM ^

No one in the "general populace" has a flapping clue what we all do on here. The subset of blogging about a college sport and one team is ridiculously small. The biggest thread on here ever is like a slow Desperte Housewives of Bangor, Maine recap thread on Entertainment Weekly or some public site. Brian brings quality, and is a trailblazer in what he's built, but the average fan, no more person on the street has no idea what we're all taking so seriously here.


October 1st, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

This absolutely is true. I cannot talk Michigan football with anyone anymore thanks to this blog, nor can I listen to any sports talk radio show because the depth of knowledge I have learned from things like UFR and picture pages is so much farther in depth than anything the average Saturday fan could possibly fathom that I have nothing to add to a conversation that any of them could possibly understand, nor do they have anything to add that I don't already know. I'm not trying to sound arrogant or anything, sometimes it feels like a curse or something, as if I was happier when I didn't have all this knowledge; we ate the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil! Dear God what have we become!


October 1st, 2012 at 10:03 PM ^

Calling each other idiots that it not only attracts die hards, but football savvy people like coaches or those that have been around programs because they respect the lack of MSM derf to it all.

And Brian has shown not only a talent at writing, but turning it not a profitable venture. Making enough to not work in an office is one (impressive) thing; being able to employee even part time a staff is rather amazing.

But while we all are making "BORGES-DENARD!!!" The start and end of the world, it's not last week's MNF reaction. I was always amazed that after a good episode of say, Lost, I'd be curious to check out a recap, and then decide to check out the comments, and after an open thread of 900 comments here (wow, approaching the record!), I'd look there...oh, 100 comments per page....and there's like 85 pages...guess I'm not reading that....


October 2nd, 2012 at 9:51 AM ^

It is 100% reasonable that someone watching that video would think Gholston was knocked out. In fact, it is by far the most likely interpretation.

But maybe we're are all wrong. Fine. Let's have the MSU coaches and doctors explain, exactly, how they determined Gholston only "had the wind knocked out" and didn't also have a concussion.

- Why did Gholston not move when the ref tapped him on the back?

- Why did Bullough (I think that was the MSU player) have to climb his way out, instead of Gholston (who after all, was conscious according to MSU) rolling off him?

- Why did Gholston force Miller to lie there with his Gholston's hand on Miller's belly for close to a minute if all he needed was to literally catch his breath?

- Did the doctors observe a video of the play clearly showing a helmet-to-helmet hit, resulting in Gholston going limp, before they put him back in?

- What tests, exactly, did they perform to determine he was not concussed?

- What are their qualifications for doing neurological testing?


Head injuries are THE story of football in this decade. Nothing has changed how the game is played more than this and we are well beyond "Trust me, he was fine." Players are suffering long-term injuries and early death because football still hasn't gotten a handle on this. MSU should provide reasonable answers to reasonable questions (i.e, no "Next Question!")



October 1st, 2012 at 7:34 PM ^

Respectfully disagree. 

I'm no doctor. I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But when a dude is laid out on the field and doesn't respond for that length of time there is only one conclusion to draw - he was unconscious.

Add in the video evidence of his head getting traumatized and there's no other explanation.

When dudes get the wind knocked out of them, they tend to roll around and gasp for breath.


October 1st, 2012 at 7:41 PM ^

I, as a blogger, cannot report what you or I PERCEIVE to be because: a) we were not there and b) we are not doctors. So we are doubly unqualified to comment. 

We schmucks can theorize all we want because no one will heed our musings. But Brian, as the Blogger-in-Chief, is going to be under much more scrutiny because of his position and reputation as a blogger.


October 1st, 2012 at 8:11 PM ^

My testimony WOULD be meaningless, but that is because the footage speaks for itself. Loss of consciousness (even if for mere seconds) is automatically a grade 3 concussion. The standard of care for a grade 3 concussion is one week of rest, MINIMUM. Feel free to look for yourself at the link below. Now maybe gholston denied losing consciousness. But I don't think "he told me he just had the wind Knocked out" is gonna fly in court when there is video evidence of people tapping him with no response or movement.



October 1st, 2012 at 8:31 PM ^

You're basically arguing against the admittability of video evidence itself.  The very definition of video evidence is that things APPEAR to be the way they are on them.  If you show that video in court, and a physician testifies that Gholston appears unconscious, that's more than good enough.


October 1st, 2012 at 7:57 PM ^

You seem to think you're reading the NY Times. This is a blog. Entirely made up of "opinions." There is no journalistic standard to be met. 

Calling this out is the right thing to do. Anything less is cowardice. You're bitching about what this will do to someone's "reputation as a blogger." I'm a million times more concerned about the poor kid who get his brain hammered and went back onto the field.

Perspective, man. Get some.

snarling wolverine

October 1st, 2012 at 8:08 PM ^

I'm not sure it's accurate that there are no journalistic standards to be met.  For a random dude's blog that gets a pageview every other week, sure, but MGoBlog has become a major site, attracting huge levels of traffic.  At some point in the last few years this site changed from a hobby of Brian's to his actual job.  He probably does have to be careful now.  




October 1st, 2012 at 8:20 PM ^

Journalism is ever changing. The New York Times is losing buckets of money. Part of that is due to bloggers. Blogging has become an important source of information for people. That you believe that it doesn't rise to the importance of the NYT is irrelevant. As a previously linked article shows the courts are starting to treat blogs like news sources.


While it is lauded to express concern for the health of a player it must be done so responsibly. Is it really worth it to Brian to be sued for someone's misinterpretation of his intent? Even human rights activists have to abide by the rules, if for nothing else than to strengthen their reputation when they do make a bold accusation.

You should delete  "get some perspective"  comment. Self-righteuousness is neither  an admirable trait nor a valid argument.


October 1st, 2012 at 9:21 PM ^

You must live in a fantasy world where the lawsuit fairies are lurking around every corner. There's a clear distinction between posting an opinion on a blog and news reporting, but don't let that stand in the way of a good whine.

My comment on perspective stands. It disgusting to think that after this happened, Gholston went back into the game. Anyone who's worrying about "defamation" law suits and playing LA Law up in here needs to grow the hell up.


October 2nd, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

Yeah, but we act like football team doctor's are able to act without fear of reprisal from the coaching staff.  I can bet that if a team doctor is constantly sitting a team's best players down for even the most minor of head shots, "just to be safe", he won't stay the team doctor for very long.  Coaches care about their player's safety, but they care about winning too and those two things are usually at odds with each other.


October 2nd, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^


It's not like "team doctor" is the MSU doc's primary professional role. It's likely something he/she does on Saturdays for any number of reasons (likes football/friends with the staff/enjoys being around the team/professional challenge/ etc), so I don't think losing one's job would be a primary motivator of sending a player back out who was obviously incapacitated, particulalry when there's been so much concussion awareness recently, both in the media and professionally for practitioners of sports medicine.

I think this is likely a fog of war thing, where Gholston being unconscious is actually far more apparent on TV, and among players, than it was among players and support staff. If he had regained consciousness (and it sure looks like he's out for at least a number of seconds) by the time the training staff arrived, they would not have known he was unconscious without a player or referree or Gholston himself informing them. If they didn't know, they wouldn't have communicated to the docs or the coaches on the sideline. People should definitely question Dantonio about it, but if it doesn't happen again, I think it can be explained away by in-game confusion and the limited perspective available on the sideline.

It's just for this reason that the NFL has instituted their independent eye in the sky to alert docs on the sideline that a potential head injury may have taken place and that a player needs close monitoring. 


October 2nd, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

But often in football there's a lot of pressure on doctors from teams, coaches, AND players to make sure everyone can play. There's an older book by the Raiders team doctor that really let out a lot of the "secrets" of what goes on behind the scenes-


"You're OK, It's Just A Bruise: A Doctor's Sideline Secrets About Pro Football's Most Outrageous Team"


October 1st, 2012 at 6:28 PM ^

I would have expected Gholston to sit, seeing as how he helps the other team convert more third downs than he stops, but like Herbie said: he's an All American. All Americans don't sit on the bench and do nothing, even the pretend ones. In Toms case they go back out on the field and do nothing.

Blue boy johnson

October 1st, 2012 at 6:31 PM ^

I can't believe either scenario.

I can't believe a doctor lied about what happened to Gholston. Serious, serious allegation.

I can't believe Gholston wasn't knocked out cold.


October 1st, 2012 at 6:51 PM ^

The doctor doesn't have a duty that I know of to tell the sideline reporter the truth about what happened.  The doctor may have mis-diagnosed the concussion, i.e., wrongly said that there wasn't one, and then lied to the sideline reporter because he/she just didn't want to get into the factors that he/she really was looking at.  


October 1st, 2012 at 7:26 PM ^

From the boyfriend of a Michigan-educated neurologist, there is no misdiagnosing a concussion if the player loses consciousness for even a second, that is a concussion by definition today. The only argument is that gholston was conscious the entire time he was on the ground and then managed to pass all further tests. That seems hard to believe.

An example of how this probably should have been handled: I once watched Michigan's Brock Koman smash a line drive off my teammate's forehead. Teammate fell down (while ball landed in 3rd row!) trainer came out and the kid tried to say he was fine and did not lose consciousness. Our trainer was skeptical so he sent him to the hospital in an ambulance. Despite the kid seeming very, "with it" the whole time. The trainer felt he could never know if there is a bruise or hemorrhage so he better make certain to find out. Kid ended up being fine.