Fitz listed as starting RB vs. Alabama

Submitted by CollegeFootball13 on August 27th, 2012 at 12:01 PM

UPDATE from Hoke Himself (From Sam Webb):


Hoke on toussaint's status "haven't made a decision yet"


Hoke on Clark's status: "same" as toussaint



What happens in court with Toussaint tuesday to have no bearing on hoke's decision


Not sure how I feel about this, but we're not sure what type of punishment went on behind the scenes. Nothing official for game day yet, but it's all over twitter.


Suspended TB Fitz Toussaint listed as starting running back for Alabama game.

Retweeted by Steve Lorenz

wat RT @kmeinke Suspended TB Fitz Toussaint listed as starting running back for Alabama game.


UPDATE: Tweets on if this means anything at all- Still seems pretty inconclusive.

How long is Brady gonna wait to announce this? I get making Bama prepare for Fitz and Rawls/Smith until they know for sure, but 5 days before the game you think they would have announced suspensions already.


Being #1 on the depth chart doesn't translate to Fitz playing on Saturday. Correct me if I'm wrong.


I know depth charts don't mean much, but that's why people dump anyone in trouble off 'em.


Whether you think he should play or not, perception is reality with this stuff. Fitz playing will lump M in with MSU, etc. RE: discipline



August 27th, 2012 at 1:05 PM ^

"What happens in court with Toussaint tuesday to have no bearing on hoke's decision"


To me this reads, Fitz came completely clean with Hoke and they made a decision based on truth. I approve.


August 27th, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

Fitz hasn't even been arraigned yet. Thats suppose to occur tomorrow. In all likelihood, he'll plead not guilty and the judicial process will start. We (most of us) have no idea regarding the circumstances surrounding his arrest. The person making the decision on his aviliability (Hoke) is in a position of superior knowledge. I will withhold judgment until all the facts are available. I suggest you all do the same.


August 27th, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

I said this a few years back when Carson Butler was having troubles in the offseason and there was a possibility he wouldn't play:  Trust in whatever the coaches are doing right now to determine if this player has learned from his mistakes and is committed to becoming a better man, and a better representative of his family and this university.  While it's easy to say "Well we're doing what MSU, ND and SEC teams would do..." as soon as we hear a discplined player might play, remember this is Michigan (fergodsakes).  I swear with every fiber of my being that the fire our staff is putting him through will be the test whether he's gets to put on his helmet on saturday, and you can bet that fire is hotter that any jail cell, community service or Sparty/ND decision making session.

Thusly, I feel no shame if Hoke lets Fitz play, because I will then know Fitz proved he deserves to.


August 27th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

fitz playing. if hoke thinks he's learned his lesson than i will leave it that. punishment doesn't always mean missing games. the punishment, in my view, should be whatever actually gets through to the person being punished. hoke has never come off as a win at all costs coach and i dont see that changing any time soon.


August 27th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

I believe the decision has been made this is from the presser with Borges last week

MGoQuestion: Hoke hasn’t revealed Fitz’s status to the public, but has he discussed it with you?


For whatever reason they are keeping their decision under wraps.


August 27th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

They're keeping it under wraps to keep Bama guessing. I find it difficult to believe the coaches still haven't come to a decision on Fitz. I'm sure they know exactly what they want to do. But why reveal it ahead of time?


August 27th, 2012 at 5:40 PM ^

I am conflicted regarding this whole situation.

  1. I didn't know that being first on the depth chart implied that Fitz was starting vs. Alabama. It seems to me that Fitz can still be suspended the first game, or not start in the first game but play the second half, or yet some other option, while being listed first on the depth chart.
  2. I am ambivalent as to whether or not Fitz plays. I am content to leave this in Hoke's hands.
  3. I appreciate that Hoke doesn't seem too concerned about what the fanbase thinks. He is the coach and has the right to mete out the punishment he sees being fit, somewhat regardless of what other programs do or what the fanbase wants him to do.
  4. In most workplaces I know, and school settings I know, receiving a DUI while not on the job does not necessarily result in any punishment whatsoever. The punishment received from the government (suspension of driving privileges, community service work, fines and penalties) does not directly correlate to any repercussions received at work or school.
  5. I don't fully agree with the "higher standards" stuff regarding football players. If they are held to a higher standard, this should be spelled out clearly in the scholarship language, or by the NCAA, or the Big 10, etc. If there is a workplace where you can and will be fired for a DUI, this would generally be spelled out prior to your employment.
  6. I don't drink, let alone drink and drive. (Caveat:  communion wine.) I've never been hit by a drunk driver. None of my friends or relatives have been hit by drunk drivers. I appreciate what MADD has done in highlighting the dangers of drunk driving. Having said that, I do not put drunk driving on a par with murder. I don't want a society where we are punished because of the "potential" of doing harm. I have no problem with Fitz losing his license, having large fees and fines, having extreme conditions placed on future driving. But I do, to some degree, feel we have gone overboard with this. The reality is that you can't argue with someone who feels strongly about this, so I won't try. But drinking has been with us forever, and for most of civilization, there were no cars, so a drunk couldn't cause the same amount of danger.
  7. However, I do think Fitz showed extremely poor judgement. Having drunk in campus bars and in my fraternity, I can't imagine driving after the same. I don't know if Fitz felt a sense of entitlement, but no one is entitled to drink and drive, and I'm glad that the Ann Arbor Police didn't give him a pass for his bad choices.

EDIT:  After reading the transcript of Hoke's press conference, it seems highly probable that Fitz doesn't play on Saturday. I believe that Hoke is simply keeping private matters private . . . it isn't anyone's business what Hoke does in disciplining Fitz (& Clark.) This is consistent with the Fort Hoke mentality, where neither the coaches nor the players shoot off at the mouth more than necessary.


August 27th, 2012 at 2:03 PM ^

The Puritanism in this thread is astounding, and this coming from a person who thinks the US treats driving under the influence of alcohol entirely too lightly in general.

People of high character do make mistakes. What sets them apart is that they tend to learn from those mistakes. Fitz got lucky, he didn't hurt anyone and so this incident is just a personal mistake that he happened to get caught making. I have to wonder if all the comments talking about how severely he must be punished are coming from people who've never driven in a state of intoxication that would have resulted in legal repurcussions had they been caught.

So let's assume that Fitz and Hoke are both of high character. Fitz appears to Hoke to feel great remorse for the possible ramifications of his poor decision. In Hoke's opinion, Fitz is sincere and will fulfill whatever obligations the court requires of him; more importantly, Fitz sees it fit that Hoke punish him beyond the court's decision because this is Michigan fergodssake. And so since the incident, Fitz has been doing whatever punishment Hoke doles out and doing so without complaint.

I'm not cool with kids losing their ability to get federal student aid because they get caught with a little pot. I'm also not cool with a kid like Fitz being denied a real opportunity to showcase his talent against Alabama because he made a similar, illegal, mistake. And my guess is that had Fitz copped an attitude with Hoke about being a star and not getting punished, he'd be out for at least a game. Maybe we should attempt to give some credit to both people in this, or all go turn ourselves in for the punishments we surely deserve for things we've never gotten caught doing but did all the same.


August 27th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

I trust in Hoke to make the right decision regarding Fitz.  I'm guessing that if he plays, he has owned up to his mistakes and worked his butt off.  Hoke wouldn't play him otherwise.

State Street

August 27th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

Obviously Fitz will not play.  It's apparent Hoke is keeping the Alabama coaches on their toes with his deflections.

And frankly, Hoke is making the right decision in a lot of respects.  Firstly he's keeping internal team matters just that - internal.  He's also not giving the 'Bama gameplan anything to work with, especially with the sparse film offerings Rawls has.

But more importantly Hoke is doing the right thing for Fitz.  Fitz has a five-year-old child.  He's a young man that made a mistake.  What kind of message would it send to not only the fans and media (which I hope everyone realizes Hoke doesn't give two poops about) but Fitz's young child that deadly choices do not have serious consequences?  When the child is grown and asks why he never got to play in that spectacle of a game in Dallas, hopefully Fitz will be able to use it to impart some serious life lessons.  Hoke knows these things, he doesn't live nor operate in a vacuum.  

Meinke jumped the gun with that tweet this morning but please, let this play out before convulsing.


August 27th, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

I highly doubt that it would change Bama's gameplan or preparation one iota whether Toussaint or the other kid starts/plays.  You'll still run the same plays.  This is in no way a Mich coaching ploy.  

However, i'm the first to say that there are many ways to punish a kid other than taking away gametime, and Hoke has no responsibility to me, you, your fanbase, or anyone else on God's green Earth to sit the kid just to make folks happy.  If the kid has already earned his lesson, play him, and the interweb blowhards can go to H3LL - or Mississippi- same thing.


August 27th, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

Still don't get this attitude. So because he's a football player he shouldn't play due to a DUI? How does that make sense? Do we tell PhD candidates they can't research as part of their DUI punishment? Normal undergraduates aren't allowed to take midterms? I'm sure the kid paid the price over the summer and if he starts, he paid his dues (and will likely pay a cash fine). We don't know what he had to do. But asserting that he shouldn't be able to play is just ludicrous. Football and DUIs have nothing to do with one another, and it's certainly possible to "learn your lesson" without missing an actual game, and one that's pretty important for national recognition and NFL aspirations.


August 27th, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

I'm agnostic about Fitz playing. However, consider this:

One could argue that texting and driving is at least as dangerous as driving drunk. In fact, I think I'd rather have someone driving around A2 with a 0.08 BAC than someone with an iphone conversation going on.

DUI is a big deal because someone (MADD) made a big deal about it. The risk of crash increases dramatically, but is still small. Speeding has a similar, but smaller impact. There is evidence that distracted driving actually has an even larger impact in some cases (google around, I don't have time to now). Should people go to jail for all of them? Would you feel the same way if Fitz had gotten a ticket for texting and driving?


August 27th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but it seems like Hoke might just be testing the waters a bit by releasing the depth chart w/fitz #1. Then he can make his decision depending on how large a stink it creates.

Smash Lampjaw

August 27th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

but I will go ahead and beat this horse. A first DUI can be a coincidence, and bad luck. The vast majority of drunk drivers do not get caught. I hope this is the case here. A second DUI is a sign of a serious problem, and a third is a sure-fire indicator of a serious alcohol problem. Such a person needs help, and needs to focus all of his attention on getting this addressed. It looks to me like the coaches have a handle on these distinctions. Regarding gamesmanship, I doubt that it would change Nick Saban's preparations one bit no matter which of our fleet of backs is the starter.


August 27th, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

You guys are sounding just like what the buckeye fans always say about Michigan fans, that they are arrogant with their nose in the air.  Get off of your high morals.

Some of you disgust me.



August 27th, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

The perfect solution here would be a symbolic gesture such as sitting Fitz for the first series, or at least the first play.  I don't think sitting him for the game or even a quarter would be appropriate, but starting him sends the wrong message, no matter how many hoops Fitz had to negotiate behind the scenes.

Sitting him for even one play could make a big difference, not only in the perception of Michigan football, but in reinforcing the lesson that Fitz has been learning this summer.  I hope that's how it works out.



August 27th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

While I'm fairly indifferent towards Fitz' punishment (or lack there of) by missing some or all of the Alabama game, I've got to wonder what the reaction would be if someone on MSU or OSU blew a 0.12 while operating a vehicle.

Would we be saying we "trust whatever punishment Dantonio and/or Meyer has bestowed upon him"?

My guess is we wouldn't, and you'd be hearing chants of "burn the witch" from around here.

In this case, it does seem a double standard.  If Hoke adds no (or "little") additional punishment, we say it's because whatever he did this offseason is enough.  If Dantonio or Meyer does the same, we say it is because they don't discipline their players and run them "out of prison".


August 27th, 2012 at 11:11 PM ^

Not saying Coach Hoke thinks its okay to get DUI's but it was his goal at a young age to drink every beer in Muncy, IN. Fitz will play, but dont think for a second that it's because Brady condones his behavior. 


August 28th, 2012 at 12:23 AM ^

"Whenever you're in this position, you've got to make decisions that are best for the program," said Hoke, who suspended Toussaint indefinitely in the wake of the arrest. "That doesn't mean for one specific team. That means for the program. It means for the identity and the character of the program you represent."

Fitz is not going to play. just making Alabama prepare for him.


August 28th, 2012 at 1:18 AM ^


From the press conference that was frontpaged:


Do you feel caught between giving your team the best chance to win vs. making sure the players pay the consequences for breaking the law?

Well, I think whenever you’re in this position. You’ve got to make decisions that are best for the program. And that doesn’t mean for one specific team, it means for the program. It means for the identity and the character of the program that you represent. Are they easy decisions? No. Are they decisions you want to make because you love the kids? No. But you have to make them.


Emphasis mine. I also agree that this means Fitz won't play at least one half against 'Bama. After the legal proceedings tomorrow it will be more definite, but I think the answer is right here.

I'm probably reading too much into this, but I also see it as a subtle put-down for other programs. 



August 28th, 2012 at 3:10 PM ^

The handling of DUI and DWI offenses has changed drastically since the politicization of these offenses by MADD, DADD, SADD et al. Previously the state quite reasonably was concerned about driving when impaired. This was the case without regard to the source of impairment. The initial introduction of a BAC level was as a safeguard for drivers against over zealous interpretation of impairment by law enforcement. At a BAC below, or in some states of, .1 the driver was considered unimpaired. Above that the officer was supposed to assess if the driver was impaired or not. Only if the driver was found to be impaired would the officer make the arrest. Now the state uses flat BAC levels selected to molify these political pressure groups whether or not they reflect actual impairment in the average person. Driving while impaired certainly increases the risk to yourself and others. Driving with a given BAC level whether .05 or .15 may or may not cause your driving to be impaired. It would be helpful to this discussion to recognize the difference and cease equating driving with a BAC of .12 to murder.  It is quite conceivable that Fitz was perfectly capable of driving safely, of course he also could have been significantly impaired.

The second issue is that regardless of the soundness of the laws that cover DUIs and DWIs there is a reasonable expectation that they will be obeyed. If we assume that the BAC level of .12 was the result of a properly administered test on a correctly functioning machine, then whether or not it was deliberate Fitz broke the law. Here is where the details matter. Did Fitz honestly misjudge his level of intoxication or did he know he was in questionable shape and drove anyway? Was he impaired or simply above an arbitrarily set BAC level? Does Fitz have a problem with alcohol abuse? (Important because changing and alcoholic's behavor is much more difficult than a social drinker). These details will influence the sentence of the court, and similarly should influence Hoke's punishment for violating team rules. 

I am conflicted about whether or not Fitz should sit out one or more games. Based on what is known at this point I lean to a two game suspension, but the answers to the questions above could mitigate this to the point that I would have no problem with him starting Saturday. Without those answers I am unable to make a determination about whether Fitz should play. Since I don't have the necessary information, I am comfortable with letting Hoke, who knows those details, make the decision.