September 11th, 2012 at 7:37 PM ^

And guess what? He was suspended for the season even before he pled out. Unlike Clark, who got to play in the Air Force game, Sims missed the entire season. And his plea agreement was also under the Holmes act.

So, Dantonio has more integrity than Hoke. Can't say I'm surprise. Really, think about that: Hoke let someone who was about to plead to a felony play in a football game. Wow. Looks really bad for U-M.


September 11th, 2012 at 5:54 PM ^

This is awful IMO, I don't care what the circumstances are, Michigan has lost the moral high ground and I wont be saying a thing when one of Urban's kids gets in trouble and faces little punishment.

He missed one game for felony home invasion, 1 GAME!!!  While I don't believe he should be thrown off the team, missing the year or perhaps half the year was the minimum that would be right.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:11 AM ^

That's a pretty rediciulous viewpoint. What if the guy had let him previously borrow the computer, he couldn't get ahold of him, and assumed it'd be okay? I just 100% made up that scenario but who knows what happened? You don't, I don't. Not caring about the circustances is an absolutely absurd thing to say. 

Sten Carlson

September 11th, 2012 at 11:10 PM ^


A self-declaration of guilt offers more doubt that he did it than a declaration of guilt by 12 peers who weren't there?


Actually, I am inclined to think the opposite. As stated supra, a guilty plea is often a way to mitigate a potentially harsh sentence, i.e., one isn't willing to risk going to prison for 15 years when they can get probation and a fine in exchange for the guilty plea.


September 11th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

Anyone else have the thought that they should always schedule a tomato can for the first game so suspensions accrued over the lengthy spring/summer don't bite us for a big game like this year? kinda slimeball, for sure though.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:15 AM ^

Suspensions should mean something. If they come against Delware State then what's the lesson? Oh you shouldn't commit a crime but we won't punish you since this game is more important?


Can we be adults here for a second? Let's quit pretending that we know at all what happened. He plead guility to a felony. That doesn't really tell us much. It could mean a series of different things. It could mean he's not guilty but didn't want to fight a charge and miss the year (or just have it drag on). It could mean that he's not sorry but he's on tape and his lawyer convinced to plea. It could mean anything inbetween. Saying that he got off light or saying that he should have missed the UMass game and not Alabama because U of M needed him are ridiculous comments at this point (well the cupcakes for suspensions comment is always ridiclous).


September 11th, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

A felony is a felony in my mind. I may not know all the details, but the state does, and they are assigning a certain level of severity to his crimes. I believe that Carr's SOP was to suspend the player from the team until it was resolved and let them back on the team if the charges were dropped. I liked that. What I don't like is him getting the same punishment, essentially, as a crime that generally results in 30 days in jail. I don't think he should necessarily be kicked of the team because it's apparent that it's not cut and dry by the punishment being offered to him by the state, but a one-game suspension is not enough. If that's the extent of the punishment, then I'll be sorely disappointed.


September 11th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

I think one game is fine. Just because the word felony is involved people seem to freak out, but is this really any worse than what Fitz did? Or rather is this really that terrible a crime? He shouldn't have done it no doubt, but hopefully it will help him grow, and he'll put it behind him.


September 11th, 2012 at 5:05 PM ^


If the laptop had been $300 dollars cheaper or whatever, it would be a different charge. Stealing isn't exactly a victimless crime, but in the grand scheme of things it's not the worst thing you can do to someone either. I look at this as a bad decision where no one really got hurt. Put the kid on a short leash and see if he can stay on the straight and narrow. I'm glad Hoke and the legal system are handling it in that way.


September 11th, 2012 at 5:04 PM ^

It sounds like he is getting what some states call a "diversion". He admits guilty, but no judgment of conviction is entered, so he technically won't be a convicted felon. As long as he holds up his end of the deal (successfully completing  probation with no violations or new charges), the case gets dismissed and he has no criminal record.


September 11th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

A player gets in trouble? "Oh, he needs to bring the hammer down on Stonum" "oh wait, he did" "Oh, Stonum needs to be gone now" "Oh, he did kick him off even though he needs him" "Fitz needs to miss Bama" "Yay, Fitz misses Bama". How many times does a guy have to do what's right before he gets the benefit of the doubt? Or is it a case by case basis forever? Because "well, I like what he's done the first 5 times but the 6th isn't EXACTLY how I'd do it so RAGE!" is going to get old.


September 11th, 2012 at 6:53 PM ^

I think everyone would agree that a top priority should be maintaining a high-character team. Considering these discipline issues should *ideally* occurr only rarely, having a fanbase that scrutinizes each decision is a perfectly reasonable check on the program. Considering that punishment protocols are entirely decided by Hoke, then expecting perfection on every decision is also reasonable.

I, along with what appears to be other people, think that Hoke should suspend Clark for more than 1 game. I hope and expect that Hoke will do the right thing. But it's reasonable for me to voice my opinoin now and later. 


September 12th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

"Doing what I think he should do." Which we've seen on this and other threads, varies widely. And most often, the people who cry "I can't believe he's allowing this!" are never backtracking on their statements when he actually ends up doing it. He can't make everyone happy, and doesn't need to. It's not his job to answer to ever student who hasn't even graduated and would rather take another keg stand than show up to the game on time but has the right to analyze every case on a posting board where they don't even bother to spellcheck half the time.


September 12th, 2012 at 11:46 AM ^

where you think that the need to spellcheck only applies to "ever" other post and that a person's fandom can be surmised by two or three unrelated, misinterpreted blog posts.

I agree that he can't make everyone happy, and I agree that many people don't give Hoke his due credit after the fact. I also realize that there is plenty of time for him to make a new decision in this case, and based on his track record, I will probably agree with it.

I still don't see the issue with people voicing their opinion on it either way...



September 11th, 2012 at 5:56 PM ^

This is terrible, and although I think the kid deserves a 2nd chance, 1 game is absurd!  This is felony home invasion, that he stole a computer is secondary, he broke into someone's place and who would have known what else could have happened if someone had been there, that's why the CJ system treats home invasion so seriously.

1 game is objectionable, just way below the standards we have come to expect at Michigan.



September 11th, 2012 at 6:06 PM ^

This is still a very young man. It sounds like he has a path to work through his legal problems and come out without a record. He has an opportunity to turn this into a learning experience. I hope for his sake and the sake of society that he takes advantage of this opportunity and thrives. Would suspending him longer help that progress or hurt it? I have no idea. Neither do you, unless you happen to be within his circle of trust. I'll trust Hoke given his greater knowledge of Mr. Clark and his track record for taking breaches of the law seriously.

You may have an idea in your mind of what's "appropriate" for this violation, but in the end, Hoke's job is to shepherd young men and mold a team, not apply a pre-set punishment. I hope Hoke does what's right for the player and the team, and I trust that he will. Consistency is the hobgoblin of many an internet commenter.


September 11th, 2012 at 6:23 PM ^

I feel like most people don't really care what Hoke does concerning Clark (suspend him, sit him, etc...), but if Hoke doesn't suspend him, they will look like complete assholes to their sparty and Ohio friends who they have given shit to recently, so they demand Hoke go overboard and try to get him kicked out of Ann Arbor so they can say "see, we're different."


September 11th, 2012 at 6:27 PM ^

RCMB is certainly taking the high road on this one.  They're reasoning is that Dion Sims plead to misdemeanors, and that MSU has a policy that doesn't allow convicted felons to play on their athletic teams. 

I have no clue whether or not this is true.  I'll let all of you look at it.


September 12th, 2012 at 12:33 AM ^

From what I remember of the Sims case it was his dad that was part of the organized syndicate, not Dion.  His dad gave them to Dion, who store and/or handed them off to buyers.  Dion apparently had no idea that it was an illegal ring that his dad was operating he was just an ignorant middleman.


The difference with Frank is, like you said, he stole one.  He actually entered a place, took it, and left with it.  That one is all on him and I couldn't care less what the coaches or school decide to do with him. Makes us all look bad.

Maximinus Thrax

September 12th, 2012 at 7:09 AM ^

Um, if he was handing them off to buyers, he was not an ignorant middleman.  Most adults know that computers are not usually sold out of a truck in a parking lot of a Farmer Jack at 3AM (ok...I am just guessing there).  In reality, he most likely snitched on somebody higher up to get a lighter sentence, or the prosecutor was already getting felonies on higher ups so they went lightly on him, considering he was an athlete.  Either way, Either way, he was most likely not just some innocent bystander as you claim, but rather a smaller fish in the larger scheme of what was a huge theft ring.


September 13th, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

I wasn't a part of it and I'm guessing that you weren't either so it's pointless for either of us to speculate on his involvement except for what we can all Google. Big difference is that, according to the court system, he received and concealed.  He didn't walk into places and steal them (like Frank did). 


*edit for Googling*

 DETROIT -- A Michigan State football player has pleaded guilty to receiving and concealing stolen property in the theft of laptop computers from several Detroit Public Schools.

Sims could qualify for a break for first-time offenders that would clear his record, according to The Detroit News. The deal calls for Sims to cooperate with investigators and give "truthful testimony" against others charged in the scheme.

Sims is one of 10 men charged following an investigation into the theft of 104 laptops valued at $158,000. Authorities say the computers were sold online and to acquaintances.

"He did not buy the computers or sell them," said Sims' lawyer, Steve Fishman, according to The Detroit News. "He pled guilty to being the middleman."

"This isn't because he's an athlete," Fishman said of the plea deal, according to the report. "Anybody in his situation, with his age, his clean record and the cooperation he has already given the prosecution is entitled to get this break."

The 19-year-old sophomore from Detroit has been suspended indefinitely from team-related activities.


September 11th, 2012 at 6:31 PM ^

This non-suspension is problematic.  Hoke suspended a player who PLEAD to a second degree felony charge for one game.  What's worse is the number of commenters on here espousing a know-nothing, "coach knows best" mentality that would fit in quite well on bucknuts.   If the recent spate of scandals in college football taught anyone anything it should be that many times the coach often does not, in fact, know best and needs to be held to account.  Especially popular coaches who the fan base reflexively assumes will "do the right  thing."

Further, for those arguing that pleading to something does not necesasrily mean the person is guilty of the crime, you are generally correct.  However, that depends on the plea.  As a lawyer who does pro bono criminal work, I can tell you that I would almost never advise my client to plead to a felony without some evidence of culpability.  Why? Because status as a felon is a big deal in today's society and, even if "expunged" from your record, that fact will have to be disclosed on every job application you fill out from that day forth.  This is not an insignificant black mark to carry around the rest of your life. Further, if the alleged perp violates the terms set forth by the prosecutor he can have a number of rights stripped from him due to his newly minted status as a felon.  That Mr. Clark's attorney  felt Mr. Clark should still plead to such a significant charge probably indicates that the attorney felt there was some risk of conviction to a more serious crime , possibly first degree felony home invasion or that the plea would prevent the prosecutor from pursuing the most draconian penalties available under the law.  (see for statute:…).   

In the end, I don't care if Mr. Clark is deep down a good guy, would never do this again, or has a slew of mitigating factors in his favor.  He admitted that he broke into a residence (dorm room) and committed a felony (presumably the theft of an item $1800 in value).  That is unacceptable behavior for a Michigan football player and any human being in general.   Felony home invasion is a crime punishable by 15 years in prison.  The Michigan legislature did not create a penalty that stiff because home invasion is no big deal.  People are killed or injured all the time in simple home invasions gone bad.  Suspension from the program for a year would be a tolerant response; a single game smacks of a program with d-line issues trying to get their best players on the field at all costs.


September 13th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

I state that in the post, that the plea was probably because the prosecutor had a stronger charge on the table (maybe first degree, arguing somehow that someone was in the "residence" when Mr. Clark invaded it.  Tenuous, but since it is a dorm, an enterprising lawyer might try to make it stick), but that could also be the result of Mr. Clark's attorney thinking there was exposure to jail time.  The issue is that I, as a lawyer, am not pleading my client to a felony unless there is some evidence of culpability.  Some commenters have implied that Frank Clark might not have done anything wrong and that he was pleading just to get this over with.  If he plead to a misdemeanor that would be a possibility, but since he plead to a felony that implies the prosecutor had something more than just hearsay backing it up. 


September 11th, 2012 at 7:29 PM ^

I am with you. This does not put the university in the most positive light. I understand kids make mistakes, but the university need to hold firm and hold those accountable for those who represent the university.

This is quite disappointing.

Sten Carlson

September 12th, 2012 at 1:06 AM ^

Unfortunately, we're all speaking from a position of ignorance as to the facts. 

I think many people have an image in their mind of Frank lurking in the shadows and maliciously breaking into someone's dorm room to steal their laptop.  Although that might be the case, I think people have to remember that the police -- whether UM or Ann Arbor -- and the prosecutor could be acting in a very aggressive manner, like they did with Josh Furman. 

Remember, the prosecutor doesn't need the victim to press charges against the accused.  Just like the Furman case -- where the woman who was struck by Josh testified in his defense -- Frank might have been doing something the he thought was legit, but the dorm staff didn't and called the police.  The police don't have to care that it was a mistake, that Frank thought it was his laptop, or that he was just playing a joke on a friend.  If he broke in and took property that wasn't his, they're going to assume that he had intent to commit larceny and arrest him, it's for his lawyer to straighten it out with the prosecutor. 

As we saw with Furman, the AA Prosecutor seems willing to press charges against Michigan football players despite there being circumstances where she might use her discretion to not charge them.  I am curious as to whether she is as vigilant in prosecuting the non-athlete/football playing students, and the population of the city in general.

I have feeling the fact that Hoke didn't kick him off the team, let him play against AF, and is seemingly going to let Frank play out the rest of the season, indicates that the whole thing is a misunderstanding and an overly aggressive prosecutor trying to make a name for herself.

Promote RichRod

September 12th, 2012 at 1:31 AM ^

You think he was playing a joke?  You think he would actually plead guilty to a felony and have it follow him around as he applies for jobs, tries to get into grad school, tries to get an apartment, etc. rather than attempt to explain himself and clear his name?  That's just delusional.  FYI - expungement isn't a clean slate.  Most applications for important things make you state whether you have been convicted of or even taken to court for a felony and to explain the circumstances.  Pleading guilty to a felony is a big fucking deal.

I'm a lawyer and know people sometimes plead guilty to lesser offenses under certain circumstances but this is not one of them.  If he was pleading guilty to like misdemeanor trespassing or something maybe...but people pretty much don't plead guilty to felonies when they haven't done anything wrong.

Also, wasn't he charged with the same crime he is pleading guilty to?  i.e., he's not pleading down the charge?  Again, an innocent person simply would not do this unless he has the dumbest fucking lawyer alive representing him.