death by trident

September 11th, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^


This non-suspension is problematic.


Why, because it doesn't follow the same policy that Hoke has followed before?


Hoke suspended a player who PLEAD to a second degree felony charge for one game.


Also he dealt with him internally which you fail to mention.


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.


Are you saying that the suspension and the internal punishment weren't enough, and that Coach Hoke doesn't know what's best? I guess you are.


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.


It appears as though you're reaching to Penn State/Ohio State for some credibility. I would contend that if those two incidents have shown us anything, it's that these coaches are well aware of what happens when you are exposed for turning away from controversy.


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.


You should also know that if the evidence is solid enough, a plea might be in your client's best interest. But you knew that already....


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.


There would have to be someone present in the room or a weapon involved. I think if this was the case that Coach Hoke would not take the risk of this fact being exposed (I know I wouldn't). However, you are reaching here so that it sounds more serious. If we had all the facts, we could debate those facts. As it currently stands we do not. Making absolute statements based on hypothetical situations is not a very scientific way to make a point.


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.


I don't agree. I trust that what is being done is best for the player and the University.

Mr Miggle

September 11th, 2012 at 8:44 PM ^

I assume that means something like running stairs early in the morning. To me that seems like an appropriate response to being late for a team meeting or missing a class, not for criminal convictions.

I agree with you on the legal arguments. Clark pled to what he was charged with. He didn't do that to avoid more serious charges, but to get a more lenient sentence and to get the case resolved. 

I'm not going to criticize Hoke here. I respect how he's handled players with legal problems so far and I trust his judgment.

death by trident

September 11th, 2012 at 9:14 PM ^

Now that you mention it, I don't know what "internal punishment" was dealt to him.  Probably should not have used this in my argument without knowing what it really meant.  If it was running stairs then yes, that doesn't really fit the offense.  If it was some form of volunteer work within the community (Boys and Girls Club, YMCA Youth Group, Big Brothers Big Sisters, etc...), that would seem more appropriate.  Hoke didn't seem to want to divulge that information though.


September 11th, 2012 at 9:19 PM ^

You're talking about a penalty that a football coach can levy on a player. Clark is fully responsible in the eyes of the law - the idea that the difference between 2 or 8 games missed will somehow make his presence more or less acceptable is hysterical to me. It's a football game.

The Student Code does not automatically expel or strip scholarships from students who steal - look it up. They are subject to a hearing, and then the punishment meted.

If the law does not take him off the field, and the University Does not take him off the field, we're talking about an inane punishment that Hoke can exact.

Will missing more games make his crime more acceptable to you?


September 13th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

Honestly, I don't care about the football implications of the decision.   Second degree home invasion, a felony, is a serious crime.  If someone was in there when Mr. Clark went in to steal the laptop or if someone caught him in the act, who knows what happens.  The potential for serious injury is there, especially considering that Mr. Clark is likely twice the size of the person he was stealing from.  Regardless of what punishment is required by law, discipline is not limited to what the law and/or school regulation dictates as the minimum. 

The reason I would want a more serious punishment is because this sends the kid the message that what he did was worth 1/13th or 14th of the thing he cares most about (football).    Maybe Frank Clark doesn't care that much about football and suspending him more games wouldn't be any more of a deterrent than 1 game, but I wouldn't bet on that.  The kid intentionally did something he knew was immoral and illegal and also something he should have known could put others in harm's way.  That kind of abject selfishness deserves a more serious response than what we've seen so far. 

Now, am I clamoring for Brady Hoke's head or something? No.  But if it was my son, I would hope his coach and those who cared about him (including me) would respond in a much stronger manner to make sure this didnt become a habit and really ruin his life. 


September 13th, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

1.  Any employer will google him from now on and know that he plead to a second degree felony.  Too many newspapers, blogs, etc. for this to be covered up.  So what he is absolutely required to reveal is immaterial.

2.  No employer asks just for convictions.  If he takes the bar, tries to pass the boards, whatever, they will ask him whether he was ever charged with a felony or ever plead guilty to a felony.  For the bar I know you have to list, literally, every interaction you've ever had with the law including speeding tickets (which in my case were expunged, but still required to be listed meaning I had to go back to the Johnson County courthouse and have them pull my ticket records to ensure I remembered where and when I got a ticket in 1999).  A friend from law school was initially denied admission to law school as well as the bar on his first application because he had 3 minor in possession incidents, two of which had been expunged. 

3. Even if employers didn't ask, this is not information you want an employer to find out later.  He will have to explain it at every juncture in his life as a prophylactic measure. 


September 11th, 2012 at 8:01 PM ^

You're all embarassing.

This whole situation is what it is and all the 'suspend him longer' people forget that college athletics is a business even at michigan.  And all the 'you don't know what really happened' people are blind fools who want to excuse a kid as boys will be boys when he stole a fucking laptop.  Stole.  Not a joke.

So why don't we all shut the fuck up, swallow our medicine, on  both sides, and move on.




ole luther

September 11th, 2012 at 8:05 PM ^

someone was trusted at OSU,, at USC, at PSU, etc. Just because these are our coaches doesn't prove to me that they know it all and will make the "best" decision everytime. "Best" is a very broad term. 

I do have a question though,...aren't the details available to the public or will they ever be?. Where I live, a crime of this nature is public info.


September 11th, 2012 at 8:57 PM ^

Your generalizations are neither supported by facts or by the language of the law.

For Example: There were no facts suggesting and the law does not require that there was a "brake in."

Furthermore, the law does not require that this was premeditated.

If Frank was in the dorm room and only then decided to take the laptop, for any reason whatsoever, he would be found guilty of the crime and the sentence could potentially be more severe.


September 11th, 2012 at 9:12 PM ^

At the end of the day, if he plays another down for Michigan it means we've played a convicted felon.  I don't know what the circumstances are, but I do know when Furman faced felony charges he fought them and won.

Had Clark had his day in court, I might have a different view.  All I have though is the fact his lawyer seems to thing plea bargaining with a felony is a good idea.  Typically that kind of stuff only happens when your lawyer already knows your goose is cooked.  Normally you'd expect at the very least in exchange for the guilty pleae you'd get this bumped down to a misdemeanor, but it wasn't based on the information we have.  I'm somewhat unhappy Clark played against Air Force when he was mere days away from pleading guilty and I really hope I don't see a felon out there wearing maize and blue against UMass.

Shakey Jake

September 11th, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

Frank cut a deal. Plead guilty and get a lenient punishment since he's a first time offender. He completes what the judge throws at him and he gets the felony expunged from his record. He's quite lucky to have such a deal and hopefully he won't pull a Stonum or Grady. And hopefully he also will learn a very important lesson about what isn't his shouldn't be taken from rooms he doesn't live in.


September 11th, 2012 at 9:38 PM ^

I believe Clark should be booted off the team for as long as his probationary period lasts, and that Hoke is sending the wrong message to the team by allowing Clark to remain and play.


September 11th, 2012 at 9:42 PM ^

If/when Clark's record is expunged, he can come back onto the team.  So long as you type 'Frank Clark' into the court's computer system and get 'Convicted Felon' back as the status, he's off the team.  Really considering he performed an action on campus that resulted in a felony conviction, he likely should be kicked out of school.  I'd assume that's in our code of conduct and if it isn't I have to wonder why not.  


September 12th, 2012 at 5:14 AM ^

It's an interesting question.  I'm sure there is precedent for when someone steals a laptop.  I imagine it's a fairly common occurance because of the opportunity to do so.  And it would make senes to deal with it pretty harshly as a deterrent,  

I'll be interested to see what Coach Hoke does, but given that he has already been suspended and reinstated, I doubt there is any further punishment.  If not, it does seem light.

Shakey Jake

September 11th, 2012 at 9:47 PM ^

was directly at the strong request of the coaches. The convo probably went like this, "Frank, Michigan men owe up to their stupidity. If you did the crime, you do the time or at least plead guilty and hope the prosecutor goes easy on you. Fight the charge and you can guarantee you won't be suiting up for us. Do something this stupid again and you'll be sure to never wear a Michigan uniform again. Is that clear?"


September 11th, 2012 at 9:49 PM ^

I've very skeptical of that.  When Furman was offered a plea deal he rejected it on the grounds that he would have plead regarding a felony and been kicked off the team as a result.  He flat out said that in an interview.  If Clark pleads guilty to a felony and is still on the team, I'm going to wonder exactly what is going on here.  



September 12th, 2012 at 10:03 AM ^

But I thought I heard that it was more that a violent felony that would be an automatic boot. In other words, domestic violence would be a one-way ticket, but tax fraud would be a case-by-case thing. After all, BWC's charge was originally a felony, and while it was obviously hilariously overcharged, I doubt Hoke would have booted him if it had somehow stuck.

Again, could totally be making this up.


September 11th, 2012 at 10:50 PM ^

im seeing some people who are saying he should be booted off the team. you hear those who say playing football is a privledge. my question to you is: so he also be kicked out of school then right? i mean do u want a convicted felon on campus? i only ask and say this because if u believe he shouldnt play football cause its a privledge, i can argue attending college is also a privledge. so why does he get to keep one privledge and not the other?


September 11th, 2012 at 11:04 PM ^

We defend, what we care about, if this was Alabama, USC, or Texas , we as Michigan fan's would be irate and in dis-belief, that this player

was not dismissed from the affore mentioned teams.  However, we all have a biased view from, all that is not MICHIGAN.  We should be thankful that we do not have to accept the criticism and the so called praise that come's with these decisions made by Universiites every day.


September 12th, 2012 at 12:49 AM ^

but as an instructor at the university, i think that any member of the community who steals a computer a student uses for work should be thrown out immediately, at a minimum, and probably fined enough to replace the computer and/or recover the data, too. now, i doubt an ipad is really a work machine, but who knows.


September 12th, 2012 at 12:35 PM ^

i didn't say what you think i said. [edit: apparently that wasn't clear enough for the internet. i said that anybody who steals a work computer should be tossed. i don't know if he stole a work computer. since it's apparently an ipad, i seriously doubt it's a work computer. but i don't know. that's why i said i didn't know in the original post. that's also why it's wrong to attribute to me the claim that frank clark should be thrown out. i said that he should be thrown out if he stole somebody's work computer. you can't ignore the condition of a conditional statement, and i don't know what sort of computer he stole.]

and no. it's an internet message board, not a piece of academic writing.

Promote RichRod

September 12th, 2012 at 1:20 AM ^

addresses this before criticizing the one game suspension, but IMO he should be kicked off the team.  Certain crimes are "one strike and you're out" - it's just a matter of where you want to draw that line.  To me, breaking into someone's space and stealing what amounts to a couple grand crosses that line.  This isn't a simple mistake or error in judgment - it's a serious felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail.

Discipline is threatening to become an issue on this team.  Hoke needs to keep cracking down on this stuff before it gets out of hand.

Sten Carlson

September 12th, 2012 at 1:27 AM ^

To every person in the "if Frank Clark plays another down for Michigan, Michigan will have played a 'convicted felon'" camp, please try to understand something.

First, as I and other have said over and over in this thread, Frank plead guilty because he was offered a deal under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which allows him to have the charge expunged if he successfully completes probation.

Requirements for HYTA:

In order for HYTA to apply, you must be between the ages of 17 and 21 when the alleged act occurred

HYTA is not available if you are charged with a life felony, certain offenses dealing with controlled substances or traffic offense.

Other considerations:
You must plead guilty in order for the judge to consider the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. It is always the judges decision whether or not you qualify. After you plead, the judge can still place you on probation or in jail, however once you have completed your sentence, the incident will be removed from your record. Once you plea, your record becomes a nonpublic record while proceedings are deferred and you are on probation. The nonpublic record will be open only to the courts, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services, law enforcement personnel and prosecuting attorneys.

Frank is NOT a convicted felon!

Further, as I've said repeatedly, pleading guilty with an arraganged lighter sentence -- like the HYTA -- as a way to avoid a potential 15 year sentence does NOT mean that he's actually guilty.  It means that he and his attorney weighed the risks of going to trial and decided that they don't want to risk it -- even if they think they have a good case, they could still lose.

Furman took his chances, and won.  Every case is different.

Personally, I think this was a misunderstanding, but the AA Prosecutor has a hard-on for Michigan football players, and refuses to take the circumstances into consideration.

Promote RichRod

September 12th, 2012 at 1:44 AM ^

Expungement is not foolproof.  Most applications for grad school, jobs, etc. as if you have been convicted of a felony.  Getting something expunged does not mean the answer to that question is "no."  If you lie and the other side has the means for looking such things up, you are screwed. 

Example - the Character and Fitness Board for getting a law license asks this question after you pass the bar and can and will deny your ability to get a law license if you lie and answer "no" and have had a felony expunged.  If you correctly answer "yes" then you have to explain the circumstances in a face-to-face interview and it's decided on a case to case basis whether you are fit to have the license.  I'm sure similar mechanisms are in place for if he ever wanted to get a government job, become a cop, etc.

Pleading guilty to a felony has serious consequences beyond the immediate issues he will face.  The chance that he is not guilty is very close to 0%.


September 13th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

I keep trying to explain this to people that once you plead, you will have to explain this the rest of your life.  And even if the conviction is eventually expunged, Frank Clark is a convicted felon for the rest of his life.  Expungment just means that it won't be used against you by the legal system going forward, e.g. if he gets arrested again, the expunged crime won't be used to increase his sentence as a repeat offender.   This does nothing to help you in the non-criminal real world.


September 12th, 2012 at 3:22 AM ^

I was really hoping this was a miscommunication, but Clark pled guilty to a pretty serious charge.  I don't see how they can possibly keep him on the team now.  

I really want to continue thinking that Michigan is morally superior to MSU and OSU.  Pleading guilty to a felony is going to have to have a penalty of a lot more than one game.


September 12th, 2012 at 6:05 AM ^

when Clark played against Air Force. In a very similar situation, Dion Sims was suspended for an entire year as soon as the allegations were made. Sims missed the first three games of the season before he even pleaded to a misdemeanor under the Holmes Act. And, after his plea, he missed the rest of the season.


September 12th, 2012 at 8:17 AM ^

This is the problem.

People, like, unsurprisingly, Tater, Want Clark to PAY because otherwise he can't act like a morally superior dickhead about other programs. Frank Clark's life does not exist to give you a talking point in this impossibly idiotic dick measuring contest you have with a rival fucking fan, nor should his fate be sacrificed to your petty relativism.

Maybe Clark should be sanctioned harder. Not knowing ant detail of what he did, this forum isn't the body to decide it, and anyone expressing an opinion is operating from a place of extreme ignorance.

Of course, for Tater, that place is called "my brain".


September 12th, 2012 at 7:35 AM ^

as someone who had an old, cheap laptop stolen when I was in grad school, it's an incredible feeling of violation even without any violence or home invasion.  This particular laptop had a chunk of a dissertation draft on it and set me back for a while, not to mention all the personal data that you'd normally have on your laptop, but even putting that to the side, it was more the sense of "who the fuck does the thief think he/she is?"   This wasn't stealing bread to feed the family, I'm certain of that.  Seriously, I wanted to take a baseball bat to whoever it was.  Still kinda do.

You cannot go around taking things that you know don't belong to you.  People know that by the time they're about, what, 4 or 5 years old?  Six at the latest?

I'm also an attorney.  Spare me the business about plea deals.  It's not the classification or permanence of the crime on a record that offends me so much.  It's simply that some people feel they can help themselves to whatever they can get away with.  

Hope the kid gets his life together, and frankly hope it's at a different university.



September 12th, 2012 at 7:34 AM ^

Clark should be on the scout team and not allowed to play games until the sentencing IMO. At that point we will be able to tell if this was a plea deal and its mot as bad as it seems or if it indeed is a serious offense.

Ppl are entitled to their opinions and can say one game is fine but I think that is a joke. Felony should be more than one game. Hell, frank could never get any job that I've had before now that he is a felon. Let's not pretend its not a big deal.

Michigan should be better than that. Michigan is.


September 12th, 2012 at 8:01 AM ^

A simple statement by Hoke or Clark's lawyer about what they believe Clark actually did would be of tremendous benefit, but the chances that we'll be getting a statement from either of them is basically zero.

However, prior to the Alabama game, Hoke stated that both Fitz and Clark made bad decisions. I find it hard to believe that Hoke would make this statement about Clark with no elaboration if what Clark did was simply a prank or the result of a "misunderstanding." That statement by Hoke was a big sign to me that Clark did indeed commit the act he's accused of.

Promote RichRod

September 12th, 2012 at 9:20 AM ^

how would a statement from the guy retained to represent Clark help anything?  I generally agree with most of your comments but this one is...odd.  I'd give a hypothetical comment from Frank's lawyer re it being a misunderstanding about 0 credibility.  He is paid to either prove his innocence or minimize the damage from conviction so you aren't going to get some unbiased rundown of the facts from him/her.

"Yep, my client is guilty as hell!  Stole a laptop and there was no excuse for it!  I kept him out of jail though, lol."