Herbstreit calls Brady Hoke criticism a 'witch hunt'

Submitted by Cold War on October 2nd, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Is this Hoke criticism about Morris' injury even a story if UM were 4-0 ranked in the top 10? #witchhunt

I'm not saying head injuries aren't VERY serious, just saying the reaction is over the top because of how badly UM is playing under Hoke.







October 2nd, 2014 at 11:33 AM ^

and Brent Musberger were doing the MSU-OSU game (ABC 3:30).  At about the 12:00 of the 2ndQ, at the end of the play, Gholston, after having taken a blow to the head, was lying motionless on top of Braxton Miller, and he remained motionless for well over a minute.  Herbstreit says, "He was knocked out."  After several minutes, with the assistance of a trainer, Gholston regained his feet and went to the sideline to sit out the remainder of that series.  The very next defensive series (about 7:00 of the 2nd Q) Gholston was back in the game.  

Of course nobody thought twice about the incident and Gholston's health because MSU had gone 11-3 the previous season with wins over UM and OSU and was 3-1 going into this game.  When you're winning nothing else matters, not even an unconscious player.


October 2nd, 2014 at 1:14 PM ^

Very sketchy how the whole Ghoulston episode went down. He had a blow to the head and seemingly knocked out. He goes back into the game in the next series. Did they even do a concussion test in such a short time? When you get knocked out aren't you concussed? The claim that he just had the wind knocked out of him doesn't hold any water with me. Looks like they took short cuts to keep one of their best players in a big game vs OSU.

Maize and Luke

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:56 AM ^

it has heightened the urgency to get rid of them both.  However I think the urgency would still be there if we had lost to Minn without all of this controversy.  The Morris incident escalates the situation on a national level because of the emphasis we have put on player safety on all levels over the last couple of years.  I believe the UM fan base and the MGoBlog community would still be just as anxious to get rid of Broke (Brandon & Hoke) just due to the 2-3 start, our record over Power 5 teams, and the overall decline of the progam.  It just wouldn't be on the ABC nightly news broadcast.  Of course the Morris incident wouldn't make too many waves if we were 5-0.  They didn't impeach Clinton just because of Monica but it didn't help his case.


October 2nd, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

He is not telling the truth..  He is creating a differnt argument.  People want Hoke fired, they wanted him fired before the Morris incident.  Same goes for Brandon.  They wanted Hoke gone because his players never improve, the team looks lost and disorganized, He and the Athletic Director lie and deflect any real concern about the program at any chance they get. 

Witchhunts are for inocent people who are getting railroaded after doing NOTHING wrong.  He CLEARLY misshandled both the in-game decision making (putting a young man in harms way) and the aftermath where neither he nor Brandon could come up with any plausible reason why all of this happened or why he still didn't have the facts or explanation more than 24 hours later. 

This is just one more peice of evidence to find him guilty of being bad at his job...  you know GUILTY of being a bad football coach (and AD).  So, it's not a witchhunt, its using the most recent, obvious, and provable bit of info to get a guy removed from a job that HE SHOULD BE removed from. 

Also, F Golic too. 



October 2nd, 2014 at 11:44 AM ^

I get the feeling that nothing will happen until December because we wont be eligible for a bowl game. At that time, Hoke will fired and brandon will retain his job.  Then hire another bad coach, then four more years of bad football. What a sorry program.  We will never be a contending team for a while or at least as long as brandon and Lloyd have an office at Michigan.


October 2nd, 2014 at 12:58 PM ^

Yet his point remains 100% valid, and accurate.  If we were 5-0 there would've been no rally on the President lawn and M fans would be defending Hoke.

This Morris thing annoys me because it's clouding the focus on just how bad of a football coach Brady Hoke has turned out to be, and in many ways it is painting him as a sympathetic figure with just how over the top fans are being in trying to use it to justify his dismissal. 

He needs to go because he sucks at coaching football. 


October 2nd, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

Hoke probably wont survive this year because the team hasn't produced on the football field since his first year. 

I feel myself wanting to push back hard on this particular point though, because outrage has been amplified to a ridiculous and insincere level to serve the "Fire Hoke, Fire Brandon" agenda.  Makes me a little ill.

What's more, I want this team to succeed.  I want this program to succeed.  When I see michigan "fans" taking such glee in the team's failures(serving as petty victories for their petty agenda), it makes me pretty angry.  It makes me think maybe all those people who say Michigan fans are spoiled and entitled and deserve what they get...maybe there's something to that.   


October 2nd, 2014 at 2:06 PM ^

I reached my tipping point with this sotry when Denard Robinson tweeted support for Hoke (basically saying how much Hoke cares about his players, which, um, he would know about), and there were several comments under his tweet basically telling Denard to "fuck off", most of which were coming from Michigan "fans". Just another reminder of how disgusting sports can be sometimes...


Im officially at the point where, I'll still watch every game because I'm emotionally invested & support the athletes...but all of the other bullsh*t? Just wake me up when it's over.

Voltron is Handsome

October 2nd, 2014 at 10:13 AM ^

I saw these tweets from him the day he did them. To some degree, he is correct and Brian said as much today on WTKA. This situation made national news because Michigan has been playing horribly.


October 2nd, 2014 at 10:47 AM ^

of bad blunders that has cost the team and the school. They add up to terrible coaching. It's rather strange--in a long list of cockups--to say, "Hey, let's throw out the one where we let the thin future hopes of the squad at QB keep playing with a concussion!" 

When you fire someone you say we are firing you for this, this, and this reason. This shouldn't be one of the reasons?


October 2nd, 2014 at 10:13 AM ^

When do you suppose Brian and his cohorts in the media will start to express some intellectual curiosity about the conduct of the sideline medical support staff?  For example, we understand that an unnamed neurologist was trying to get to Morris to examine him but couldn't because Morris was on the field.  Question, if the neurologist was concerned about a possible head injury, why wasn't Morris ever examined, after that play, for a concussion right there on the sideline and or immediately moved to the locker room?

They're always talking about the need for Brady Hoke to answer questions, isn't it about time that Paul Schmidt and his staff start answering some questions?  So many questions, so little actual concern about player health and welfare.

Sextus Empiricus

October 2nd, 2014 at 12:13 PM ^

levels of sport.

Remember Alvaro Pereira in the world cup.  He was knocked out cold and got back in the game one minute after being revived despite his doctor saying he was to be pulled...and the band played on.  This in the biggest sports event in the world.

Don't blame the doctor here unless he is given the authority on the spot.  Which isn't true anywhere in big time sports.  Athletes are encouraged to play tough.  Shane waived off being pulled prior to getting socked by Cockran.  The times are changing but the buck stops with the administration not the team doctor.

Shane's concussion was mild in comparison and his leg was more the ongoing issue and immediate focus in the game from the sideline.  During a game it's chaos on the sidelines.  It always is.


October 2nd, 2014 at 12:42 PM ^

I agree with your sentiment, but not your conclusion. Paul Schmidt doesn't deserve all the blame, but he does deserve his fair share.

It is his job to not let the tough guy mentality kill someone. If he tells Hoke someone isn't cleared, that person does not play, no matter how much the kid plays it off or the coach wants him in.

An anecdote. I was coming off a shoulder injury and trying to tough out spring ball to make a push on the depth chart because I had missed time the previous year. On a play in practice, I tweaked my shoulder. Didn't go down, didn't beg off, but someone on the staff saw that my arm was just kind of dangling there while I was in the huddle. They shut me down immediately. Into the training room for ice and stim and some ultrasound to work on some scar tissue. I didn't want to come off because I was fighting for snaps. I tried to hide it. Nope. He shut me down. He should have done this with Morris. Maybe he can be forgiven for not seeing it on the field. But how did he let him go back in?

Sextus Empiricus

October 2nd, 2014 at 7:46 PM ^

The concussion was mild.  That is not easy to diagnose no matter what your credential is.  Morris ran in during the chaos of the helmet rule and the play clock to run a handoff.  He finished the play 10 yards from the nearest defender.  He was not put in significant risk by the staff.

Your anecdote is solid but I don't think it applies to marginal injuries in game situations.  Morris could have been pulled much earlier for his leg injury and should have been.  Bellomy should have been ready.  There should never be 10 men on a punt team.  Schmidt is fine.  The organization is screwy.  Sports in general are learning lessons and modifying procedures to address this concussion issue that itself was delayed decades from coming to the fore by the NFL.  Blaming Paul Schmidt here is lame and scapegoating.

That said I really do respect your opinion and experience.  Thanks for the comment.


October 2nd, 2014 at 8:48 PM ^

I agree. That's why I'm not blaming Schmidt for everything. It was a failure from top to bottom. But he has to share in the blame, too.

My anecdote of course isn't perfect. But if they can see a tenth-string OL has a gimpy arm during a practice, they should be able to see a concussed QB who is looking him in the face.

Huntington Wolverine

October 2nd, 2014 at 12:18 PM ^

What if  Shane didn't exhibit low level signs once he got to the sideline? If Schmidt and the coaching staff didn't see the hit then they wouldn't have a reason to suspect a concussion. The official statement, all we have to go on at this point, is that the concussion wasn't diagnosed until Sunday during a second examination (first one being after the game on Saturday) - that sounds like it wasn't noticeable. 

I'd welcome someone more familiar with concussions to chime in.


October 2nd, 2014 at 12:42 PM ^

Fine, I can buy that Schmidt didn't realize that concussion event had taken place, so why is Hoke being held to a standard which Schmidt is not?

Second.  Evidently the neurologist on the sideline did know there was a head injury issue that should be examined.  That's why he was moving up field, to examine Shane Morris (right there in DBs statement).  So why when Morris returned to the sideline did the neurologist not examine Morris?  Here's a guy that knew there was potential for a concussion and he did nothing.  Not only did he not examine Morris, evidently he told nobody else about his concerns for Morris' health and welfare.  So again, why is Hoke taking the blame for this guy's failure?

NOLA Wolverine

October 2nd, 2014 at 10:34 AM ^

Absolutely. I have no idea what these guys are getting paid to do if it's not to intervene in a situation where they need to put a player through the concussion protocal or even really pull Morris from a situation where he can't protect himself earlier than that. Even boxing referees do that much. They've been described as doing little more than the HS kids on recruiting visits there on the sideline. 


October 2nd, 2014 at 1:05 PM ^

I just want to point out that you can't take a single word in the Brandon Release that tries to hide the fault of an individual as truth. 

That is not a detailed timeline of what happened, it is a story constructed to cover as much ass as possible. It is possible the neurologist couldn't make it to Shane in a reasonable timeframe, but we can't reliably use that press release to make the determination.

We will need to see all of the various camera angles from ABC and fans in attendance and reconstruct the scene.  I don't believe for an instant that no one on the Michigan sideline saw Shane go down. or that someone on the radio didn't say Shane is hurt. But once that release came out, it was the company line. 


October 2nd, 2014 at 10:14 AM ^

...what he meant to say is that failures of leadership like this normally get swept under the rug, but because Michigan has been losing it is getting the attention it deserves.  Is that what he meant?


October 2nd, 2014 at 10:38 AM ^

Call it what you want to call it, but this sort of thing happens all the time all over the place and people only care now because we (A) are losing, and (B) have a fan base big enough to make a national stink about it. Hell, we've had stuff like this happen at Michigan before and it hasn't been this big a deal. Remember when we had a player sexually assault a girl? And had another player help him? And had the AD try to cover it up? Nobody gave a shit because we were in the middle of a BCS run. You tell me what the difference is, because this sure as hell isn't a more serious offense. That's what Herbstreit is referring to.


October 2nd, 2014 at 10:15 AM ^

is by far the worst when it comes to talking out of both sides of his mouth... when hes on ESPN he bashes hoke and michigan, when he does any kind of interview with any other media outlet he changes his tune when it comes to hoke and michigan... 


October 2nd, 2014 at 10:16 AM ^

I get the feeling that sometimes that Herbie blows smoke up UM and thier fan's as*, but he's right.  I've been saying this all along.  The situation sucks, but it's just as much about our frustration over losing as anything else.  It just seems this incident was the straw that broke the camels back.  We can blame it on the incident all we want, but the problem is much bigger than one thing.


October 2nd, 2014 at 10:42 AM ^

It is the straw that broke the camel's back. That's why he's wrong about it being a witch hunt. It's a totally rational response to call for a coach's head when said coach is terrible at coaching.

Also, this wouldn't be much of a story if Hoke and Brandon didn't completely mishandle the response to it.


October 2nd, 2014 at 11:01 AM ^

True, but if we are 5-0, Shane would have never been in the game, and we would have an offensive line that would have never allowed any of our QB's to take a hit like that, because they could actually block someone.  This is definitely the straw that broke the camels back.  It infuriates me to hear callers into Sam's show point out that this is just another blunder to add to the numerous blunders that have occurred in the last couple of years, and Sam say that this incident of miscommunication and mismanagement is seperate from every other example of miscommunication and mismanagement, when the reality is that this is another example of how unqualified Hoke is for the job.