How Bo handled QB injury issue in final year

Submitted by nyc_wolverines on October 10th, 2014 at 5:07 PM

The mention of Michael Taylor's potential presence on Saturday by a poster in the "Former Players Show of Support" led me to Wiki to review Michael's career at UM.

Michael's Wiki bio reveals very detailed discussion of his shoulder injury by Bo, a discussion which may help in the compare/contrast with the current Michigan HC's handling of injury issues.

The following is Ctrl+c/Ctrl+p from Wiki:

EDIT: This post nowehere discusses merits of handling concussion vs. other injuries, rather an interesting case study of how Bo handled a rather serious injury to the QB versus how the current HC can't even elocute minor player items.

In the weeks before the season opener, the press focused on Taylor's physical condition. He had been nursing a sore shoulder in his throwing arm two weeks before the opener and missed the first week of practice.[17] Coach Schembechler called it "the great Michael Taylor scare,"[18] and with news that Taylor would play, the Associated Press reported, "The Michael Taylor scare is over."[17] Taylor noted, "I can throw freely and it doesn't hurt. I'm close to 100 percent and never even thought of not playing."[19] Assistant coach Gary Moeller explained that Taylor's injury problem had been caused by the fact that "he didn't know how to throw properly until he came to Michigan."[19] Taylor had been "flinging the ball with his arm," Moeller noted, instead of using his whole body and sometimes reverted to that habit.[19] Despite the pain, Taylor vowed to give it his best effort against Notre Dame, saying, "I was raised to play football only one way, and that's giving 110 percent."[19]

Michigan and Notre Dame entered the season opener as the No.1 and No. 2 ranked teams in college football.[20] Taylor started the game against Notre Dame and completed 5 of 6 passes, including a touchdown, but he left the game after injuring his back. Taylor was replaced with freshman Elvis Grbac in the Notre Dame game.

After the loss of Taylor, Schembechler questioned his decision to let the injured Taylor play: "I suppose if I had to do it all over again, I probably should have started Elvis and let the chips fall where they may. To be honest with you, Taylor didn't throw a pass all week. He's got a bad arm right now. But he's a great competitor. He wanted to go. He felt he'd be able to throw the ball all right."[15] Schembechler added, "Michael Taylor is a fifth-year quarterback. He's the leader of our team. Hell's afire, we send him out there with a bad arm. If Michael's healthy, you'll see a difference."[15]

Enlightening to see how Bo handled the discussion of Michael's physical issues.





October 10th, 2014 at 5:18 PM ^

I think this is the kind of thing that a coach and player can come to consensus regarding the risks and make a judgment call.  Now if a team doctor said something like "he could lose the use of that arm permanently" or "we might have to amputate" then Bo would be way in the wrong.  Absent that, it sounds like football.


October 10th, 2014 at 5:22 PM ^

Bo hasn't coached at Michigan for 25 years. I know it's unpopular, but it hamstrings our program for every. single. thing. to be compared to Bo. He was a great coach and a great man, but comparing every thing about the program to Bo is what has gotten us into this Michigan Man mess. 

If we get one of the Harbaughs or Les, I'm sure they'll be able to handle the massive shadow of Bo that lingers over the program, but hopefully, if we don't, we can just let the next coach, whomever it may be, coach without having to be compared to a guy hired 45 years ago. It's hard to imagine that he'd want every aspect of the current program compared to the time he was here any more than he wanted his program to be compared to the time Yost was here. 


Comparing Bo's treatment of an injured arm 25 years ago to Shane Morris is about as relevant as comparing Fitz Crisler or Fielding Yost's treatment of an injured player. It was 25 years ago.


Bo's relevancy is that he carried on Yost's tradition without it hamstringing him. Hopefully we let the next guy do the same.

snarling wolverine

October 10th, 2014 at 6:14 PM ^

He was a great coach and a great man, but comparing every thing about the program to Bo is what has gotten us into this Michigan Man mess.

Comparing everything to Bo isn't the problem. People try too hard to find a grand narrative to everything.

Making bad coaching hires is the problem - and we've made two in a row. Let's get it right this time.


October 10th, 2014 at 6:52 PM ^

would voluntarily enter the toxic hell hole of waring factions aka, the Michigan football program and supporters?

You would have to be crazy to coach UM right now.  Nobody is going to hire a crazy coach so you say you're sane to be eligible.  The regents know better, that anybody who would want to coach at Michigan would have to be crazy, so you're rejected because of your insanity.  Since you are insane you still want to coach at Michigan thus you declare that you're sane.

It's called Inverse Catch 22.

Ghost of Fritz…

October 11th, 2014 at 9:39 AM ^

The notion that good coaches won't want the Michigan job is flat out wrong. 

Strong went to Texas, right?  Kelly went to ND, right?  Saban went to Alabama, right?  All were a mess before they arrived.

(In case you forgot, before Saban Alabama underperformed and was mostly a mess, and often a huge mess, from 1982-2007 (!), except for '90-'96 Gene Stallings era which ended in major sanctions).

Any HC that has over-performed at a non-blue blood program would want to the Michigan job. 

A head coach moving from a non-blue blood to Michigan doubles or triples his current salary. 

Despite the recent on-field results, the Michigan roster is filled with raw talent and does not have any serious position gaps.  A retooling?  Yes.  A complete overhaul and rebuild?  No.

Lots of money to hire assistants.  Top ten facilities.  Biggest stadium.  Huge fan base.  Easy to recruit well. 

And even if it does not work out by year 4, you are still set for life financially.

The only guys that would not want the Michigan job are hedge fund billionaires, guys that are currently winning at the other blue blood programs, and possibly guys that have never in their lives been north of the Mason-Dixon line.  


October 10th, 2014 at 7:12 PM ^

except that he wasn't equipped to deal with the cult of Bo. It didn't work because of the factions and the cult of Bo, then rather than fixing it, we doubled down following the same cult of Bo and hired a pretender who sounds just like him (which I think was part of Brandon's marketing plan). The bad decisions are coming because we often look backwards rather than forwards.

Ghost of Fritz…

October 11th, 2014 at 10:01 AM ^

The Rich Rod debate never ends.  If RRod had a good D coordinator from the start, it is conceivable that he might still be the Michigan coach.

But that is only half of the story. 

RRod made a ton on mistakes at Michigan, including firing Scott Scheafer as a scapegoat after 1 year, forcing his D-coordinators to run a defensive scheme they were not well equipped to impliment, imbalanced recruiting, poor player retention, etc. etc.

Michigan should have given RRod enough money to hire the right assistants, and should have supported him 100% from day 1.

But RRod took a less than perfect situation and made it much worse with a lot of bad decisions, too.


October 10th, 2014 at 8:00 PM ^

I mean I DO agree, BUT we are definitely not the only school that does that. Every Alabama coach after Bear was compared to Bear and every coach after Woody was compared to Woody. It's obviously hard to follow a legend. Bama had a couple guys after Bear do pretty good but they stunk it up against Auburn and one guy actually left Bama to coach Kentucky. Earle Bruce couldnt live up to expectations in Columbus after going 9-3 six years in a row and Cooper pooped his pants in big games all the time. Then they got Saban and Tressel. When you're a good enough coach, and those two are, you can overcome the historical comparisons.


October 10th, 2014 at 8:14 PM ^

from Bama brought to mind, immediately, a story about the Bear.

He had just led the Wildcats to possibly the only undefeated season in their history. He had left A&M to return to the SEC. At the annual sports banquet at the end of the school year they went about handing out the trophies for MVP of the various sports and finally to the head coaches.

First up, to a standing ovation came Paul Bear Bryan, "who led Ky to an undefeated season." Much applause and to show their pleasure they gave him a gold watch. He smile politely and gave his thanks.

Next up, the legend, Adolph Rupp. I'm not even certain if KY made the final four or won the NC, but for leading the Cats to another great season, "We are proud to hand you this set of keys that just happen to belong to that brand new Cadillac."

Bear leaned over to his wife and whispered, "We begin packing tomorrow. They'll never appreciate football here." It's sometimes funny how these small but minor mistakes help change the course of sports history.


October 10th, 2014 at 8:26 PM ^

But I think Michgan has been different. I don't think Saban has ever had to worry about doing it the way Bear did. In the sense you're talking its healthy, just like it was healthy for the program for Bo to reference Yost. Here we compare how a coach from 25 years ago (who isn't even our greatest coach, that's Yost) treated an injury, or disciplined players, or ran the ball or treated Notre Dame. It can hamstring the current coach, just like it did Rich Rod. The reason why this all happened is because Bo isn't around anymore to tell people to move on, etc, which I guess is ironic.

The FannMan

October 10th, 2014 at 5:26 PM ^

If you are trying to make a post based on this scenaro from 25 years ago go ahead and say what it is.  People may agree with you,or they may not.  

Also, have you noticed that the number of Bo references and quotes goes up in direct relation to how big a failure the current coach is?  


October 10th, 2014 at 5:54 PM ^

Sorry, the post is not a clear "I think [content]"

but rather the post is meant to be.....

Here is a situation of a significant player injury and here's how Bo handled it.


I won't get into arguments about personal discernments of Bo right/wrong, but I want to present an actual situation with direct quotes -- draw from it what you will.



October 10th, 2014 at 5:31 PM ^

and he was very candid about the situation. The current administration doesn't like to discuss it and when they do, it's embarrassing. I see your point.


October 10th, 2014 at 5:34 PM ^

One thing I like here is this:

"Michael Taylor is a fifth-year quarterback. He's the leader of our team. Hell's afire, we send him out there with a bad arm. If Michael's healthy, you'll see a difference."

I think the point is, when you have Gardner why was Shane ever in the game in the first place?


October 10th, 2014 at 5:35 PM ^

Not sure I get the point of this post, but another incredibly important factor to keep in mind is this was pre-internet with ESPN several years away from being considered part of the main stream media. The media scrutiny was one tenth (if that) of what it is today. Coaches like Bo could say pretty much what they wanted without having to worry about it being analyzed to death within minutes of the words leaving their mouth.   


October 10th, 2014 at 5:37 PM ^

I would think it is important to consider too the different media and employer / employee relationships that existed with Bo and now Brady. Of course, I am assuming the OP is talking more about the contrition in Bo's statement versus the confusion and uncertainty that eminated from Hoke's statement regarding Morris. I think the difference that stands out to me is that I believe Bo had a clear handle on where everyone was at and admitted to an error in judgment in retrospect, whereas it seems like Hoke is not nearly that in tune. 

Mr Miggle

October 10th, 2014 at 6:14 PM ^

1. Mo blamed an injury to a 5th year Sr QB on his HS coaches.

2. Bo started a QB who didn't throw a pass all week in practice based solely on the QB's word.

3. Bo admitted #2 was a mistake.

4. Bo misled the press before the game and admitted it afterwards.

I love Bo and Mo, but this was by no means their finest hour. If Hoke had done #1 or #2, we'd have excoriated him for it. #3 was fine, but if anything, this strikes me as a good example of why it's better not to talk about injuries.


October 10th, 2014 at 6:04 PM ^

Successful coaches love the details.  The fine points that either gain advantage or neutralize an opponent's.  

That detail is exhibited in how well Bo knew his personnel.  How well he knew his opponent's. How well he knew the landscape of the game.  The game's time dimensions and what he could accomplish with his personnel in that time window.

Reading about UTL the writer mentions the 2005 PSU game coached by Lloyd Carr and how Lloyd argued for 2 more seconds to be put back on the clock and how with 1 second remaining Henne to Manningham won the game.  

Does anyone reading this today believe in his or her heart that Hoke would have been able to argue for the 2 seconds?  IMHO Brady wouldn't have recognized its importance.

It's missing the details and not being passionate about the detail that to me is Brady's Achilles heel.



October 10th, 2014 at 9:02 PM ^

There likely would have been a full blown QB controversy heading into the 89 season had Brown not been kicked off the team. Brown was wildly erratic in his only full season as a starter (87) but came on strong late in the 88 season after Taylor went out for the year with an injury, including season ending wins vs OSU and then USC in the Rose Bowl. Think about how crazy that is. In my entire lifetime, UM has only beaten USC once in the Rose Bowl and the QB of record was Demetrius Friggin Brown.


October 10th, 2014 at 7:53 PM ^

In all fairness, Bo didn't have to deal with HIPAA and student privacy laws.  Now a days, you can hardly say anything about a student without violating some law.

Mr Miggle

October 10th, 2014 at 10:25 PM ^

This is the text of the NCAA HIPAA waiver.

I am making this authorization/consent voluntarily to release my health information otherwise  protected by federal regulations under either the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (the Buckley Amendment). The NCAA and institution are not requiring this authorization/consent to be signed.



October 10th, 2014 at 9:00 PM ^


The Shane Morris concusion handling wasn't a great moment for the coaching staff, but is also being blown WAY out of proportion.

Aren't the refs there to protect the players? Why is there no uproar against the ref to eject that player from the game when he helmet to helmet hit Shane? Oh, the refs aren't under scrutiny due to lots of lost games.

On a more important note. Real men ctrl+V to paste.

Webber's Pimp

October 11th, 2014 at 2:38 PM ^

You are right on point. The incident could have been handled better. People have made a huge stink over this but the reality is Michigan is representayive of the state of the college game up to the incident in question. I guarantee you that Hoke would not have had to endure the wrath of fans and media had this team been undefeated. .. The good thing is the sequence of events will lead to a reform of sorts. Michigan has already implemented measures which will probably be set the standard for most other programs out there. Let's be honest, I seriously doubt other schools had a system in place to deal with concussion incidents on a real time basis during games. This whole mess will force everybody to take a good hard look at the way concussions are handled. 

Webber's Pimp

October 11th, 2014 at 10:58 AM ^

I'm not sure what your point is. That is unless you're implying that Hoke should have never benched a 5th year Senior gamebreaking QB for an unproven, inaccurate, inexperienced, cannon armed sophmore.