No further discipline for Frank Clark

Submitted by Butterfield on September 12th, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Title really says it all.  Hoke elaborates here:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE 

Without knowing what non game-related penalties Clark was faced with, it's pretty hard to determine if the discipline was just right, too much or too little.  In any event, happy to have Mr. Clark back and wish the kid well on the field and off. 



September 12th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

Since NONE of us know all the facts, I have just as much of a right to say that he wasn't punished enough as others on here have to say that the punishment fits.  Correct?  All of us are basing our arguments on incomplete information, does that make one side of the argument more valid than the other?

Regarding the above point discussing the "totality of the punishment", if you are trying to infer that, say, running wind sprints or some other sort of "football punishment" should suffice, that is your opinion and it is fine, but I would respectfully disagree. 



September 12th, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

I may be "uninformed" (not any more so than anyone else blabbering on here), but I fail to see how I am being a "dick" (nice mature, descriptive word by the way) about it.  I'm sorry I may have a differing opinion than group-think which pervades this website, which is quickly morphing into SEC-style permissiveness. 


Class of 1817

September 12th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

I usually agree with you, but yeah, I would even excuse Cam Newton's first non-theft at Florida.

You get one strike before the hammer falls. With the investment made in these kids, I think they deserve that one chance to see how their actions actually affect their lives.

This wasn't a heist, so we're still just talking about a kid doing something stupid.

But again...strike two means yer out!

Maximinus Thrax

September 12th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

I had my TI graphing calculator  stolen the night before my final Stats exam.  I was very angry, and had to make do with an inferior replacement borrowed from another student in Markley.  Nonetheless, I would not have wanted to stigmatize somebody for life as a felon for stealing it (not that it was a felony worthy offense).


I think most of us, at one point or another in our life, have probably done something that, had it been discovered by the authorities, could have landed us in hot water.  The fact that this did not happen to us should make us feel fortunate that we squeaked through our younger days with a relatively clean record, rather than make us judgmental towards other people who have gotten caught.

And Herm, things are a lot different these days.  Back when you were young you could have run a busload of nuns off a cliffside road with a bottle of Jack in your lap and all you would have received was a tsk-tsk from the police officer.  Now, drink two or three microbrews and get behind the wheel, and you risk serious sanctions.




September 13th, 2012 at 1:19 AM ^

I agree.  A lot of people like to say that the law is the law and there are no exceptions.  Of course many of those same people's lives would have turned out very differently if they had been caught at the time that they were doing the dumbest thing that they have ever done in their lives.  In a completely apolitical sense, think about the fact that our last three presidents have all admitted to using illegal drugs at certain points in their lives.  Had they been arrested for doing something that everybody knows that they did, they would never have become president.  Rather than take potshots at Clark based on our limited knowledge of the circumstances (debating about the number of games is legitimate, though), we should be happy to know that Hoke believes that he has done enough to get through to Clark and help him be a better man.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

If you want an automatic punishment based on the crime, there are courts for that. Hoke's job is to do what's right for the school, the team, and the players. In doing that, he can, and should, take into account many things we can't know, such as the player's character, likelihood of recidivism, character of other players on the team, and even his gut instincts. Hoke should, and probably did, put himself in the shoes of not only the victim, but also Clark's family and Clark himself. Whether we would be up in arms about other schools' behavior is a fair question with regard to our own hypocrisy, but speaks nothing to the current situation. I trust Hoke's decision, and to be consistent, I will not lambast other coaches' similar decisions except to the extent that there appears to be a culture of thugery or unusually egregious situations.


September 13th, 2012 at 1:30 AM ^

Right on.  Having done some prosecutorial work, and having seen a variety of prosecutorial styles, I would say that the best prosecutors are those that can read the situation and adjust the punishment accordingly.  For a felony the person can and should pay restitution to the victim.  Then what?  The best prosecutors are those that know how to seek just stiff enough of a penalty to get the guy's attention without ruining his life and destroying his future prospects.  Some guys (or girls) walk into court with a ton of swagger, and all they are doing is showing that they really don't understand the seriousness of the charges.  Other guys can barely look you in the eye and are very humble, and you can tell that they are already scared senseless by the severity of the situation.  I am far more likely to be willing to give some slack to the latter guys and come down hard on the former.  My goal is to give people the best chance of remaining compliant with the law going forward, and that varies depending upon circumstances.

Take a good kid that made a mistake, and hammer him with all kinds of severe punishments and a criminal record that will follow him his entire life, and you will end up making it more likely that he gets into trouble down the line.  Give him a chance to pay his debt to the victim, and to prove that he has seen the light (by withheld judgment, expungement, or whatever a state may call it), and he will be more likely to use the whole process as a learning experience.

State Street

September 12th, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

Herm is right.  If this was an OSU transgression this thread would have 250 comments already with festive GIFs and pictures poking fun at Tressel and Ohio. 

It seems that most alums/students don't agree with the punishment and want to preserve the sanctity of the Institution while run of the mill fans have no issue with it.  Obviously there will be outliers but this seems to be the case.


September 12th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

I'd love to see your data on the last paragraph.

You know, assuming you're not just making stuff up.

That's like me saying "it seems those that want harsher punishments are just Walmart Wolverines who want to brag to their State co-workers, and those who actually care about the football team and the people involved with the program don't....I've polled 100 people and got their demographic data, and its shown to be true." Which is crap. People have their opinions, and where they differ people are going to think the other is wrong, but just from the posting history you can see all sorts of people fall on different sides of the aisle in this case.


September 12th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

Oh spare me the garbage.  You can't hide behind "Oh, that wasn't ME saying it THAT time, it was SOMEONE else".  Guess what, is about as good a representation of the Michigan fanbase as you can find.  So holding things equal, when we have discussion (1) over an Ohio player not being disciplined to the full extent and 90% of the statements lambast Urban Meyer as a cheat, IT GODDAMN IS HYPOCRITAL when there is discussion (2) when Brady Hoke doesn't discipline someone and 90% of the statements are in support of the decision.  

I don't want to (but know I will), see some self-righteous asshole link to a story about some other program (probably a rival) doing something wrong or not punishing players, and many of you stating that "That isn't how Michigan does it, we have integrity."  BULLLLLSHIT.  If this really is the general sentiment, we as fans better keep our mouths shut when it comes to the failures of other programs.


death by trident

September 12th, 2012 at 4:16 PM ^

Things I noticed in the thread you linked.

  • Ohio State fans being upvoted for their comments
  • Michigan fans saying that they couldn't care how Urban handled it
  • Michigan fans saying they thought Urban handled it appropriately
  • Michigan fans saying that Urban was more strict than Hoke has been in regards to Fitz/Clark
  • ONE Michigan fan complaining that Michigan has a higher standard and would never allow this (this was strangely enough downvoted - hmmm...)

I opened the thread fully expecting to find a plethora of hypocrites, and was let down.  I'm not sure if you read the entire thread Herm, or if you just read one or two posts and decided that it would be enough to make your point.  It actually makes the counter point very well.

EDIT: Meant to reply to Herm


September 12th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

"I always like my team's coach to react really harshly for show and then relent when it turns out he overreacted.
If Urban Meyer is still the coach at OSU by the time the next summer Olympics are played, I'll be shocked."  (Score: 5)


"My Buckeye brother in law was just texting me talking shit about Hoke possibly playing Fitz against Alabama. I then saw this post as we're arguing and informed him. The texts have now stopped." (Score: 5)


"“The charges that would have violated our core values have been totally dismissed."

So, disorderly conduct is within the new core values at Ohio.  Good for other star players to know where the line has been drawn." (Score: 5)


I didn't even have to get to end of the page.

Herm, please do not take too much offense from the majority of these replies. I have found it really difficult to argue against the hivemind.





September 12th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

Oh, and I know some of you will argue: he was charged with a violent crime.  Well I can argue that the charges were dropped and his charge wasn't a felony.  We can argue legal semantics all day.  Fact is, we're acting no better than anyone else and should give up our supposed "moral high ground".  Goddamnit, let us win!



September 12th, 2012 at 3:55 PM ^

Well i'm just a run of the mill fan who turned down acceptance to UM for both undergraduate and graduate school (do i get a super duper morally superior prize?) who thinks that people without all the facts prescribing punishment for a kid they don't know smacks of the worst kind of fake moral superiority.

It doesn't seem that most alums/students have much problem with bringing talented athletes to the University of Michigan who probably couldn't get accepted (or pay for the education) as a normal member of the student body. It doesn't seem like they have an issue with the university paying all the costs of attendence and giving those student athletes special treatment. But to get all that, these students need to meet some sort of half-baked moral measure.

Henry Ford used to help the poor black people too, just as long as they agreed to behave just as he dictated and allowed him to watch everything they did and decide whether it was acceptable or not.

And right now there are UM students selling hard drugs for a profit. Every weekend UM students drive drunk. UM students cheat. UM students abuse their significant others. UM students steal things. UM students destroy property. Why? Because attending the University of Michigan does not confer some exception to human failings. We know about this case because he's a football player, so we have opinions. We know nothing about the cases of non-football players and so we don't pass judgement publicly.

You should probably start a non-profit that scrutinizes police and court records and runs UM students off campus for moral failures.

And don't forget all those UM alums that sent the university hateful, racist letters when the Fab 5 were playing for the University of Michigan. That was a shining moment of the ole college moral superiority, wasn't it?




September 12th, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

I would not have a problem with this if it was a player at another school.  It wasn't a violent offense.  He's a 19 year old kid who made a mistake, who now has a criminal record, and who missed a huge game.  That's good enough.  If he does more, the situation will have to be re-thought.

Note: I do realize that I'm arguing with a quasi-fictional character.

Class of 1817

September 12th, 2012 at 1:28 PM ^

but let's remember, this is about building the character of young men. A mistake can be atoned for and forgiven if you focus and work hard enough.

Kids do stupid things. That's why you sit them down and make it clear to them that they can ruin the great opportunity they have if they continue to do stupid things.

And as we saw with Stonum, once you're on a short leash, even the smallest screw-up can be the end of the line.

If we see another mistake like this...big problems. And, honestly, probably not the kind of kid you want playing at Michigan anyway. But if this is the kid's only mistake, then he learned his lesson, and that speaks volumes about the kind of coaching and players we do want to have at Michigan.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

is an understatement.    If the cupboard wasn't bare, he's off the team or done for 3-4 games at a minimum.   Hoke is no better than his counterparts.    Just look at the run defense and you have all the reasons Hoke needs.   Oooooohhhhh, he ran some stairs and woke up early and served soup to those less fortunate.   Give me a break.    Let's hope theft is not more common for Michigan Men going forward, not to mention driving drunk.   Oh, wait he had to boot a kid off last year.   That lesson hit home too.

The Wagon

September 12th, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

Not to compare two vastly different situations, but Joe Pa had "done the right thing" his whole career too but he proved that blindly trusting a football coach is not always the best idea.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

I fall in the "trust Hoke" camp on this one. While Hoke isn't infallible, he has to have talked to DB and other administrators, to back up his decision on this. I suspect that if we knew all the information, we'd also be supportive of what Hoke is doing.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

Its not hard to imagine a scenario where this was an appropriate punishment.

Scenario #1: Clark snags laptop as practical joke, just to see kid freak out, planning to give it back.  Kid loses his shit and calls the cops.

I'm going to close my eyes, cover my ears, and chant "la la la" until someone tells me this is the case.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

Man I get sick and tired of all these "perfect" people posting like they never screwed up in life. Stop the holier than thou crap and trust coach on this one. If he hasn't shown you anything by now, he never will. Get over it and keep it moving.


September 12th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

I remember that Jim Harbaugh was kicked off of the team for showing up on a police report for a party. He was let back on the team after he proved that he was not doing anything wrong and got the AA police to agree to that. (IIRC)

I think my problem is that the punishment seems so minimal. It's an honor to play football for Michigan. How many of us on this board would give up a lot if we had the talent to do that and the opportunity. (I didn't have a scintilla of the former, so the latter never came up either.)

It may be up to Hoke, but wouldn't a better message be sent by a more stringent suspension? I don't mean to cut the young man at the knees, but I do think something stronger than one game should be done.

I guess that makes me a hard hearted person, but I'd rather think it would teach the young man a better lesson if he lost more than one game for doing something like this.


September 13th, 2012 at 9:10 AM ^

I have dealt with it. Thanks for the addition to the posting. You're right, we don't know any facts. That is because Ft. Schembechler has been re-instated at least as it relates to dealing with the media. Of course some of that could be accepted in the past because you knew, (see Harbaugh story above) that there would be zero tolerance for this kind of activity. Let me ask those of you old enough to remember when Bo was coach; Do you think he would have put up with this. But perhaps I'm just old and out of touch. So be it. I've dealt with it. While I'm a fan and still proclaim it, I'll be a little quieter now, and when Dantonio or Meyer do something I find a bit questionable ethically I'll just keep the ol' mouth closed and let it go, because I'm sure they're closer to the situation and know how to keep the young men closer to them so they can have a postive effect on the young men.

Neg away boys. That's how you deal with it.