Hoken's Heroes

June 3rd, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

...and taking responsibility for his actions. He most likely will spend a couple days if not weeks in the clinker. But, this action COULD salvage his senior year. Maybe he and TP can be cell mates? :P


June 3rd, 2011 at 10:30 AM ^

This kid came out of high school with a TON of potential - huge talent, recruited by most of the top programs, seemed to have his head well on his shoulders.  I thought he would be our next Braylon (no DUI pun intended).

I hope that he learns from this experience and becomes a better man from it. 

As for football, who knows how that will work out - there is always the option of Hoke telling him that if he is serious about wanting to get his life together, he can redshirt this season, work his ass off in the classroom, the weight room , the likely community service, perhaps some additional Hoke-imposed community service and something akin to the Lloyd 6:00 a.m. stadium stairs routine and earn his way back for the 2012 season.  Hoke seams like the kind of guy that really wants to help make these guys into men, and simply cutting him loose - even after a second offense - might not be his style.


June 3rd, 2011 at 10:44 AM ^

I hope that's exactly what Hoke does. I realize how serious his offense was, and he shouldn't play this year, but I do think he should be allowed to redshirt. He gets a reason to not go off the deep end and M gets a talented receiver back in 2012.


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

Though he may not condone Stonum's behavior he probably understands his mistakes because Hoke has said he tried to drink all the beer in Muncie, IN when he was in college. Hopefully he never got behind the wheel in those days. I like the idea of challenging Stonum or someone else in a similar situation to demonstrate that they have overcome their issues by completing a tough punishment as suggested in the post above. He may not play another down in an actual game but he can probably benefit from the structure and discipline of being part of the football program.


June 3rd, 2011 at 10:57 AM ^

There's a difference between not being punished and being allowed to remain a part of the team. I would bet that Stonum is going to either take serious punishment and be allowed to return in 2012 or be cut altogether. I would prefer to see him be able to make the comeback as opposed to being cast aside, but that's my opinion.


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

There's a big difference between playing a kid the very next game after an offense and wanting a kid to sit out a year for his infraction.  So the line isn't really that thin.  


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:02 PM ^

People, including me, were irate that he was let back on the team and that was the situation you are suggesting (sit out a year, stay out of trouble, come back).

Granted, I personally think Sims' crime is worse (Stealing from a public school system that is trying to educate under-privelaged kids and can barely staying afloat right now? Classy) but some probably disagree.



June 3rd, 2011 at 12:35 PM ^

Who said he should just keep his head down and stay out of trouble(EDIT: as you suggest Sims did)? He needs to be punished for endangering all the other drivers on the road when he drove drunk, and he is being punished. That's what should and will happen all of this year if he wants to return to the team next year.

Steve Lorenz

June 3rd, 2011 at 12:05 PM ^

Yeah, it is. It's still a edit: third chance, regardless of how it's played out. For all the critcism thrown at Dantonio (all warranted), it would be hypocritical to defend any decision that keeps Stonum as a member of this football team, regardless of whether or not the punishment is more severe. He already had his second chance. He would now be on his third chance and that doesn't really separate us discipline-wise from the schools we love to bash on. 


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:16 PM ^

If we assume for the sake of argument that Stonum (or Michael Floyd, for that matter) have drinking problems, that's something that involves a pathology (loosley speaking - I'm not a doctor) that needs to be treated.  That's different than someone who punches an unsuspecting hockey player in the back of the head.  I'm more sympathetic to someone who can't control their drinking than I am to someone who soberly and consciously decides to take a violent action against another person. 


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:29 PM ^

"Dion Sims, 19, a player for the Spartans, is accused of receiving and concealing stolen property, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison"

via http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/bigten/2010-09-21-michi…

This is Stonum's second DUI violation, with the probation violations already having been paid for by the jail time he's already done.

via http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-football/darryl-stonum-suspended-inde…



In addition to what Erik said, a violent crime or one that contains burglary is a different beast to an addiction. Both Stonum and Floyd need to get to rehab so they don't make these mistakes again. If Stonum had beaten somebody or stolen $158,000 dollars worth of laptops, then Stonum should absolutely be kicked off the team. But an addiction needs treatment, and the incentive of still playing football might be enough to get him over the hump, so to speak.


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:37 PM ^

In fairness, we don't know what would happen if MSU did this because (and I'm being serious here) I can't think of a time when Dantonio punished a starter with a season-long suspension.

One season seems to be the norm for a second DUI. I can understand the opinion that he should be gone, but you can't deny that a season-long suspension is the second harshest thing that Hoke has the power to do.


June 3rd, 2011 at 1:17 PM ^


I don't know, I think willingly risking the lives of numerous people near wherever the person is driving drunk is a lot worse than stealing money or even punching a hockey player in the head. I'm not very convinced by the addiction argument, either. If he was just getting drunk a lot, then yeah get him help, but on two occasions that we know of, he willingly got behind the wheel while drunk. To me that's just inexcusable. I'm okay with the idea of keeping him on the team, but he should never play another down, even after a redshirt year. If he wants to go the Dantonio route and let him play at some point, that's his perogative but the poster above is right, fans supporting it will be on a real thin line of hypocrisy


June 3rd, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

know if you can red shirt for an incident like this ? I'm not inciting that the coaches would want him back, I'm just curious. Our 2012 WR depth is precarious, with junior leaving...we need stokes to step it up and having stonum back for that season would be awesome.


June 3rd, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

You have five years to play four seasons (barring medical redshirts).  An OSU player (Etiene Sabino?) redshirted last year after playing his first two years. 

As you and others have said/alluded to, hopefully he can quit drinking.  Ideally we'll see him on a Big Ten Network documentary ten years from now talking about how this was the moment when he changed his life. 


June 3rd, 2011 at 10:41 AM ^

Forgive me for stealing a line from a rival coach: He's either playing 12 games or none.

Bad lack of judgement on his part, hopefully he finally learned his lesson.

Promote RichRod

June 3rd, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

and a side of disrespect for the law by not meeting his probation requirements on numerous occasions.

Tell me again why he is still on this team?  I'm frankly amazed that the majority of commenters seem to favor reinstatement after some form of punishment.  He should be kicked off the team, no excuses.  Hoke will definitely not be setting a good precedent for disciplinary issues if Stonum is not removed from the program.

turd ferguson

June 3rd, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

I'm with you on this.  I'm all for giving kids opportunities to redeem themselves after making a mistake, but this is serious stuff that he got into after knowing that he was on thin ice.  Playing football at Michigan is a privilege, and although two DUIs doesn't mean that you can't have the coaches' support in getting your life back together, it should mean that you're no longer allowed to wear a winged helmet.


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

At the very least, he should be suspended for the 2011 season while he completes all the punishment. I think you have to leave some small opportunity for return, just to avoid having him say "fuck it, my life is over" and we'll have another Cissoko situation on our hands.   

Promote RichRod

June 3rd, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

players would always have a path back to the team.  I'm sure these aren't your complete thoughts on discipline issues, so where would you draw the line exactly?  A promise to try harder next time should lose its value upon repeated serious violations. 

I also don't like the idea of our football team serving as a rehabilitation center.  Minor infractions can be dealt with by the team and valuable lessons may be learned, but if the player continues to commit criminal acts then something stronger has to serve as the rehabilitation center - like jail.  Michigan football needs to be treated like the privilege that it is.  That doesn't mean players can't make any mistakes at all, but it does mean that we need a sensible, clear policy of punishment that says "repeated violations will not be tolerated."


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:43 AM ^

You have a good, logical point but of course the question is the degree of infraction. What seems to be the standard in the NCAA is something like, first offense: 2(ish) games, second offense: season.

Obviously Stonum messed up more than I care to use adjectives for, but I do think he should be allowed to earn the right to return. I honestly think it's the best thing for M football (which obviously is how you feel about your opinion) to let him work his way back onto the team after a significant punishment and after his legal obligations are complete.

Another side note is that this is the first time he's gotten in trouble under Hoke. Not that his first offense was meaningless, but I imagine Hoke wants to be able to establish his own discipline before cutting Stonum loose.


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:30 PM ^

I won't start apologizing for Stonum, he fucked up big time and more than once. However, I'm not so sure what the normal punishment for probation violations is for athletes. I would bet it's less than a DUI, but to my knowledge RR didn't pursue punishment for that offense.


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

I think it would be enough punishment for him to miss a year of football all while having to attend counseling, AA, etc., and fulfill all of his legal obligations, be a completely top-notch student, and go through some team punishments like running a ton of stairs early in the morning and doing community service (in addition to any ordered by a court).  If he did all that and kept his nose clean throughout, I'd be okay with letting him back in 2012.  I also think  he'd be much better in the structured environment of the program than he would be out on his own as Cissoko was. 


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

I agree with this.  As you note, he got a DUI, then went to freakin' jail for three days for violating his probation, and all of that apparently affected him so much, he's now got a second DUI.

Three strikes, he is out.  I could have a small (very small) bit of understanding if he doesn't play in 2011 and then has a chance for re-instatement for 2012, but let's (hypothetically, but a real possibility based on past performance) say he gets another DUI in 2012.  What then? Hoke would like Dantonio-level foolish.

Stonum has used up his chances for football.  He has had multiple ones.  I hope he gets his life together and can do something else productive.


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:07 AM ^

1.  Keeps scholarship.  Can use tutors.  Push him to get a UM degree.

2.  Off team permanently.

This is the honorable thing to do, see if he can at least get a headstart on his life, that was the promise made to him when he was initially given the scholarship.  But I don't want to see this kid on our team ever again.  He made a HUGE mistake TWICE, and while I'm not saying he should be in prison or anything (leave that up to the judge), playing for UM needs to be a privilege that is entrusted only to those honorable to earn it. 

This isn't tSIO or Sparty, after all.


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

The program is very tough. I got two OWI's in the my early 20's and it was a nightmare.....5 days in jail, 1.5 years to get my license back, but its a life changing experience if you take the positives from the program.....hopefully he does.


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

DUI #1 happened while RR was coach.  DUI #2 after Hoke became coach.  But from what I have read, after DUI #1 and while RR was still coach, Stonum missed required meetings that were terms of his probation.

From what we have heard of Hoke's discipline re classroom attendance, if Stonum had missed a mandatory meeting he'd be at least pushing a plate at 4 AM the next morning.  And I suspect that he wouldn't have been given an opportunity to miss another probation meeting. 

Why was Stonum able to miss several mandatory meetings re his probation while RR was coach? 

I'm guessing here, but it could be that Hoke believes with proper discipline Stonum would never have had DUI #2,  and so is willing to give Stonum a chance.

That said, the kid is facing jail time, so being suspended/kicked of fthe team is the least of his worries.


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:14 PM ^

he very likely just WENT HOME FOR THE SUMMER. his violations involved missing meetings, testings and violating probation by leaving the state. RR was his coach, not his PO. short of following the kid to his court mandated events, there's very little RR could have done except find out, from the courts, Stonum hadn't kept up with requirements. which is exactly what he did. 

Promote RichRod

June 3rd, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

then Hoke is a terrible disciplinarian and I seriously fear for the future of our program.

These aren't he said she said types of offenses - they are documented, criminal acts carrying severe punishments.  We can't just pretend that they didn't happen because Hoke wasn't here when they occurred.  I simply can't imagine that Hoke is stupid enough to have this policy.  He's smarter than that.  All discipline must be calculated and carried out in light of past conduct.


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:41 AM ^

I think players don't deserve a fourth chance. It undermines the rules, sets a bad example, and ultimately does Stonum no good. Let him stay in school, but his playing days should be over. If he really wants to keep playing, he can do so at a smaller school. 


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^

but I'm not sure that is actually in his best interest as it may remove a major motivation for him to change his life and possibly exacerbate the behavior in question by leaving him without structure, guidance and a goal to strive for.

I say boot him this year with a very tough road back to being reinstated next year with zero tolerance for not complying with whatever demands and contraints are put upon him.

These are kids. Kids F up and sometimes they do so a few times before realizing they are heading down the wrong path.

In general, for non-hanging offenses, I favor the following approach:

1. infraction occurs

2. hammer is brought down commensurate with infraction (really serious offenses get the axe at this point) and player needs to toe the line with whatever the 'hammer' entails

3. Repeated and/or similar offense - gone from team for season/off-season/both, again commensurate with infraction, but gone with the a last chance opportunity to re-join team if and when they complete a more rigorous and participatory penance, whatever that might be.

4. Should the player make it through that, they remain at a zero tolerance status until they leave, with any further incident simply resulting in a goodbye, with no questions asked.  

In Stonum's case, at this point he would need to sit a year, get in and stay in a program to stop drinking, pass substance tests, reach a realistic set of academic goals and likely complete some course of external volunteer work and./or community service, pereferably something that makes him aware of the risks he is taking and the danger he presents to others when he drinks and drives. He spends a year doing that and stays the course, he gets another chance. One more chance, no acceptions.


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:12 PM ^

Fine, but I think the point the "hypocrisy" poster that stirred discussion here is that, for reasons of fandom, none of us were considering that Dantonio's players were "just be given incentive to change their life." MSU spin probably suggested that. Just as they are now pointing to Stonum and saying we are no better.

For those of us who'd like to see Michigan fans on a higher moral plane, yeah, it'd be consistent to support his dismissal.



June 3rd, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

First of all, I hate using the phrase "kids" when talking about seniors.  He's 21 years old.  I know that's not the same as being 30 and he has still has a lot to learn, but it's also a long ways from being 17 or 18 years old.  He's literally an adult and should know how to make adult choices.

Second, why does he get four chances?  He got a DUI, broke his probabtion (spending 3 days in jail), and got another DUI. 

If RR was still the coach, would you still be willing to give him another chance in 2012?  I may be wrong, but I'm getting that impression from some commenters that he gets another chance b/c he has a new coach.  I don't understand why that makes a difference.  He plays Michigan football, not RR football or Hoke football.  He's not breaking a coach's policy - he's breaking the law.


June 3rd, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

We all joked about Boren's comments after he left the team saying that there was a breakdown in family values.  I think that having coaches like Carr and Hoke who will put in the time with kids that mess up like Arrington and Stonum really does show the family values that are in place at Michigan.  Some colleges may simply turn a blind eye (OSU) or cut the kid and figure that it's one less thing for them to worry about, but Michigan actually takes the time to try to help their kids through their issues.  This is the kind of family environment that I would want to send my kid to if he were playing football.  In my opinion it really shows that the coaches are committing to your kid for 4+ years as long as they are putting in some effort to become a better person after they make mistakes (While some people like Cissoko may have blown off any attempts at changing).

Additionally, after Arrington had his big legal troubles and did the 6 AM stadium stair punishment, he came back and contributed on the field and ended up getting drafted by the Saints.  In that situation, sticking by our guy worked out well for both the school and the player, and the same could happen here with Stonum if he really is committed to getting over this issue.

Julius 1977

June 3rd, 2011 at 12:14 PM ^

Hoke has told the story many times that, when he was playing, he thought he would drink every beer in town.   He credits his coaches with changing this and having a great positive impact on his life.

Perhaps he will cut Stonum loose someday.  But I think his first priority will be to try to impact the man’s behavior.

Promote RichRod

June 3rd, 2011 at 12:23 PM ^

thoughts on this issue and re-structure their opinion to fit the facts.

After the first DUI I'm sure just about everyone thought something along the lines of  "here's your one big mistake.  Coaches better keep a close eye on this guy and make sure he changes his ways."  Give the standard 1 game punishment and move on.

Offense 2 - repeated violation of probation.  At this point, you had to be thinking "uh oh, he didn't learn his lesson, did he?"  At the extreme end of the spectrum, some wanted him gone then.  That's a little further than I would go.  The majority saw this as a problem, but one that was not serious enough to rise to the level of dismissal.  The consensus is "OK, final warning.  This is it!"  I can pretty much guarantee that no one out there was saying "alright, 1 more DUI after this and this guy will officially be at his final warning!"

It's pretty easy to fall into the trap of saying "this is your last and final warning" after each offense and then allowing yourself to analyze the severity of subsequent offense.  This is why a clear policy is preferable.  Set the standard and stick to it.