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January 18, 2012 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-01-18

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 7A

Stonum dismissed from Michigan football team

By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Editor
Senior wide receiver, Darryl
Stonum has been dismissed from
the Michigan football team for a
violation of team rules, accord-
ing to a statement released by the
Michigan Athletic Department
on Tuesday afternoon.
Stonum was redshirted during
the 2011 season after a second-
offense arrest in May for driving
while visually impaired - the
first offense came in Septem-
ber 2009 - and was expected to
return for a fifth-year senior sea-
son in the fall. But Stonum was
jailed two weeks ago after violat-
ing his probation by driving on a
suspended license and received
a 10-day jail sentence. Michi-
gan coach Brady Hoke made the.
decision that Stonum would not
return for the 2012 season.
"I love Darryl and wish him
nothing but the absolute best,"
Hoke said in the release. "How-
ever, there is a responsibility and
a higher standard you must be
accountable to as a University of
Michigan football student-ath-
lete. That does not and will not
change.
"It's unfortunate because I
believe he has grown a great
deal as a person since the begin-
ning of the season. My hope is
that maturing process contin-
ues."
In three seasons, Stonum
started 25 games, catching 76
passes for 1,008 yards and six
touchdowns. He also saw time
on kick and punt returns, setting
the program's single-season kick-

with Stonum's work ethic and
attitude all fall.
"He's embraced what hap-
pened to him and has learned
from it," said senior tight end and
team captain Kevin Koger. "A lot
of guys might get suspended and
then they'd just transfer. But he
stuck it out.
"When he's been through
everything he's been through,
and all the turmoil and all the
speculation, I'm just glad he
stayed."
Stonum's classmate and best
friend, fifth-year senior wide
receiver Junior Hemingway, was
the star of the Sugar Bowl, catch-
ing a pair of memorable touch-
down passes to win MVP honors.
They had spent four years
together, and Stonum missed out
on their last season together. It
was bittersweet.
"It just motivates me for next
year," Stonum said, watching his
teammates celebrate.
"They're going to see a beast."
No longer.
Michigan's team plane touched
down the next day, Jan. 4. Later
that day, Stonum wrote, "Guess
who's back!" on Twitter. Some-
one asked if he'd be playing the
next season. Stonum replied,
"Y'all answer this for him."
The next morning, Stonum
drove to meet with his probation
officer. He was pulled over on a
suspended license and arrested
for violating probation.
It was the last straw for Hoke,
who witnessed Stonum charged
with driving while visibly
impaired and stopped twice for
driving on a suspended license.

FILtPHOTO/
Senior wide receiver Darryl Stonum was dismissed by Michigan coach Brady Hoke on Tuesday after completing a 10-day jail sentence for probation violation.

off return mark with 39 returns
for 1,001 yards in his sophomore
season.
"I appreciate everything the
University of Michigan, (Ath-
letic Director) Dave Brandon and
Coach Hoke have done for me,"
Stonum said in the release. "I
look forward to continuing my
football career down the road,
but more importantly, right now
I'm focused on graduating from
Michigan this Spring. I under-
stand only I am responsible for

my actions. I'm sad about how all
of this turned out, butI complete-
ly understand.
"I love this school and my team
and will miss them all greatly. But
I'll always be a Wolverine. I know
I have grown and matured as a
person over the last nine months,
and I will continue to learn and
grow every day. I want to thank
everyone for all of their support,
and I hope they will support me
in the future."
Stonum practiced with the

team all season, helping out as
an experienced practice squad
receiver. When the media would
come around, Stonum would be
ushered indoors and out of sight.
But he took the trip with Team
132 to the Allstate Sugar Bowl in
New Orleans, being part of every-
thing up until the game on Jan.
3. In the celebration after Michi-
gan's 23-20 overtime win, he
gazed around with the same awe
as his teammates.
Stonum was the first one to

look toward next season.
The redshirted receiver was
ready to get back to playing after
a missed season.
"It was a learning experience,"
Stonum told the Daily as confetti
spewed into the air at the Mer-
cedes-Benz Superdome. "It was
pretty hard. But everything hap-
pens for a reason. I'm just glad
coach Hoke kept me around to be
a part of this. And I'm back - I'm
back now."
His teammates were impressed

Moffie's defense drives
Wolverines on offense

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Writer
After Friday night's victory
against Ohio State, Michigan
coach Red Berenson and fifth-
year senior goaltender Shawn
Hunwick happily answered the
questions about the shutout win.
But while they were busy gush-
ing, another Michigan player was
patiently waiting to be addressed
by the media.
It was junior defenseman Lee
Moffie, who had a standout game
against the Buckeyes, second only
to Hunwick. He provided the
Wolverines' first goal of the night
and an assist, but until that night,
he had never been the center of
defensive focus.
It's easy to get caught up on
the team's traditional defense-
men. Senior Greg Pateryn is a big,
fearless guy who isn't afraid to
slam opponents into the boards to
go after the puck - everything a
defenseman should be.
Those players are undoubt-
edly valuable to the team, but hey
can't compare to Moffie if you
look at the box score.
Moffie quietlyleads the teamin
plus/minus rating (plus-20) and
assists (17). You wouldn't know it
without looking at the stats, but
there's something about his pres-
ence on the ice that catalyzes the
team's offensive drive.
"Moffie can free up a forward
with one good pass," said Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson. "He can
jump in and join the rush. He's
got good offensive instincts, (and)
that's the kind of player that we
recruited."
Just as Berenson likes his for-
wards to play both ways, he val-
ues the same versatility in his
defense. But Moffie's offensive
intuition doesn't show in number
of goals scored. Instead, he takes
pride in surveying the environ-
ment and setting up his team-
mates for goals.
Moffie makes sure driving
the offense doesn't become his
top priority - he learned that
lesson before he ever arrived at
Michigan, when he played for the
Waterloo Black Hawks. No mat-
ter how good his offense was, if
his defense wasn't up to par, he
wasn't going play that game.
"My main focus is always play-
ing good defense," Moffie said.
"Like coach said, good defense
generally leads to good offense.
My main focus is always to play
good 'D,' and that's the way it

Junior defenseman Lee Moffie leads the team in plus/minus and assists.

works out."
Moffie's strength on defense
comes from the fact that he can
easily move the puck out of his
own zone and is alert to his sur-
roundings. Once the puck gets
in front of the opponent's net, he
doesn't have trouble setting up his
teammates with assists.
He doesn't think there's any
special formula for the number of
assists he's tallied over the course
of the season - for him, finding
an open man is a matter of luck,
not skill. But Berenson sees it as a
hybrid of the two.
"It's a little bit of coincidence
and a little bit of confidence,"
Berenson said. "He's got offen-
sive instincts that you can't teach.
He might see a play that another
player doesn't. It's good execution
and good awareness."
Even though Moffie doesn't
play with the same. ferocious
nature that Pateryn does, he still
finds his own balance between
necessary aggression and making
smart decisions.
"It's not like (Moffie is) soft out
there," said freshman defense-
man Mike Chiasson. "He plays
tough when the time comes.
Moffie does a good job of know-
ing when to step up, when to play
tough and when to knock guys
down in front of the net. He finds
a good balance."
For most of the first half of the
season, Moffie skated with Chias-

son. But since the return of sopho-
more defenseman Jon Merrill,
Berenson has found a productive
combination.
"They're both smart with the
puck, both smart without the
puck," Berenson said. "I think
they'll be an imposing pair. They
can move the puck, they can cre-
ate offense, and they'll be solid."
Moffie in particular has noticed
a difference in his game since he
started playing with Merrill.
"We're growingtogether, game
by game, practice by practice,"
Moffie said. "We work off each
other, (and) we're looking to get
the immediate play."
It seems paradoxical that
someone who leads the team in
plus/minus rating and assists only
has three goals to his name so far
this year, especially after Moffie
led the defensive corps in goals
last season.
Moffie hinted that the dis-
crepancy might have something
to do with Michigan's lackluster
power-play unit, which is where
the bulk of his scoring came from
last year.
But it doesn't matter to Beren-
son or the team how often Mof-
fie's shots find the back of the net
- playing solid defense remains
the top priority.
"(Moffie) is a really humble
person," Chiasson said. "Just
keeping the game simple, he's just
doing his job."

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