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September 29, 2014 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-29

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Response to Morris injury abhorrent, inexcusable

esaw sophomore
quarterback Shane
Morris wobble after
taking a hit to the head in the
middle of the fourth quarter
of Saturday's game against
We watched from the stands,
the press box and the replays on
TV as he reached for offensive
lineman Ben Braden, who
held Morris upright for a brief
moment. We watched tight
end Khalid Hill motion for a
hunched Morris to go to the
We saw running back Justice
Hayes signal to the sidelines
for medical assistance to come
on the field while offensive
coordinator Doug Nussmeier
called for Morris to get on the
ground so his evident injury
could be assessed.
And yet Michigan coach
Brady Hoke said he didn't see
any of that transpire.
We watched as he left Morris
in the game for one more play -
a direct violation of the NCAA
concussion policy:
1. Remove the student-athlete
from play. Look for the signs
and symptoms of concussion

if your student-athlete has
experienced a blow to the
head. Do not allow the student-
athlete to just "shake it off."
Each individual athlete
will respond to concussions
2. Ensure that the student-
athlete is evaluated right away
by an appropriate health care
professional. Do not try to
judge the severity of the injury
yourself. ...
3. Allow the student-athlete
to return to play only with
from a
health care W e watc
with make a r
in evaluating'
concussion. M orris
As he
stumbled - ._
on the
field, it was
clear that Morris exhibited
concussion-like symptoms.
Despite that fact, we watched
Hoke make a move that
jeopardized Morris' health.
Even 24 hours later, Hoke
didn't acknowledge a head
injury existed, referring only to


Morris "further aggravating an
injury to his leg" ina statement
to reporters. He added he is
"confident proper medical
decisions were made."
They very clearly were not.
Whether Hoke witnessed
what occurred on the field
or not, it's his job to know
everything that goes on
around his football team,
with the health of players
at the forefront of those
And so it is the position from
all four of
us on The
zed Hoke Michigan
ed H~keDaily
ove that Football
O~e that eat that
dized Hoke
Z be fired
health, immediately.
We do
not condone
the health of the student-
athletes for which he is
responsible. Because if Brady
Hoke cares about his players
and taking his 15 boys and
turning them into men as he so
often preaches, then the first
lesson he should be teaching

is that no win on the gridiron
is more important than their
It's a serious matter to say
someone should be removed
from his or her job, and we treat
it as such.
But after this incident, it's
difficult to trust someone who,
since his introductory press
conference in 2011, has asserted
his job was about preparing his
players for life.
"One of the great things that
this great game of football does
is teach young men life skills,"
he said then.
Hoke has preached
accountability and leadership,
but he showed little of either
Part of beinga leader is the
humility to admit mistakes, and
he failed to acknowledge an
egregious error.
We're students too, growing
and learning like the athletes.
And we were appalled to see
Morris left on the field. We
imagine our parents mortified,
watching someone else's blatant
disregard for their son or
daughter's health.
Because if Morris indeed
suffered a concussion, even a
light bump to the head could
have been fatal.

After the hit, Hoke didn't
even ensure the quarterback
got off the field to follow
basic protocol to check for a
There were a number of ways
to get this done: He could have
called one of his two remaining
timeouts. He could have taken
a delay-of-game penalty. He
could have demanded a direct
snap to a running back instead
of having Morris drop back to
pass, again.
We're left wondering who
is responsible for the athletes'
well-being if not the man
in charge. Is it-the best-in-
the-business neurologist
Michigan employs to stand
on the sidelines? Or the
"distinguished" group of
athletic trainers?
Hoke's statement said
coaches "have no influence
or authority" on whether an
injured player stays in a game.
But Saturday, in direct violation
of NCAA protocol and common
sense, they left Morris on
the field, preventing medical
professionals from evaluating
But here's a better question
we're left wondering, one Brady
Hoke himself asked in July.
"Why do you coach? Why do

you really coach? If we're doing
everything we can for 115-
the sons - on our roster, (then
we're doing our job). FootbalPs
only going to last for so long.
The only pressure is, every day,
preparing those guys for life
after football."
And did leaving Shane
Morris in the game, one that
you're already going to lose,
prepare him for life after
This isn't about winning and
losing anymore. It isn't about
hot seats or upholding tradition.
This is about the well-being
of players, and whether they're
prepared to lead a life outside of
Brady Hoke's actions were
indefensible, and we can
no longer stand behind his
employment at Michigan.
It's a shame Dave Brandon
can, though.
The Michigan Daily football
beat can be reached at sports@
michigandaily.com. We're on
Twitter: @asdettel, @MaxACohen,
@G_Garno and @ByAZuniga.

In 1969, Michigan rebounded from a
tough start to reach the Rose Bowl. That
won't be the case this season.
Page 2B

There were very few positives from the
Wolverines' blowout loss to the Golden
Gophers on Saturday.
Page 4B

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