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Michigan AD says Shane Morris has probable mild concussion

Shane Morris hit

Michigan quarterback Shane Morris has been diagnosed with a concussion, which should not surprise anyone after seeing the hit he took against Minnesota on Saturday and his body language after the play. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon released a statement early Tuesday morning announcing that Morris has a “probable, mild concussion” and admitting that he should not have gone back into the game.

While he acknowledged that Michigan’s medical staff and coaches need to do a better job of communicating going forward, Brandon said Morris went back into the game because the athletic training staff never saw the shot he took to the chin. Trainers supposedly thought Morris was stumbling because of an ankle injury he suffered earlier in the game.

“In the fourth quarter, Shane took a significant hit and stumbled after getting up,” Brandon wrote. “From the field level and without the benefit of replays, medical and coaching staffs did not see the hit. Because they did not see the hit, the athletic training staff believed Shane stumbled because of his ankle injury. The team neurologist, watching from further down the field, also did not see the hit.

“However, the neurologist, with expertise in detecting signs of concussion, saw Shane stumble and determined he needed to head down the sideline to evaluate Shane. Shane came off the field after the following play and was reassessed by the head athletic trainer for the ankle injury. Since the athletic trainer had not seen the hit to the chin and was not aware that a neurological evaluation was necessary, he cleared Shane for one additional play.”

Going forward, Brandon says Michigan has decided have a doctor or athletic trainer in the press box so that they can see everything on the field.

What Brandon conveniently failed to address was Brady Hoke’s role in all of this. Hoke saw the hit. He’s not a team doctor, but you don’t need to have medical training to know there was a serious possibility of Morris having suffered a concussion. Everyone is responsible for looking out for the health of the players, not just the trainers.

Brady Hoke defends handling of Shane Morris after huge hit

Shane Morris hit

As if losing to Minnesota 30-14 at The Big House Saturday, falling to 2-3, and seeing questions about your job security weren’t already bad enough, Brady Hoke is now being criticized for his handling of injured quarterback Shane Morris.

Morris was leveled by a hard hit to the chin in the fourth quarter against the Golden Gophers. Despite falling to the turf hard and being clearly disoriented, Morris indicated to those on the sidelines that he wanted to stay in. The Wolverines allowed him to take another snap — he threw an incompletion — before finally being called off the field.

Morris was so visibly hurt that the fans were booing about him being left in for another play after being drilled, and ESPN announcers Mike Patrick and Ed Cunningham even said they were “appalled” that he was allowed to stay in the game.

But it got worse.

After backup Devin Gardner lost his helmet on a play, which by rule forced him to miss the next play, Morris was re-inserted into the game, leading to more disapproval from the announcers.

“This is not good player management. This is atrocious to me,” said Cunningham.

In response to the outrage, Hoke issued the following statement Sunday through Michigan’s athletic department.

“The safety of our student-athletes is always our top priority. We generally never discuss the specifics of a student-athlete’s medical care, but Shane Morris was removed from yesterday’s game against Minnesota after further aggravating an injury to his leg that he sustained earlier in the contest. He was evaluated by our experienced athletic trainers and team physicians, and we’re confident proper medical decisions were made. The University of Michigan has a distinguished group of Certified Athletic Trainers and team physicians who are responsible for determining whether or not a player is physically able to play. Our coaches have no influence or authority to make determinations if or when an injured player returns to competition. The health and welfare of our student-athletes is and will continue to be a top priority.”

I dunno, bro, that hit looked pretty bad. I’m not alone in saying that he shouldn’t have gone back in that game. Of course, Michigan can’t publicly admit fault, because then who knows what kind of lawsuits that would open them up for?

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Brady Hoke chides Notre Dame for ‘chickening out’ of rivalry game

Brady HokeMichigan and Notre Dame have played each other in football 40 times, including every season since 2002. But that rivalry was set to be put on hiatus in 2018-2019 as the Irish scheduled games with the ACC. However, what wasn’t expected was that the Irish would also cancel the scheduled games between the two for 2015-2017. Michigan coach Brady Hoke thinks Notre Dame is “chickening out” of facing the Wolverines in those games.

“We are fortunate to have unbelievable rivalry games at Michigan. The Notre Dame game, that rivalry, which they’re chickening out of,” Hoke said Monday during the West Michigan Sports Commission Annual Luncheon, via MLive.com.

“They’re still gonna play Michigan State, they’re gonna play Purdue, but they don’t want to play Michigan,” Hoke continued. “I don’t know how they made that decision … I really do … But anyway, that’s a great national rivalry game. It’s a great game.”

College football fans have become used to seeing the Irish and Wolverines play every fall. Michigan has gone 6-5 against Notre Dame since 2002, including 38-0 wins in 2003 and 2007. The teams will still meet for the next two seasons, so you can believe that the Irish will remember Hokes comments when they play. Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III has already taken note of the remark:

This is going to be an exciting one. It also must be kept in mind that Michigan reportedly asked Notre Dame to stop the series in 2018-2019 first.

Helmet smack to Dr. Saturday

Rich Rodriguez Interviews Brady Hoke During CBS’ Signing Day Coverage

Rich Rodriguez was recently fired as head coach at Michigan, a move that was long overdue. After flirting with Les Miles, Jim Harbaugh, and possibly other coaches, the Wolverines finally settled on Brady Hoke to fill the vacancy. Hoke didn’t have much time to put together a recruiting class for the upcoming season, but he and his staff managed to do fine. He was even invited to join CBS College Sports for an interview during their Signing Day show and a potentially awkward five minutes arose because Rodriguez was sitting in as an analyst, as I learned via Kegs ‘n Eggs:

CBS’ Bryan Fischer says Rodriguez was asked if he wanted to skip the interview, but he decided to hang in there. That’s pretty professional on Rich Rod’s part, and the interview surprisingly did not seem awkward at all. Hoke loves everything about Michigan and was cordial towards Rodriguez, even lending some praise. Rodriguez for his part asked questions someone knowledgeable about the program would — whether the current players and new facilities helped the recruiting process.This could have been disastrous, but it turned out to be nothing.

Brady Hoke Still Has Not Signed New Contract with San Diego State

It was only a month ago that we were raving about San Diego State’s stellar effort to retain head coach Brady Hoke. Hoke, who left Ball State and turned SDSU into a 9-4 team two years after they were 2-10, is a prime candidate for the Michigan head coaching job. He was a defensive line coach for the Wolverines from 1995-2002, and Michigan has made it clear they want a “Michigan Man” to lead the team.

Though it initially appeared as if San Diego State’s new offer would help them retain Hoke, the Michigan vacancy coupled with a new piece of information makes it more likely that he will eventually leave. The San Diego Union Tribune says not only has Hoke not signed his new deal, but paperwork for the new contract does not even exist. It’s pretty obvious that the announcement of the extension was a P.R. move as much as anything else.

The new contract was billed as a $5 million donation to boost Hoke’s salary and the amount of pay for the assistant coaches, and to upgrade the facilities. His “extension” also supposedly ran through 2015, though we know coach’s contracts are as strong as Nick Saban’s word. Hoke seems like a strong candidate for the Michigan job, largely because of his ties to the school. His 47-50 record is nothing special, but Gene Chizik, who went 5-19 at Iowa State, proves you don’t need a great career record in order to win at your next job (so long as you’re paying the right players). Don’t be surprised if an announcement is made in the coming days.

San Diego St. Goes All Out to Keep Brady Hoke Thanks to Ron Fowler Donation

It’s been two years since the San Diego State football program was more known for its poor academic records than its success on the field, but that all has changed. The program fired Chuck Long and upgraded to Brady Hoke who rose to stardom at Ball State. After going 4-8 in Hoke’s first season on the job, the Aztecs improved to 8-4 this season, their best (and only winning) season since 1998.

San Diego State has been pathetic for so long many people don’t realize the great names that school has helped produce. John Madden, Joe Gibbs, Don Coryell, Herm Edwards, and John Fox, have all either played and/or coached for the Aztecs. Their most notable player is Marshall Faulk who was a Heisman finalist in 1992 and recognized as one of the best running backs all-time. Though the program has been dormant for over a decade, Hoke has revived things and made the Aztecs relevant again.

The school began to get worried when Hoke interviewed with Minnesota about their vacancy and it seemed likely he would move on to a bigger job before long. In order to try and keep Hoke and build up the program, a donor stepped up and pledged $5 million to the team. The donor’s identity was revealed as Ron Fowler, the CEO of Liquid Investments which makes most of its money through beer distribution. Fowler has been heavily involved in the San Diego sports scene and no doubt wants to continue seeing the program succeed.

The first million he pledged will come through early next year and it will help pay for a raise in Hoke’s salary (potentially $1 million with incentives), give more money to the assistant coaches, and upgrade the facilities. San Diego State may never be a powerhouse program, but they have the potential to be at the top of the Mountain West as long as Hoke stays. For now, his contract is scheduled to keep him there until 2015. I don’t think he lasts there that long even with the contract extension. Not unless another donor steps up and boosts his salary to $2 million per season.