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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

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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