… it is publicized as a big deal that the PSU vs. Michigan game kicks off at 7 pm in pseudo-prime-time, scheduled to be telecast on ESPN2. Maybe they should bring Pam Ward out of retirement to call the game!
Archives for September 2014
It’s Tuesday and Brady Hoke still has a job at the University of Michigan — for now. Both he and his boss, Athletic Director Dave Brandon, are sitting in chairs that are getting hotter and hotter by the minute as pressure to fire both builds from a multitude of directions.
A sea of troubles.
Well, hell, no one likes a coaching controversy better on a crappy, rainy Tuesday when my arthritic joints are aching than this here Nittany Turkey!
Here’s some additional stuff for your consideration. It ain’t a question of “if”; it’s just a question of “when”. I say, get it over with!
I asked Brady Hoke if Sat game was worst of his coaching career. He said “great question” and then didn’t answer it.
— Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) September 30, 2014
The media, as expected, are now piling on. Such diverse rags and blogs as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, Deadspin, SB Nation, and the UM student newspaper are calling for Hoke’s head, joined by this Turkey, of course. The story made it to Good Morning, America and Today on lame morning TV.
The machinations of this ever expanding lynch mob are growing in fervor and intensity. In the wake of all this attention, the University of Michigan has admitted that Shane Morris had a concussion and was allowed to play, in violation of the NCAA pseudo-student-athlete protection policy. Apparently, Hoke met at some point with Athletic Director Dave Brandon, who is in a hot seat of his own, to discuss the situation. No one knows what transpired in that meeting.
Brady Hoke declined to say when he met w Dave Brandon and when he learned of Morris’ concussion — Joe Schad (@schadjoe) September 30, 2014
Hoke faced the media at this morning’s Big Ten coaches conference call, and stonewalled the whole thing, as one would expect. No doubt, he met with Brandon, but he also met with legal counsel, both personal and University corporate counsel. And speaking of Brandon, a “Fire Dave Brandon” rally is planned on the UM campus tonight. Will you be attending? Earlier, Brandon had discussed his handling of the Morris situation, apologizing for how the situation was addressed.
And so forth…
But Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN (yeah, yeah — you’re already warming up your fingers to show your tOSU hatred, so don’t bother), characterizes the whole thing as a witch hunt.
Is this Hoke criticism about Morris’ injury even a story if UM were 4-0 ranked in the top 10? #witchhunt
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 29, 2014
Oh, yeah? Well, there is, of course, something to that, no matter how pure of mind you are. I suspect that if UM was ranked in the top 10, all the furor would be external and it would quickly die. It is the Michigan fans, students, supporters, and alumni who are fanning the flames and pouring gasoline on them. Most of them would be silent if there was a chance at a national championship and the outside criticism would be summarily deflected. Performance allows — nay, breeds — arrogance.
The clock is ticking.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and times are sure desperate in the University of Michigan football program. Most pundits declared head coach Brady Hoke a short-timer at the beginning of the season. The home loss to Utah added fuel to the fire, and the loss Saturday to the Golden Gophers poured gasoline on it. However, it was Hoke’s desperation coaching move on Saturday, endangering a player, that has sparked calls for his immediate dismissal.
K. John, with his Ann Arbor ties, says he would be shocked if [the University] fired him in mid-season, regardless of the situation. However, as counterpoint, I offer the recent sensitivities of the NCAA and its member schools toward athletic injuries, particularly the senseless ones caused by coaching decisions.
In case you hadn’t heard or watched the Minnesota game, sophomore quarterback Shane Morris was allowed to play with what appeared to be concussion symptoms. He could barely stand up and was visibly dazed.
Hoke issued the following manufactured statement on Sunday, cleansed of any potential liability risk by UM corporate counsel:
“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.”
Medical evaluation mistakes can be made, but the kid should have been given the benefit of the doubt. No brown jug is worth risking permanent brain damage or damage to any other part of a young kid’s body. What a crock! (Pun intended — give me a break!)
The ever vigilant sports news junkie Joe passed along some of the Michigan partisan backlash he encountered in his journalistic perusals. Two UM blogs provided details and opinions well worth sharing with my broader audience, all seven of you.
From the Maize N Brew blog, Drew Hallet along with the editors of MnB posit that Hoke should get the axe today. It is well written and worthy of a few minutes of your time.
In other mid-season coaching changes, Charlie Weis was dumped by Kansas.
So, when do you think the axe will fall on Hoke?