Michigan coach Brady Hoke has issued a public apology after a Michigan player drove a tent stake into the field at Spartan Stadium before the Wolverines lost 35-11 to Michigan State on Saturday.
LB Joe Bolden drove the stake into the ground and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said after the game that the act was why the Spartans scored their last touchdown. With little time left in the fourth quarter and a 28-11 lead, Michigan State had the opportunity to take a knee against the Wolverines. Instead, The Spartans decided to keep running plays and RB Jeremy Langford scored a touchdown.
"I want to publicly apologize to Coach Dantonio as well as the players and supporters of Michigan State for our act of poor sportsmanship displayed pre-game yesterday," Hoke said in the statement. "I spoke with Mark earlier today and expressed to him that we meant no disrespect to his team. During our regular Friday night team meeting, one of the topics presented to motivate our team was a history lesson addressing commitment and teamwork in a tough environment. A tent stake was presented to the team as a symbol of this concept. The stake was brought into our locker room as a visual reminder, and one of our team leaders chose to take it out on the field."
"As the leader of our football program, I take full responsibility for the actions of our team. We believe in displaying a high level of respect at the University of Michigan and unfortunately that was not reflected by this action prior to kickoff."
Because Dantonio brought the incident up after the game and it caused a touchdown, don't be surprised if this is viewed by some as an apology for the payback more so than the act itself. Either way, it's another paragraph in what's become the depressing chapter that is Michigan football in 2014.
It's the second time that Hoke has issued a high-profile statement on the Sunday after a game. Following the Minnesota game, Hoke issued a statement saying that he was confident that proper medical decisions were made regarding the handling of QB Shane Morris. Morris suffered a concussion on a hit and re-entered the game for a play after he didn't immediately exit after the hit.
In the days after Hoke's statement, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon apologized for the way the school handled Morris' injury.
For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.
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