About 1,000 Michigan students marched to the home of Michigan president Mark Schlissel on Tuesday evening to protest athletic director Dave Brandon and coach Brady Hoke.
The protests came just days after Hoke came under fire for keeping quarterback Shane Morris in the game after he was clearly struggling with an array of injuries.
"Down with Dave" goes the chant pic.twitter.com/ci6JNuYkkH
— David Jesse (@reporterdavidj) September 30, 2014
"Dave Brandon should not be the athletic director at the University of Michigan." pic.twitter.com/8xv3myWLpS
— Alejandro Zúñiga (@ByAZuniga) September 30, 2014
Hoke issued a statement Sunday saying it was the athletic training staff that said it was OK for Morris to continue playing while Brandon issued a statement claiming the university failed to make the proper decisions regarding Morris’ welfare.
Schlissel also issued a statement late Tuesday evening:
“Despite having one of the finest levels of team medical expertise in the country, our system failed on Saturday,” Schlissel said. “We did not get this right and for this I apologize to Shane, his family, his teammates, and the entire Michigan family. It is a critical lesson to us about how vigilant and disciplined we must always be to ensure student-athlete safety. As president, I will take all necessary steps to make sure that occurs and to enforce the necessary accountability for our success in this regard.”
Morris suffered a leg injury early in the game that had him hobbled much of the second half. In the fourth quarter, a Minnesota player rolled Morris’ ankle, causing Morris to limp even worse. A few plays later, Morris suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit, which caused him to collapse into the arms of one of his offensive linemen.
Morris played one more play before being relieved for backup Devin Gardner. Then Garner lost his helmet, was forced to come out of the game and Morris was sent back in to take a handoff.
Hoke was already on the hot seat after Michigan’s poor performance netted the school a 2-3 record. The three losses are the most the Wolverines have suffered in September in the 135-year history of the program.
Students carried signs and chanted “Down with Dave” and “Fire Brandon” during the protest.
No one with authority at Michigan has commented on the fate of either Hoke or Brandon and Hoke insisted during his press conference Wednesday that he and Brandon are on solid footing.
”Dave Brandon and I have a great relationship,” Hoke said. “It's been built on trust, it's been built on integrity, it's been built on character. We also understand the leadership and the roles of leadership we both have. Dave, being a former player here and playing for coach (Bo) Schembechler, I think, obviously, he understands those expectations that we all have. That is, we want to win football games, we want to mentor kids so they learn great life lessons and we want to do it with high integrity and high character."
Hoke also maintained that it was not his call to leave Morris in the game.
"From the start, when you're a leader, you always have to take responsibility," he said. "I take responsibility for our student-athletes, and I would take it for their health and welfare. But I'll also make it clear I don't make decisions on the health and welfare, and that shouldn't be the coach's decision. That's why we have some of the best trainers, some of the best doctors in the country. … They will, unchallenged, have the authority to make those decisions."
For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.
- - - - - - -
And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook