University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke is on the defensive against allegations he continued to field a player who may have suffered a concussion during Saturday’s game against Minnesota.
Quarterback Shane Morris appeared woozy after he was hit in the second half, but remained in the game. Hoke insists the only injury he knows Morris suffered during the game was an ankle sprain.
Hoke told reporters today criticism of his coaching is OK, but attacks on his integrity are “unwarranted."
“I mean we would never, ever, if we thought a guy had a concussion keep him in the game … and never have,” says Hoke.
U of M offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier says the team followed protocol by leaving medical decisions about players in the hands of the medical staff.
“We have the finest medical staffs in the country; that’s their department,” says Nussmeier. “That’s not for me as a football coach to get involved.”
Shane Morris was not available to talk to reporters today.
Senior Frank Clark is a defensive end for the Wolverines. He says there’s a difference between “being injured” and “playing hurt.”
“If you want to play football, step in that field as a player, (Coach Hoke) is going to allow you to go back on that field, if it’s not too bad,” Clark told reporters.
Hoke is already under fire for a sub-par season for the Wolverines, which is raising speculation the coach will be fired after four years in Ann Arbor.
During his nearly four years as the Wolverine’s head coach, Hoke has amassed a record of 28-16.
In 2011, Hoke was the Big Ten Coach of the Year, after leading the Wolverines to a 10-2 regular season in his first year.
But his team is just 2-3 this season and his teams have lost eight of their last nine games against teams in the Top 5 Power conferences.
It’s been reported that Hoke would receive a $3 million buyout if U of M fires him before the end of the year. The buyout drops to $2 million on Jan. 1.