Hoke’s decision to leave Morris in still under fire

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Appalled amazement was the reaction of “Good Morning America” hosts Monday over Michigan coach Brady Hoke’s decision to leave quarterback Shane Morris in Saturday’s game after being knocked senseless by a hit.

In a short segment, hosts Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer viewed footage showing Morris staggering around after a head-snapping hit by Minnesota’s Theiren Cockran.

(Watch the “GMA” segment here.)

The trio winced, and then agreed with ESPN announcers who said it was “appalling” that a clearly wobbly Morris was left in the game for two more plays before being taken off the field.

Spencer noted that athletes often indicate they can play even though seriously injured, but that Morris should clearly have been pulled out by Hoke.

Roberts agreed with Spencer and Stephanopoulos, adding that “it’s the coach’s responsibility and staff to take him out.”

Hoke, in a post game interview, said he had no knowledge that Morris had suffered a concussion, but added that the quarterback was a “tough kid” who knew what he wanted.

“I didn’t see he was wobbly,” Hoke said. “I don't know if he might have had a concussion or not. Shane wanted to be the quarterback. So believe me, if he didn't want to be, he would have come to the sideline or stayed down.”

The Wolverine’s loss to Minnesota dropped their season record to 2-3.

ABC's "World News Tonight" also produced a segment on the situation Sunday night, criticizing the decision by Hoke.

More pressure was applied on Monday when the Michigan Daily called for Hoke to be fired, stating that Hoke had compromised the “health of student-athletes for which he is responsible.”

The article, which was written by four reporters on the paper’s football beat, claimed Hoke jeopardized Morris’ health despite that fact that “as he stumbled on the field, it was clear that Morris exhibited concussion-like symptoms.”

“Hoke has preached accountability and leadership, but he showed little of either Saturday. Part of being a leader is the humility to admit mistakes, and he failed to acknowledge an egregious error ... But after this incident, it’s difficult to trust someone who, since his introductory press conference in 2011, has asserted his job was about preparing his players for life.”


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