Michigan’s Toussaint, Clark suspended for Alabama game

DALLAS — The decision is in.

Michigan tailback Fitz Toussaint and defensive end Frank Clark will not travel to Texas for Saturday’s Cowboys Classic and are suspended for the game because of their off-season legal problems.

Coach Brady Hoke announced the news in a released statement today, after deliberating about it since he reinstated them for practice nearly three weeks ago. They had been suspended indefinitely in July and were held out during the first week of practice.

On Tuesday, Toussaint pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving while visibly impaired. He will be sentenced Oct. 23.

Clark faces a second-degree felony home-invasion charge, with a hearing Sept. 11.

“The decision was not easy, but I feel it is in the best interest of this program and for these kids, and those always will be my priorities,” said Hoke, who repeated the past few weeks that the players needed to meet certain standards before being reinstated. “We have choices every day, and you have to be accountable to this program, your teammates, your family and the University of Michigan.

“These are our sons. These are real lives, and I think, too often, many people forget that. It’s not always just about football, or a football decision. It’s about teaching life lessons, and if this helps these kids or someone else make a right decision later, then we’ve won. That is, ultimately, what we are here for, to help them grow and mature to become better sons, fathers, husbands and members of society.

“They are good young men who made poor choices, and we will continue to support them as members of our team and family.”

Toussaint was No. 1 on the depth chart at tailback. Now that job falls to a combination of bruiser Thomas Rawls, versatile Vincent Smith and speedy Justice Hayes.

Clark was listed second at weakside defensive end, behind Jibreel Black. Brennen Beyer likely moves into his spot.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me through everything,” Clark tweeted today. “Without my teammates, family, and select friends I don’t know what I’d do.”

Michigan is scheduled to practice at Cowboys Stadium later today.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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