Wolverines under fire for handling of Morris’ concussion

ANN ARBOR — Michigan football coach Brady Hoke did not provide any more defined answers Tuesday on the mess surrounding the program.

On the weekly Big Ten teleconference, his only media availability of the day, Hoke gave little insight into his relationship with athletic director Dave Brandon.

Hoke, said Monday that quarterback Shane Morris did not have a concussion, and stood by his decision to play him, despite the possibility of an injury after a tackle.

On Monday, Hoke had said that he didn’t have any knowledge of Brandon being involved in an evaluation of Morris’ potential head injury against Minnesota. Hoke also said Monday that he didn’t believe that Morris had a concussion.

In a statement released at 1 a.m. Tuesday, Brandon contradicted that, saying Morris suffered a mild concussion and that Hoke had not been informed of that before his Monday news conference.

“The statement’s out there, and it is what it is,” Hoke said on Tuesday’s teleconference. “Have I spoken (to Brandon) in the last 48 hours? There’s no question about it.”

Morris’ head injury became a national news story because of how he was treated and then re-inserted into the game for another play. The communication gap between Hoke and Brandon, at least leading in to Hoke’s Monday news conference, took the story to a different level.

Hoke Tuesday declined to address when he found out about Morris’ concussion. “We put out a statement (Monday), and I’m going to let that speak for itself,” he said.

Asked about his relationship with Brandon, he did not get specific.

“We all are working toward the same goal,” Hoke said. “We all want to win games and represent Michigan with the high character and integrity it deserves. We’re very supportive of each other.”

Hoke’s primary thrust Tuesday was to point out the part of the statement that looks forward to future games.

“I’m not going to add anything to that statement other than to echo that the safety of our student-athletes is our top priority, and I think we all are committed to making sure we get it right,” he said. “The things I feel bad for (is) Shane; he’s going through this entire situation that has come with it. We have 115 young men here we care very deeply about and we’re getting ready to play Rutgers.”

Hoke would not comment on Morris’ health status, regarding the high ankle sprain Hoke announced Monday or the concussion that Brandon announced Tuesday.

Morris tweeted just before the call: “I just want to play football.”


Posted by Tribune News Services

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