Usually I only touch on the games themselves, yet I feel the need to say a few words on Coach Hoke and the ever escalating problems some players have been getting into recently.
So far under the Hoke’s guidance since he took over in 2011, the Wolverines have had 8 players arrested…8!!
In this day and age I guess that total is not as bad as say a typical NFL team like the Bengals wrap sheets of seasons past, but by Michigan standards, I consider it an outrage!
And in declaring it so, it’s becoming obvious to me that Coach Hoke isn’t much of a disciplinarian. There is NO WAY Frank Clark or Fitzgerald Toussaint should be starting anytime this season. In my eyes they should have been thrown off the team immediately. Bo would have never let kids dress again with similar transgressions.
Not only did they act with immaturity typically associated with “that school in ohio” but they let everyone down. Here at the University of Michigan we pride ourselves as being “leaders and best.” Clark and Fitzgerald showed they do not fit the mold.
I realize with Alabama up first it would be extremely beneficial to start Fitz, but at what cost I ask?
If Brady Hoke allows these kids to start we are no better than any other university. That’s not the standard Yost, Schembechler or Carr set by a long shot.
Plus this is a team game no? Hoke has options. With sophomore running back Thomas Rawls Michigan wouldn’t be losing much in Toussaint’s absence from the lineup.
To Coach Hoke I say you tried setting an example with Stonum although that message obviously didn’t resonate with the rest of the team.
You must set an example now not only for your current roster of players but for the benefit of future recruits who have yet to set foot on campus. You need to show them now that conduct unbecoming of a Wolverine will NOT be tolerated here on the campus in Ann Arbor. If kids want to act like thugs and hooligans there are plenty of other schools they can choose to play their college ball. Without naming names, Columbus is one such place that comes to mind. We all know they lack moral integrity. Or so it appears.
Again I profess; these transgressions would not have been able to stand if Bo were still here. Or at least that’s what I always hear other fans say since Schembechler’s passing. And you know what, they’re right!
Bo would have made such an example out of the kid with the first indiscretion.
Coach, I’m sorry to say but, man up! Do the right thing. Do the Michigan thing. Start Rawls and make Fitzgerald work his way back up the depth chart. Not just in fall practice but all year if that’s what it takes.
I am reminded of an excerpt from the book Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership. I’m not quoting it exactly, yet it makes my point clearly:
One time a player of Bo’s got arrested. The Wolverines were on the eve of a big game. Coach Schembechler could have started his star troubled player, yet he didn’t. Michigan lost that game. Bo was asked about his decision to hold out the athlete who may have helped his Wolverines win and he responded something to the effect of, “Sure I could have started him and we probably would have won, but it wouldn’t have been right.”
Personally I would rather watch Michigan lose the Alabama game on September 1st and keep their integrity as a university of higher moral standing then allow certain players back in the lineup and see a victory.
Are we not better than those we compare ourselves against?
This apparent lack of discipline should not be tolerated Coach Hoke. I hope you see this and I hope you do the right thing for your team and the fans. You’ve done everything right so far and you personally have exceed all our expectations. Don’t take a step back now. After all, in your own words Mr. Hoke, “This is Michigan, for god sakes!”
Follow John Kayser during the season on Twitter at MGoYambo