Michigan quarterback Shane Morris took a nasty, and illegal, hit to the skull in the fourth quarter of last night's loss to Minnesota. Not only was Morris immediately re-inserted into the game, but Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke claimed " I didn't know if [Morris] had a concussion or not."
Morris—who even before the hit to the head was limping due to a leg injury—would eventually be carted off the field.
ESPN announcers Mike Patrick and Ed Cunningham were aghast. Here's the unedited closed captioning transcript of their remarks:
>> Ed: THEY HAVE GOT TO GET HIM OUT OF THE BALL GAME!
>> Mike: I'M TOTALLY WITH YOU. HE HAS GOT TO COME OUT.
I MEAN, HE WAS WOBBLY AFTER THAT. FORGET THE LIMPING.
>> Ed: YOU'VE GOT TO EJECT THIEREN COCKRAN. THAT IS TARGETING.
HE DROPS HIS HEAD. HE LAUNCHES. IF IT'S FORCIBLE CONTACT AND IT MOVES UP INTO THE HEAD AREA, I CANNOT BELIEVE COCKRAN WAS NOT CALLED FOR TARGETING AND NOT ONLY EJECTED FROM THIS GAME BUT THEN HE WOULD BE BE EJECTED FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE SECOND. YOU HAVE TO CALL THAT A TARGETING PENALTY.
>> Mike: THAT CERTAINLY LOOKED LIKE IT.
>> Ed: I CAN TELL YOU THAT NUMBER 7 IS STILL IN THIS GAME IS APPALLING. IT IS APPALLING THAT HE WAS LEFT IN ON THAT PLAY. TO THROW THE BALL AGAIN AND AS BADLY AS HE WAS HIT BY COCKRAN AND COCKRAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN EJECTED AND MISSED THE REST OF THIS GAME AND NEXT WEEK.
HAVING A QUARTERBACK IN THE GAME AFTER A HIT LIKE THAT, THAT IS TERRIBLE LOOKING AFTER A YOUNG PLAYER!
Those are strong words coming from a network that doesn't have the best track record for confronting the reality of football-related brain injury.
But don't let our praise for Patrick and Cunningham (who both are among the network's best and most underrated announcers) get in the way of Brady Hoke's evil. It should be easy enough for Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon to fire Hoke due to incompetence from a purely football standpoint—the Wolverines last lost the Little Brown Jug nine years ago—but that Hoke puts his players in such danger either through negligence or active malfeasance ought to mean this is the last time we see him on the sidelines. After all, there are reasonable arguments that Morris shouldn't have been in the game even before his apparent head injury given his lack of mobility and, thus, ability to protect himself.
Asked if he saw his sophomore quarterback looking "wobbly" after the hit, Hoke said he did not.
"I did not," he replied. "I didn't see it. I can only answer for me."
Brady Hoke is either blind, stupid, or a liar. Fire this asshole.
Update (8:47 p.m.): *waves hand* Pay no attention to the young man's apparent head injury *waves hand*