by CAMILLE PANGGAT
On Tuesday, September 30, about 1,000 University of Michigan students marched to the home of Mark Schlissel, the university’s president, to protest against the university’s football head coach and their athletic director. Students and alumni are calling for the resignation of athletic director Dave Brandon and the termination of head coach Brady Hoke for not taking the necessary measures to ensure quarterback Shane Morris’ safety in Saturday’s game against Minnesota. Morris was kept in the game despite suffering from both leg and head injuries.
Brandon explains that it was a lack of communication that allowed Shane Morris back into the game despite showing concussion symptoms. Morris was already playing with a hurt ankle when he received a helmet to helmet hit from Minnesota defensive end Theiren Cockran. Morris had to be held up by a teammate after this, but was still kept in the game for one more play before being taken out. After this, Morris again returned to the game after backup quarterback Devin Gardner had his helmet knocked off. Brandon says that neither the medical staff nor the coaching staff saw the hit on Morris, and that everyone on the sideline thought Morris appeared dazed because of his ankle injury, not because of a possible concussion. The head athletic trainer therefore only checked Morris’ ankle injury after he left the field and then cleared him to come back into the game, as everyone was oblivious to the fact that the quarterback was suffering from a concussion.
Brandon says that “ there was a serious lack of communication that led to confusion on the sideline.” He apologizes for the situation and says that “We have to learn from this situation, and moving forward, we will make important changes so we can fully live up to our shared goal of putting student-athlete safety first.”
Still, the sentiments of U of M students remain the same; they want Brandon and Hoke gone. Despite all the controversy, Brandon says that he is not considering resigning as the athletic director or firing head coach Brady Hoke.