Shane Morris A mildly concussed Shane Morris, after his final snap (and handoff)

Brandon’s statement this morning basically hits all of the points I outlined here in my unpaid intern Crisis Management 101 lesson.  It assesses what happened, admits faults, discusses plans to fix the problems and so on.

But—why was Hoke hung out to dry and not told this was all happening?  This isn’t just a “medical report”.  If Hoke was told this was all happening, at the Monday presser could have talked about his responsibility and perspective on Saturday, but then he could have added, ‘..but we’re reviewing everything that happened to understand what mistakes (if any) were made’ and that the ‘details will be coming soon’, etc. etc.

It looks like they didn’t tell him?  What?  From the statement:

As of Sunday, Shane was diagnosed with a probable, mild concussion, and a high ankle sprain. That probable concussion diagnosis was not at all clear on the field on Saturday or in the examination that was conducted post-game. Unfortunately, there was inadequate communication between our physicians and medical staff and Coach Hoke was not provided the updated diagnosis before making a public statement on Monday.

How is that possible?   Again, I don’t think Hoke is lying. 

I’m not suggesting Hoke is absolved of any ownership here – far from it.  While he shouldn’t be responsible for medical diagnoses, he is responsible for how the whole operation fits together on how the sideline communicates with each other, and in particular, to he and his staff.

His responsibility to Morris and the rest of the players as the leader of the football team is to demand that all these questions be asked about what happened on Saturday so it can’t happen again.  And after seeing the film he should have absolutely demanded that Morris be evaluated or certainly, if he assumed his medical staff was taking care of that, to know the results

He obviously didn’t do that, or he would have known that Morris was indeed diagnosed with the concussion on Sunday instead of telling reporters otherwise on Monday and making U-M and the football program look even more unprofessional and disorganized, and in this case, dangerous.

As Brandon’s statement points out this is more of a communication issue.  As of Monday it doesn’t look like Hoke took those steps to find out what happened, but bizarrely on top of that, but he didn’t even know that resources in the department were engaged investigating the breakdown on Saturday.  On tippy top of that, more importantly on a personal level, he didn’t know that his boss was apparently heavily involved!?  “I [Brandon] have had numerous meetings since Sunday morning to thoroughly review the situation that occurred at Saturday’s football game.”  

sideline hysteria Sideline as Gardner heads out after losing his helmet

And no one involved in these reviews told Brady that Brandon was talking to them and reviewing everything that happened Saturday?  And Brady didn’t contact his boss about the situation that was making headlines literally everywhere?  

Brandon’s not absolved either.  Hardly.  He knows damn well how to handle a crisis like this, or at least has the people around him to do it.  By not informing Brady of what was happening he allowed Hoke to embarrass himself, to potentially put Morris at more risk during practice, and more importantly, to make a mockery of this university on Sunday (with that ridiculous statement) and Monday at the press conference.

And Brandon didn’t tell Brady he was conducting all these reviews?   And Brandon didn’t include Brady in any of the reviews (isn’t the head coach part of the communication loop)?

Only reasonable conclusion – the boss is excluding Hoke because he’s lining him up to be fired for this.  Maybe not now or this week, but you don’t have an epic freeze out like this in the athletic department between the athletic director, the staff and the coach unless something is up.

I’m so pissed.

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  1. At this point you have to fire both Brandon and Hoke. Maybe bring in Carr or Moeller to finish the year, while the president looks for a new AD.

  2. Greg,

    Everything Dave Brandon, Brady Hoke, or any coach, AD, blogger or dogcatcher in the world does includes some real or arguable error, because they all are humans and others can always pick apart anything. In these feeding frenzies, people will find something to attack, magnify into a crime, with full intent, and ascribe the worst possible motives.

    Maybe their plan was to keep quiet until a full report was published. No matter what they said, people would find a reason to get outraged. No need to feed the fire more than once. But that’s speculative nonsense; I have no idea what I’m talking about or what Brandon and Hoke are thinking, and neither do you.

    I don’t think their PR is bad. It’s imperfect, but so is everyone’s. So is your blog. There is no solution to this PR situation. If people want to be idiots, especially the leader of the most popular blog who seems to revel in destroying people’s reputations (Greg Robinson, Al Borges, Free Press reporters, now Hoke and Brandon – who is next?), you can’t stop them.

    Go Blue!

    • Tony – thanks. I understand your take and appreciate the seemingly level-headed reaction in the wake of the collective fanbase freaking out. I’ll just say this – I wrote that at 4am and I’m sitting here 12 hours later and wouldn’t take anything back.

      What I can’t get around the glaring time between Saturday night and Monday’s press conference where Hoke apparently was left out of the loop. He was hung out to dry one way or another. He didn’t do himself any favors as I discussed above. And Michigan, my beloved Michigan, is getting killed.

      FWIW #1, I think am one of the few (if any?) that gave Brandon credit for the content of the response/statement this morning, and certainly in the minority for not accusing Brady (or Brandon for that matter) of lying.

      FWIW #2 – I do talk to people that know more than I do about this stuff – and I was at the press conference – so I’m not doing this from my couch (although that doesn’t sound too bad.)

  3. Greg – I agree with Tony – he has no idea what he is talking about.
    I agree with you – I do not believe Brady is lying and … my beloved Michigan, is getting killed.

  4. I would like to hear from the medical people and training staff. I’m surprised they have not issued a statement. One reason I am suspicious of Brandon’s conduct is that Hoke was told there would be such a statement, said so at his Monday presser, and so far there is no statement. This feeds the impression that we have something to hide.