Monday, August 08, 2011

First Hoke decision wisest of all options

The very first major player personnel decision by new Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke instantly demonstrates the difference between the new regime in Ann Arbor and the former head coach for the previous three years.
Following his second guilty plea for DWI in the past three-plus years at U-M, senior wide receiver Darryl Stonum will be in reserve for the next campaign … as in redshirt … no playing … no suiting up … no involvement.
Hoke has laid down the law and is removing a potential problem from the lockerroom during his initial season – something I guarantee you would NOT have happened had Rich Rodriguez still been Michigan’s coach.
“While it would be great to have Darryl on the field this season, we feel it is in his best interest and the best interest of our program for him to redshirt,” Hoke stated in a press release from the U-M athletic department. “Darryl will continue to be an important part of our team and family. He has done everything we have asked him to do, but our number one priority is to help Darryl grow as a person.”
How refreshing to hear from a major collegiate program. It’s not like Stonum was some sort of spare part to the Wolverine offense; he was second on the team in receiver last year and is a devastating kick returner. He’ll be missed but Hoke’s decision is for the young man’s own good and shouts out that certain behavior will NOT be tolerated within the program (anyone in Columbus or East Lansing listening?).
And Stonum isn’t the only player to be served notice. Sophomore punter Will Hagerup is out for the first four games of this season and wide receiver Terrence Robinson is gone for the season opener against Western Michigan – again for violation of team rules.
Hagerup got his butt suspended for the Ohio State game by Rodriguez last year, (leaving his team without anyone who could punt and it showed). But Hagerup suited up for the ill-fated Gator Bowl. Hoke did not say if this suspension was for a new infraction or based on the previous happening.
Still … one has to wonder what is going on inside this young man’s head…
The Hagerup situation opens the door for true freshman kick Matt Wile, out of Hoke’s old stomping grounds of San Diego, providing an extraordinary opportunity to seize both jobs in the season’s early stages.
“In order to build a championship-caliber culture, you have to be accountable to each other on and off the field,” Hoke further stated. “There are expectations at the University of Michigan you must live up to.”
It’s so nice to hear or read those words … finally. I cannot state that RichRod would have been so severe in HIS punishment because it always seemed as if things were done with RR’s future in mind, first and foremost; U-M tradition came second. As we’ve ALL seen this off-season, when you suspend ethics and you throw class out the window, you’ll do anything … and allow anyone to play … if it results in a victory.
I want for Michigan to win every time ANYONE representing that school steps onto the field, pool, court or diamond. But if it means sacrificing honor or morals to achieve it, it doesn’t mean the same.
Brady Hoke just announced, in the clearest terms, such properties mean EVERYTHING!
Go Blue!

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