quarterback Shane Morris (7) shouts at his offensive line in
the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against
Minnesota in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.
— Roughly 12 hours after embattled Michigan coach Brady Hoke
said he'd been given no indication that quarterback Shane Morris
had been diagnosed with a concussion, athletic director Dave
Brandon revealed in a post-midnight statement that the sophomore
did appear to have sustained one.
That capped a
bizarre day in which Michigan tried to address questions about the
coaching staff's handling of Morris, who took a violent hit in the
fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to Minnesota.
judgment, there was a serious lack of communication that led to
confusion on the sideline. Unfortunately, this confusion created a
circumstance that was not in the best interest of one of our
student-athletes," Brandon said in a statement released
shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday. "I sincerely apologize for the
mistakes that were made.
"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."
Morris took a
crunching hit from Theiren Cockran on Saturday and briefly looked
as if he was having trouble standing, but he remained in for the
next play and threw an incompletion before coming out of the game.
replaced him, but later on that drive, his helmet came off at the
end of a play. While Gardner sat out for a play, as required,
Morris went back in and handed the ball off to a running back.
Asked Monday if
Morris had been diagnosed with a concussion, Hoke said:
"Everything that I know of, no." Hoke said Morris would
have practiced Sunday night if not for a high ankle sprain.
But in his
statement, Brandon said: "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 postgame.
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
Brandon said he
has had numerous meetings since Sunday to determine what happened
with Morris. He said Morris had been treated for a sprained ankle
earlier in the game, and medical staff on the sideline believed
that was why he stumbled while trying to walk around after being
hit by Cockran.
neurologist, watching from further down the field, also did not
see the hit. However, the neurologist, with expertise in detecting
signs of concussion, saw Shane stumble and determined he needed to
head down the sideline to evaluate Shane," Brandon said.
As for how Morris
went back in after Gardner's helmet came off:
off the field after the (incomplete pass) and was reassessed by
the head athletic trainer for the ankle injury," Brandon
said. "Since the athletic trainer had not seen the hit to the
chin and was not aware that a neurological evaluation was
necessary, he cleared Shane for one additional play."
Brandon said the
neurologist and other team physicians were not aware Morris was
being asked to return to the field, and Morris left the bench when
he heard his name called and went back into the game.
circumstances, a player should not be allowed to re-enter the game
before being cleared by the team physician. This clearly
identifies the need for improvements in our sideline and
communication processes," Brandon said.
Morris was examined for a concussion after the game and wasn't
diagnosed with one at that point.
Hoke was already
facing pressure over Michigan's performance this season. The
Wolverines fell to 2-3 after losing 30-14 at home to Minnesota.
If there was one
major point Hoke seemed to stress Monday, it was that he doesn't
have input into whether a player is healthy enough to play. If a
player shouldn't be going back in the game, that is the trainer's
"I knew the
kid had an ankle injury," Hoke said. "That's what I