Note to Hoke: Don’t Suspend the Players

How long until this photo is made into an Uncle Sam style “I want you to play for the maize and blue” poster?

The University of Michigan currently has two players that are indefinitely suspended for off the field actions. Fitz Toussaint (RB) for a DUI charge and Frank Clark (DE) for second degree home invasion (stealing a laptop).

With the season opener coming up September 1st against Alabama, I am hoping that Coach Hoke does not suspend the players.

I know this probably isn’t the most popular opinion, but the closer it gets to the start of the season, the more I think they will be allowed to play. As an alumni and a fan, I want Michigan to win, I want to be entertained and watch good, exciting football.

Playing Tousaint and Clark gives Michigan the best chance to win and make it a more exciting game for me to watch. Besides, players can still be disciplined without being suspended.

Hoke has not commented yet on the status of Toussaint and Clark. If they were going to be suspended, I think something would have been announced already. The longer Hoke waits to come out with a statement, I think the more likely they are to play.

The two players have also been practicing with the team and preparing as if they are getting ready for the opener.

Toussaint and Clark gives Michigan the best chance at winning. Playing Alabama, in Dallas, is already tough enough and Michigan will need those two to give them the best chance to win, or at least keep it respectable.

Toussaint is Michigan’s most  experienced running back and proved over the second half of last season to be the number 1 option. Paired with Denard, Michigan has a great running attack, which will desperately be needed against Bama’s defense.

Backup running back, Thomas Rawls, is supposed to be a hard, tough runner and should be able to step in for Toussaint without the offense dropping off too much, but with Alabama as the opener, I would like to have the experience in the backfield with Toussaint.

With the inexperience and lack of depth on Michigan’s D-line, Clark is an important player to have starting. There are already questions about the line and having to move players around this year to fill holes left by Martin and Van Bergen. There are also questions about the line’s depth. Without Clark, Michigan would be even more inexperienced and would have to shuffle players around even more.

Facing Alabama, with possibly the best O-line in college football, Michigan will need all the help they can get up front, which needs to include Clark.

College football is about winning and building the program to make money. It’s now a business and more similar to professional sports than people want to admit. It is no longer about the student athlete and getting an education, or teaching the players life lessons.

Why do you think teams now have 20+ different uniform combinations? To make more money off merchandising and to attract top recruits to keep building a winning program.

Toussaint and Clark give Michigan the best shot at winning against Alabama and that’s why they need to play. Especially after the  disastrous 3 year Rich Rod “experiment” the team needs to keep the winning momentum and continue to build off their 11-2 season last year.

I’m not saying don’t punish the players because they should be punished for breaking the law and team rules, but you can punish them and still send a message without suspension. I believe it was the first time either player has been in trouble. They don’t have a history of causing trouble or disrupting the team.

If you want to punish Toussaint and Clark, make them get up at 5am and run stairs till they barf, or remove the wings off their helmets until they earn them back (Rich Rod’s stupid idea), or Hoke could not let them start and make them sit out for the first series or first quarter. If you really wanted to punish them, you could make them listen to U2 or Smashmouth for three straight hours, but I don’t think Hoke needs to suspend them.

Remember these are kids between the ages of 18 and 22 and they will make dumb decisions. I’m not excusing their actions, but you get college kids that are celebrities around campus and stupid things will happen. Punish them for their decisions, but if you want to give Michigan the best shot of winning against Alabama, let Toussaint and Clark play.

If Toussaint and Clark do play in the opener, I do not want to hear State fans out there complaining how Michigan and Hoke have no morals or ethics. I seem to remember your coach doing the same thing with Rucker when State needed him to play in a big game against Iowa two years ago.

Even then, I didn’t have a problem with that decision because Dantonio did what gave his team the best shot at winning. Ask yourself, if it was your team, your school that you support, what would you want your Coach to do?



3 Comments on "Note to Hoke: Don’t Suspend the Players"

  1. velveteenrabbit81 | August 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply

    i like U2, but not Michigan.

  2. Rucker was suspended for the game after his arrest, just because it want a strong team they were playing doesn’t mean he wasn’t punished

  3. I’m not sure what you just said, but I think that is what my point was, that you can punish these players without suspension. I’m guessing that the game Rucker was suspended for was some cupcake team. Not that I have a problem with that, cause I’m guessing if Michigan’s first game was against EMU, the suspensions would have been announced long ago. And U2 does suck.

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