Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brady Hoke apologizes for stake-planting incident at Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State game.

The "Michigan Stake" before being planted in Spartan Stadium Turf. Via Mike Wilson.

Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden decided to plant a stake into the turf on the field before the start of the Michigan-Michigan State game. This was an unfortunate decision, considering that a) Michigan St. are nicknamed the Spartans, and b) Michigan St. has defeated Michigan in six of the past seven meetings between the two in-state rivals.

The outcome: The Spartans slaughtered the Wolverines 35-11. The win was capped off a decision by head coach Mark Dantonio to go all-out Steve Spurrier with a late 4th-quarter touchdown, which he admitted was in response to the spiking incident.

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke released a statement apologizing for the spike incident on Sunday afternoon. He also admitted that the spike was initially presented to the players at a team meeting during a motivational speech the night before the game.

“I want to publicly apologize to coach Dantonio as well as the players and supporters of Michigan State for our act of poor sportsmanship displayed pre-game yesterday. I spoke with Mark earlier today and expressed to him that we meant no disrespect to his team. During our regular Friday-night team meeting, one of the topics presented to motivate our team was a history lesson addressing commitment and teamwork in a tough environment. A tent stake was presented to the team as a symbol of this concept. The stake was brought into our locker room as a visual reminder, and one of our team leaders chose to take it out on the field. As the leader of our football program, I take full responsibility for the actions of our team. We believe in displaying a high level of respect at the University of Michigan, and unfortunately that was not reflected by this action prior to kickoff.”

The incident should end any doubts as to whether Hoke will be fired at the end of the season. It's now just a question as to whether Michigan will let him finish out the season as head coach. 

No comments: