Wednesday, November 12, 2014

University of Michigan president apologizes to Brady Hoke for criticism of football program graduation rates.

Things at Michigan are getting more awkward. University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel has had to apologize to embattled Wolverine head coach Brady Hoke for comments Schlissel made about athletic standards in the Michigan athletic department.

According to University of Michigan student newspaper The Michigan Daily, Schlissel had earlier in the week questioned whether student athletes involved with the Michigan athletic program met the schools' academic qualifications. The football program was singled out in his comments.

“We admit students who aren’t as qualified, and it’s probably the kids that we admit that can’t honestly, even with lots of help, do the amount of work and the quality of work it takes to make progression from year to year,” he said. “These past two years have gotten better, but before that, the graduation rates were terrible, with football somewhere in the 50s and 60s when our total six-year rate at the University is somewhere near 90 percent, so that’s a challenge.”

Hoke took umbrage to the comments while speaking to reporters during the Big Ten Coaches Teleconference on Tuesday. He pointed out that all seniors that had played during his four-year tenure  in Ann Arbor had graduated. 

"We embrace the expectations that we have here from an academic to an athletic standpoint," Hoke said Tuesday on the Big Ten coaches teleconference. "The thing that is really special about Michigan is that it is an academic institution that has the balance when you look at the competitive side of all sports, but also the football program.

"The thing we're proud of since we've been here is that all 69 of the 69 seniors we've had have graduated. Our APR number is the highest its ever been. We really look at, in recruiting, we want to get guys who are academically able to succeed and do the work. We want the best football players and the best people."

Schlissel said that he has personally apologized to Hoke, and will speak to the football team about the incident soon.

(via ESPN)

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