Michigan Football: Knowing How Shane Morris Felt (VIDEO)


Michigan Football fans were witnesses to a disturbing event last Saturday. It occurred in the fourth quarter, when Shane Morris should have left field on the previous play. He was hobbled with an injury to his ankle, and a ready to go Devin Gardner stood waiting on the sidelines.

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Instead, Morris was told to roll out on a pass play. With mobility limited, Morris rolled out and was on the receiving end of a devastating, illegal hit. The video is hard to watch, as Morris takes the crown of another helmet right under the chinstrap.

It was a hit Morris could never have anticipated, and I know how he feels. While playing soccer, I was closelined by a player in my blind spot. You don’t have time to feel fear, you only know the hazy feeling that concussions bring, one that follows you around for the next few days.

Following the hit, Morris gets up, but not for long. He takes a few steps and collapses into a nearby’s lineman’s arms. It’s clear that Morris is not ok, whether from the ankle  injury (Brady Hoke’s belief) or head trauma. He needs to get out of the game. A timeout needs to be called, something, anything to get the quarterback out of the game. This doesn’t happen.

Brady Hoke said that Morris was a tough kid, that he wanted to stay in the game. That’s what I insisted to my coach, and like Morris, I was allowed to play without proper medical examination. The rest of the game? I have absolutely no memory of it to this day.

I only know my actions from teammates’ recollection. One says I asked him what happened over 20 times, while another had to tell me which direction to run. When you sustain head trauma, things stop making sense. Normal sensory functions go out the window.

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What makes Morris’ lack of treatment compared to mine even worse is the insane amount of resources and medical staff the University of Michigan has compared to my high school soccer program. There was one or two people that could have determined I was not well enough to play, Michigan football has a whole staff dedicated to these issues.

Then the staff missed it again, sending Morris in for Devin Gardner after Gardner was forced to come out for a play. The irony: the “losing the helmet” rule insists a player come out for a play, just in case they were hit while the helmet is off.

There is no excuse for this. I feel for Shane Morris, who has to go to class in a confused state. I only had to attend a high school Spanish class; he is taking classes at a prestigious university. I can only imagine trying to concentrate in these high-level classes. The fact that the coaching staff allowed him to stay in the game, and risked further injury by inserting him into the game a second time, is shameful.

I hope Brady Hoke watches Morris stumble into the arms of Ben Braden. I hope he feels complete shame and remorse for allowing him to play. I hope every coach who has allowed a player to “tough it out” after a concussion-inducing hit feels terrible. And I hope it never happens again.