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Brady Hoke "assumes" concussion protocol was followed after Morris hit, defends handling of injured players

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After facing heavy fire during his Monday press conference, Michigan Coach Brady Hoke defends how his program handles player injuries. Was not aware of any concussions with Shane Morris, but assumed concussion protocol was followed.

Leon Halip

The cameras were ready and it was time to face the music. After a tumultuous 48-hours, questions needed to be answered.

"I would never put a kid in that situation," Michigan Coach Brady Hoke said during his Monday presser. "Never have, never will."

Michigan and Hoke are under heavy fire nationally for the way sophomore quarterback Shane Morris' injuries were treated during the fourth quarter of the game against Minnesota. Morris who had troubles walking due to what Hoke called a "high ankle sprain," was on the receiving end of a big helmet-to-helmet hit that flattened him to the turf.

After struggling to stand up, he appeared groggy and almost collapsed into an offensive lineman's arms. Morris, who refused help from the sidelines, was allowed to continue before being pulled for senior Devin Gardner after a pass play fell to the turf.

However, according to Hoke's knowledge, a concussion was not diagnosed on Saturday and if it weren't for his ankle injury, Morris would've practiced on Sunday.

"We practiced last night," Hoke said. "Shane Morris would've pracitced if it weren't for a high ankle sprain. That's one reason I am telling you that, because that's what I've been told. He would've practiced if it wasn't for that."

Whether or not it is his call to determine who will play with injuries, Hoke made it abundantly clear in his opening statement.

"I don't make decisions on who plays and who doesn't play as far as when there is injuries," Hoke said.

With the video of the collision gaining more exposure, speculation of Morris receiving a concussion continued to mount into Monday's presser. Hoke was asked by reporters if he did indeed receive a concussion.

"Everything I know of, no," Hoke said.

Hoke would eventually defer all other questioning regarding concussion protocol to the athletic trainers who will be releasing a statement sometime on Monday. As of 3:45 p.m., a statement from the university has not been released yet.

With continuous prodding, he eventually said that he "assumed" the correct concussion protocols were followed on the sidelines.

He did reiterate, however, that he would never play someone who had suspected head trauma.

"We would never, ever put a guy on the field with there's a possibility of head trauma," Hoke said. "We won't do that. Guys play beat up every day, if they're not beat up and they're never 100-percent, then they're not doing much. Guys always have knicks, bumps, bruises, strains and everything else.

I'll also tell you football is a sport where guys have to be highly competitive and they are highly competitive because they love to play the game and love to compete, it's part of their DNA."

But for now, there is still a football game to be played.

"I'm getting ready to play Rutgers," Hoke said. "Getting the staff and the team ready to go play Rutgers, that's what I've been doing."

Michigan submitted the hit on Morris to the Big Ten for review.