Today, we start with a look up the road.
As if things were not horrible enough in East Lansing with the Michigan State Spartans this season, it somehow just got even worse. Linebacker Joe Bachie, considered the heart and soul of the MSU defense, has been ruled ineligible for testing positive for a banned substance, described as performance-enhancing drugs.
He plans to appeal, but his career at MSU is now all but officially over.
“All my career I’ve done my very best to represent Michigan State in a positive manner on and off the field,” Bachie said in a statement released by the school. “I plan to appeal, but to all of those affected, from my coaches to my teammates and to the fans, I apologize for putting them through this situation. I will always be a Spartan.”
“Joe Bachie has built himself into an All-Big Ten middle linebacker and two-time team captain through his incredible work ethic and leadership skills,” MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. “This situation breaks my heart, but I know Joe is resilient and accountable. No one feels worse than Joe does, a sentiment he expressed when he spoke to the team earlier today. This does not define Joe as a player, and more importantly, as a man. He will graduate in December and has a very bright future ahead of him, both on and off the field. As a program, we plan to appeal immediately, and will continue to support Joe however we can. He will forever be a Spartan.”
This isn’t the first time MSU has been down this road with one of its star players. Rumors have swirled for years that Max Bullough was suspended for the Rose Bowl under similar circumstances, though that story never officially was put out there at the time.
Still, it makes a tough uphill climb for Dantonio and his program even tougher. With so many questions surrounding his future and what the Spartans might do next, this is something they did not need right now.
Obviously, Bachie will not be on the field for the game against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Nov. 16.
Juwan Howard expects bumps early on at Michigan
Juwan Howard officially takes the floor on Friday night as the head coach of Michigan basketball in an exhibition with Saginaw Valley State. On Thursday, he admitted that that there will be some butterflies and he expects some time for players to adjust to be needed.
“I do expect they’re going to hit some bumps where it’s going to take time for guys to adjust. Our team is used to a certain way how they played,” Howard said. “Especially a guy, for example, like Eli, he’s been here for three years. Two years under Beilein. A guy like (Zavier Simpson) who has been here for four years and J(on Teske). Now, you have a coach who implemented a new system. It just shows you their level of intelligence, their basketball IQ, their willingness to learn has been awesome. I’m very fortunate, I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying this, to have a group to have accepted the ‘new-new.’
“What do I mean by that? New staff, new terminology, new offensive philosophy, new defensive philosophy. What makes this job so much fun to come here to work every day is that working with 15 guys that all bought in and that’s willing to learn. Throughout the process with the offense, they’re going to reach a moment where they are going to hit a patch. I’ve seen it before in practice where it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes time to develop. I have the patience and the trust that our guys will grasp it.
Michigan hoops opens the season officially on Tuesday night against Appalachian State.
- Shameless plug time: I was on Big Drew and Jim in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday afternoon to chat Michigan hoops and football. My segment begins around the 72-minute mark.
- Donovan Peoples-Jones won Halloween. End transmission.