In his first statement of any kind since Michigan's game against Minnesota last Saturday, Michigan quarterback Shane Morris tweeted on Tuesday, "I just want to play football."
That followed a statement released early Tuesday morning by Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon in which Brandon said Morris suffered a "probable, mild concussion" and that the failure to get him off the field and keep him off the field Saturday was a result of a communication breakdown between coaches and medical personnel.
Brandon also apologized and said, "We have to learn from this situation."
Morris has been at the center of controversy surrounding Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and Brandon since the game against the Golden Gophers.
In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter on Saturday, Morris, already limping due to a leg injury, appeared to take a hit to the head from a Minnesota defender.
When Morris stood up, he appeared wobbly and had to lean on offensive lineman Ben Braden to stay standing. He stayed in the game and made a pass attempt on Michigan's next play before he was pulled for redshirt senior Devin Gardner. Later, when Gardner lost his helmet and had to come out for a play, Michigan sent Morris back in instead of calling a timeout or using backup Russell Bellomy.
Immediately after the game, Hoke said that he didn't see Morris wobbling and didn't know if Morris was concussed. In a statement Sunday night, Hoke said Morris was initially removed from the game due to a leg injury and that he's "confident proper medical decisions were made." He did not make mention of a head injury.
On Monday, Hoke told Michigan's official website that Morris was "medically cleared to return," which preceded a combative press conference in which Hoke defended the handling of Morris, said Michigan would "never" put a player on the field when there's a possible head injury involved, and deferred all questions about a potential head injury to a forthcoming statement from Michigan's medical team, which turned out to be Brandon's statement.
Also Monday, Hoke said that he's asked the Big Ten to review the hit that likely concussed Morris, which came from Minnesota defensive end Theiren Cockran.
During a Big Ten teleconference Tuesday, Hoke referred to Brandon's statement when asked about Morris and didn't make clear when he spoke to Brandon about Morris's head injury. He also said he felt bad for Morris for being part of the situation and that he didn't know if Morris would be available for Michigan's game this Saturday against Rutgers.
Michigan students created a petition Tuesday to fire Brandon, which had over 5,600 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon. Fans are also planning a "Fire Dave Brandon Rally" for Tuesday at 6 p.m. on campus.
- Ben Estes