University of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris suffered a mild concussion Saturday, but was kept in the game because of miscommunications and confusion among sideline personnel, athletic director Dave Brandon said in a statement today.
Brandon said the university is changing its procedures to prevent a similar situation in the future.
"We have to learn from this situation, and moving forward, we will make important changes so we can fully live up to our shared goal of putting student-athlete safety first," Brandon said in the statement, which was released this morning.
Brandon’s statement was issued roughly 12 hours after coach Brady Hoke said he’d been given no indication that Morris was diagnosed with a concussion.
Much of the confusion involved an ankle injury Morris sustained earlier during the 30-14 loss to the University of Minnesota.
During the fourth quarter, he was steamrolled by Minnesota’s Theiren Cockran, leaving Morris visibly dazed and wobbly. The quarterback leaned on a teammate for support, but remained in the game for the next play, and even waved off someone on the sideline, possibly signaling that he wanted to play.
“From the field level and without the benefit of replays, medical and coaching staffs did not see the hit,” Brandon said in the statement. “Because they did not see the hit, the athletic training staff believed Shane stumbled because of his ankle injury.”
Since the athletic trainer on the sidelines was unaware that a neurological evaluation was necessary, the quarterback was cleared for an additional play, Brandon said.
Morris was diagnosed with a probable, mild concussion Sunday, Brandon said. That diagnosis was not shared with Hoke before the coach’s Monday news conference, when he defended his team’s handling of the situation.
"We would never ever put a guy on the field when there is a possibility with head trauma," Hoke said Monday.
Hoke faces a tenuous job outlook. The Wolverines are 2-3 on the season, the first time the program has lost three games by the end of September in its 135-year history, according to ESPN stats.