09 August 2011

Hoke's Decision to Redshirt Darryl Stonum a Joke

Darryl Stonum, University of Michigan's senior wide receiver, has been named a redshirt senior for the up-coming 2011 season. Stonum picked up a second DUI earlier this summer and has been dealing with disciplinary issues since that ordeal. Brady Hoke suspended Stonum indefinitely after the incident and just announced the decision to redshirt his star wide receiver instead of suspending him.

Hoke stated, "While it would be great to have Darryl on the field this season, we feel it is in our best interest of our program for him to redshirt".

As an outsider looking in at the issue, I begin to think that this is sending a bad message to the team under Hoke's first year as coach. Yes, Hoke is suspending Hagerup and Robinson for games; however, let's look at each of these scenarios.

Will Hagerup (punter): suspended 4 games--probably won't see much action since Michigan's high-powered offense won't need to punt much in the 1st 4 games (exception to the Notre Dame game and maybe the San Diego St. game). Therefore, Hagerup's suspension will most likely will not have a large effect on the team)

Terrence Robinson (wide receiver): suspended 1 game--With Roundtree, Odoms, Grady, and Hemmingway already in the line-up, Robinson's suspension will not be a big deal at all vs. the Western Michigan Broncos.

Darryl Stonum (wide receiver): redshirt senior year--This couldn't have come at a better time for the University of Michigan's football program. With Odoms, Grady, and Hemmingway all seniors this coming season, the Wolverines will be hurting for receivers in the 2012 season. Redshirting Stonum for this season is not only a perfect time for the program as Stonum will have full eligibility for next season, it is also perfect timing for Stonum and his future aspirations to play in the NFL. The other option besides redshirting would have been suspending him for 5 or 6 games. This would significantly hurt his stock in the NFL draft. Yes, he sits out this season. But, he has all of this year to develop and all of next year to showcase his skills with senior quarterback Denard Robinson throwing him the football. Michigan will now be returning Roundtree and Stonum in 2012, instead of just Roundtree. Since the Wolverines have zero, yes I repeat zero, wide receivers committed for the recruiting class of 2011 or 2012, Stonum's return in 2012 is absolutely perfect timing.

Crafty decision making on Hoke's part; however, I do believe it gives the players the notion that getting in trouble under Hoke's reign will not have a big effect on their time as a U of M football player. As Brady Hoke stated in the interview, "it is in our best interest of our program for him to redshirt". Yes, this makes sense for Hoke to redshirt him, but as a leader and a mentor of the players, this simply isn't right. Stonum is being allowed to play the same number of games as he would have played, he just has to wait a year to do that. Suspending Stonum might not have been the most popular or the easiest decision to make for 1st-year coach Brady Hoke; however, it would have been the right one.


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