President calls for review of player safety procedures


As the leader of our university community, I want to express my extreme disappointment in the events surrounding the handling of an on-field injury to one of our football players, Shane Morris. The health and safety of our entire student community, including all of our student-athletes, is my most important responsibility as university president.

I have been in regular discussion regarding this incident and its aftermath with Athletic Director David Brandon and the Board of Regents. I support the immediate protocol changes that the department’s initial assessment has identified. I have instructed the Athletic Department to provide me, the Board of Regents, and other campus leaders with a thorough review of our in-game player safety procedures, particularly those involving head injuries, and will involve experts from the University of Michigan Health System in assessing its medical aspects. 

Despite having one of the finest levels of team medical expertise in the country, our system failed on Saturday. We did not get this right and for this I apologize to Shane, his family, his teammates, and the entire Michigan family. It is a critical lesson to us about how vigilant and disciplined we must always be to ensure student-athlete safety. As president, I will take all necessary steps to make sure that occurs and to enforce the necessary accountability for our success in this regard.

Our communications going forward will be direct, transparent and timely. The University of Michigan stands for the highest level of excellence in everything we do, on and off the field.  That standard will guide my review of this situation and all the University’s future actions. 

My thanks go to the many members of the University community who have taken the time to express their thoughts.



  1. James Van Buren
    on September 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Yada, yada, yada…shades of Mary Sue Coleman and the prevert intern. After you fix the ‘miscommunication’ how about fixing the offense so it can score points once in a while?

    • Hefty Man
      on October 1, 2014 at 7:24 am

      What would your comment or action have been? And since when does the president of an academic institution concern himself with the offense.

  2. Stephen Salant
    on October 1, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Why does a major university with a mission of stimulating the brains of its students sanction an activity that has recently been estimated to damage the brains of up to 1/3 of players (UM students) engaging in it? Are donations and ticket revenue worth it? Surely the university would not sanction such an injurious activity if UM did not benefit financially from it.

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