After his arrest Saturday night for driving under the influence, Fitzgerald Toussaint was suspended indefinitely by head coach Brady Hoke. This will be costly for the Wolverine offense as Toussaint is, or was, their number one running back. As a redshirt junior in 2011, Toussaint ran for 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns, second on the team only to Denard Robinson.
In a statement Monday, Brady Hoke said:
"Fitz made a poor decision and has been suspended indefinitely because of that action. There are expectations that come with being a football student-athlete at the University of Michigan and those responsibilities were not met in this instance. We will use this as an opportunity to educate Fitz and make sure he understands the high standards that we have established within our program."
Unfortunately for Michigan, Toussaint will most likely not be present for the first game of the season against Alabama, and it is a possibility he will also miss the following games against Air Force and Massachusetts.
Fortunately for Toussaint, this incident has happened during the offseason, which will give him and Michigan time to go though disciplinary actions. However, a three-game penalty, which is a quarter of the season, will be a nice way for Brady Hoke to send a message to players that mistakes like this will not be tolerated and that Michigan will not go down a slippery slope of questionable punishments for players.
It has not been decided for how many games Toussaint will be suspended, but a multiple-game penalty has been the response by teams that have dealt with similar charges against athletes in the past.
Michigan already faces a steep task having to play Alabama in week one. But if they can find a way to manage without Toussaint, the team will be stronger for it. And if Brady Hoke continues to hand out significant player punishments for wrongdoing, the team will likely encounter fewer behavioral issues in the future.
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