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  • Bill Belichick’s post game press conference provided one of the best coaching Vines ever

    One of the many reasons that Bill Belichick is admired as an NFL coach, beyond his football acumen, is his demeanor at the post game press conference following games. Regardless of whether it’s a big win or a blowout loss, his emotions are the exact same.

    Last night’s post game presser fell into the latter category as the Pats were thoroughly dominated by the Kansas City Chiefs 41-14 in front of a Monday Night Football audience. Tom Brady had one of his worst games in recent memory, going 14 of 23 for just 159 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions and a fumble.

    With the game well out of hand, rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo entered the game and Brady took a rare seat on the bench. Garoppolo  the night 6 of 7 for 70 yards and a touchdown, prompting a reporter to ask Belichick an utterly ridiculous question during the post game presser.

    The result may be my favorite Vine of all time, and Belichick didn’t even have to say a single word.

  • At 12:52am, Michigan releases statement admitting fault in sideline protocol

    davebrandon

    Michigan’s handling of the Shane Morris debacle on Saturday has been the talk of every major news outlet for the past few days. Yesterday a defensive Brady Hoke stood in front of reporters as they fired question after question his way about how the situation was handled on the sideline.

    Then, at 12:52am EST this morning, Michigan released a statement apologizing for the way that the situation was handled, noting a lack of communication was to blame, and vowing to make changes in the way that injuries are handled on the sideline.

    Kind of odd timing for a press release on a situation over two days after the incident in question, isn’t it?

    At the very least, this situation should prompt a meeting with your athletic training staff to touch base on your current sideline protocol, and communication, and if it can be improved to prevent a similar situation. Player safety is obviously everyone’s first concern, but the situation in Ann Arbor proves that important details can be easily overlooked in the heat of the moment and your plan of attack on injuries should be revisited.

    The full statement from Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon can be read below.

    Ultimate responsibility for the health and safety of our student-athletes resides with each team’s coach and with me, as the Director of Athletics. We are committed to continuously improving our procedures to better protect the health and welfare of our student-athletes.

    I have had numerous meetings since Sunday morning to thoroughly review the situation that occurred at Saturday’s football game regarding student-athlete Shane Morris. I have met with those who were directly involved and who were responsible for managing Shane’s care and determining his medical fitness for participation.

    In my judgment, there was a serious lack of communication that led to confusion on the sideline. Unfortunately, this confusion created a circumstance that was not in the best interest of one of our student-athletes. I sincerely apologize for the mistakes that were made. 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.

    I have worked with Darryl Conway, my Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Health and Welfare, to develop a detailed accounting of the events that occurred. Darryl is the person who oversees all athletic training personnel and serves as the liaison to the physicians we work with through the University of Michigan Health System and University Health Services.

    It is important to note that our athletic trainers and physicians working with Michigan Athletics have the unchallengeable authority to remove student-athletes from the field of play. Michigan Athletics has numerous medical professionals at every football competition including certified athletic trainers and several physicians from various relevant specialties.

    I, along with Darryl and our administrative and medical teams, have spent much of the last two days carefully reviewing the situation regarding Shane Morris. We now understand that, despite having the right people on the sidelines assessing our student-athletes’ well being, the systems we had in place were inadequate to handle this unique and complex situation properly.

    With his permission, I can share that Shane Morris suffered an ankle injury during the third quarter of Saturday’s game. He was evaluated for that injury by an orthopedic surgeon and an athletic trainer several times during the game. With each of these evaluations it was determined that his ankle injury did not prevent him from playing.

    In the fourth quarter, Shane took a significant hit and stumbled after getting up. From the field level and without the benefit of replays, medical and coaching staffs did not see the hit. Because they did not see the hit, the athletic training staff believed Shane stumbled because of his ankle injury. The team neurologist, watching from further down the field, also did not see the hit. However, the neurologist, with expertise in detecting signs of concussion, saw Shane stumble and determined he needed to head down the sideline to evaluate Shane.

    Shane came off the field after the following play and was reassessed by the head athletic trainer for the ankle injury. Since the athletic trainer had not seen the hit to the chin and was not aware that a neurological evaluation was necessary, he cleared Shane for one additional play.

    The neurologist and other team physicians were not aware that Shane was being asked to return to the field, and Shane left the bench when he heard his name called and went back into the game. Under these circumstances, a player should not be allowed to re-enter the game before being cleared by the team physician. This clearly identifies the need for improvements in our sideline and communication processes.

    Following the game, a comprehensive concussion evaluation was completed and Shane has been evaluated twice since the game. As of Sunday, Shane was diagnosed with a probable, mild concussion, and a high ankle sprain. That probable concussion diagnosis was not at all clear on the field on Saturday or in the examination that was conducted post-game. Unfortunately, there was inadequate communication between our physicians and medical staff and Coach Hoke was not provided the updated diagnosis before making a public statement on Monday. This is another mistake that cannot occur again.

    Going forward, we have identified two changes in our procedures that we will implement immediately:

    We will have an athletic medicine professional in the press box or video booth to ensure that someone will have a bird’s eye view of the on-field action, have television replay available and have the ability to communicate with medical personnel on the sidelines.

    We are also examining how to reinforce our sideline communication processes and how decisions will be made in order to make sure that information regarding student-athlete availability to participate is communicated effectively amongst the medical team and to our coaches.

    We have learned from this experience, and will continue to improve ways to keep our student-athletes’ health and safety our number one priority.

    Read the official release from Michigan here.

  • Video of the Day – Defining the “Orange Swarm”

  • Dennis Allen is out as the Raiders’ head coach

    Dennis Allen

    After an Associated Press reporter tweeted that Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen had been fired, deleted the tweet, apologized and stated he was never covering the Allen story, the Allen news finally became official around midnight on the East Coast.

    The Raiders fell to the Miami Dolphins 38-14 Sunday in London, dropping the club to 0-4 on the season. Allen was just 8-28 in two-plus seasons as Oakland’s head coach, but his ouster says more about the organization than the coach it has dismissed. The Raiders’ new head coach will be the franchise’s eighth since unloading Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay following the 2001 season; Oakland is 64-132 since the move.

    Allen, 42, had just one year of coordinator experience and four years as a primary position coach in the NFL before Oakland tapped him to replace Hue Jackson on Jan. 27, 2012. CBS’s Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that offensive coordinator Greg Lewis would be “a strong candidate” to take over as head coach.

    Needless to say, Oakland is the first NFL franchise to make a coaching change during the 2014 season.

  • Former UCF defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro accuses George O’Leary of racist remarks in lawsuit

    Fox Sports

    In some relationships there comes a moment where one party says something that takes things to the point of no return. Former Central Florida defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro and current head coach George O’Leary have reached that point, and then flown 10 miles past it.

    In a suit filed Friday, Ferraro accuses O’Leary of incredibly racist remarks and creating a work environment “permeated by bullying, threatening behavior, and repeated discriminatory epithets by O’Leary.”

    Ferraro accuses O’Leary of telling his staff, according a copy of the suit obtained by USA Today:

    Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 7.23.38 PM

    Ferraro also accuses O’Leary of calling a “Guinea.” (Confession: I had no idea “Guinea” was a derogatory term, or even a term at all.)

    “No longer will I put up with your constant verbal abuse of both our coaching and support staff,” Ferraro wrote to O’Leary in an email CC’ed to the rest of the staff. “Threatening coaches on a regular basis with their jobs and racial slurs mixed in to make a point is wrong.”

    At the basis of all of this, as with all lawsuits, is money.

    Ferraro was named the Knights’ defensive coordinator in December, shortly before their 52-42 defeat of Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl (he did not coach the game), but then left the staff in February. (Tyson Summers, hired in January, was then promoted to defensive coordinator.) Ferrero believes he was fired without cause and is owed $15,000 in salary. UCF believes he resigned, and thus is owed nothing.

    “UCF immediately investigated the allegations Mr. Ferraro made when he abruptly abandoned his job,” UCF vice president for communications and marketing Grant Heston emailed USA Today. “The university’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office found the allegations to be untrue.

    “None of the individuals alleged to have been the subject of, or to have overheard, these supposed statements corroborated Mr. Ferraro’s claims. In fact, until seeking compensation after abandoning his job, it does not appear he ever discussed this with anyone at UCF.”

    Translation: “Dude made the entire thing up.”

    Ferraro was hired away from Maine in late December, left the staff under apparently cloudy circumstances on March 5, and was back in his old job on the Maine staff by March 29.

    This is the type of suit that had better be true, otherwise Ferraro has damned his former boss to a lifetime of search returns pairing “O’Leary” with “racist”, all in the name of a money grab. In the always-online culture we live in, that’s (allegedly) one of the sorriest stunts a person can pull.

    Read the full story here.