Suspended Michigan running back Fitzgerald Toussaint may be returning to the Wolverines sooner than expected.
Coach Brady Hoke announced, today, that the Wolverine’s star running back would be allowed to return to practice with the team. Toussaint has been suspended since his arrest for an alleged DUI earlier this summer.
Defensive end Frank Clark will also be returning to practice. He was suspended after recent theft allegations surfaced.
Although now practicing with the team, it is unknown whether or not Toussaint and Clark will be permitted to suit up for Michigan when they take on the defending National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide in two weeks at Cowboys Stadium.
When asked about their statuses for the upcoming big showdown with Alabama, Hoke simply responded that he hadn’t made a decision yet and wouldn’t make that decision for a while.
Of the suspensions, Hoke said,
“They’re part of this football team. They’re guys who are 18 to 23 and like some of us have not made great decisions and they’re paying for it. They’re paying the consequences of bad decisions.”
Obviously, not playing these two star players would be a huge loss for the Wolverines. Toussaint laid his claim to the starting job last year after rushing for over a thousand yards and scoring nine touchdowns. Clark, for his part, showed a lot of potential after having an impressive performance in last year’s Sugar Bowl.
At the very least, this situation puts Brady Hoke in a bind. After a surprisingly successful 2011 season, Hoke faces high expectations for the first time in his head coaching career.
The Crimson Tide are the favorites in this matchup and will be whether or not Toussaint and Clark play. This game could potentially set the tempo for the rest of the season, so it will be interesting to see if Hoke permits them to play or if he chooses to hold these players accountable for their actions.
Certainly, though, if Michigan wants to have any chance of upsetting the defending champions, they can’t afford to bench any of their star players.