Michigan coach faces uproar over concussed QB

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Michigan head coach Brady Hoke points from the field next to the sidelines in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Minnesota in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Minnesota won 30-14. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Tony Ding, AP

The University of Michigan football coach is hitting back at a growing chorus of critics who say he should be sacked.

Brady Hoke defended his decision to keep quarterback Shane Morris on the field Saturday after taking a hit that left him appearing woozy, and as CBS News' Don Dahler reports, the press conference got testy.

When Morris took the vicious hit, he looked so dazed that play-by-play announcers immediately voiced their concern.

"He can barely stand up now," the announcers called out. "Yeah, they just gotta get him out of the ballgame!"

Morris, was removed after the next play. But moments later, returned to the field.

"We've talked about player safety in this game," the announcers said. "This is atrocious to me!"

Head coach Brady Hoke addressed the media on Monday afternoon and the entire 15 minute session was devoted to his handling of Morris' injury.

"We would never, ever, if we thought a guy had a concussion, keep him in the game -- and we never have," Hoke assured.

But a report released by the university's athletic department states that Morris did in fact suffer a concussion from the hit. His injury was never evaluated by a team physician before he returned to the field.

University of Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon blamed the decision to play Morris after the injury on a "lack of communication, that lead to confusion on the sideline."

The report also states that Michigan's "medical and coaching staff did not see the hit," leading them to believe "Shane stumbled because of his ankle injury," sustained earlier in the game.

"This is about a coach and a sideline that had no idea what was going on," critics said on CBS 97.1FM The Ticket's "Valenti and Foster." "We saw the incompetence of Brady Hoke one more time. What part of possible brain injury do you not get?"

Since Saturday's game, outrage has been leveled directly at Hoke.

"A lot of people are concerned about player health and they understand that there's a lot more that we know about concussions," CBSSports.com national college football writer Jon Solomon said.

Solomon, and many others, believe the coaching staff and the university mishandled the situation.

"Even if there was no concussion at all, how did they properly evaluate, and keep him in the game, and then return him to the game?" Solomon asked. "We don't know the answers to those questions."

The University of Michigan announced two immediate changes in school medical policy:

One, Michigan will have a medical professional in a press box or video booth with "the ability to communicate with medical personnel on the sidelines"; and two, the school plans to examine its "sideline communication processes."

They said they have learned from what happened and will "continue to improve ways to keep [their] student-athletes' health and safety [their] number one priority."