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Michigan Football: No News Is Good News for Fitzgerald Toussaint's Bama Status

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 19:  Fitzgerald Toussaint #28 of the Michigan Wolverines looks for yards during a fourth quarter run against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 45-17. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Adam JacobiBig Ten Football Lead WriterAugust 15, 2012

It's been over three weeks since Fitzgerald Toussaint was arrested for DUI, an arrest that resulted in an immediate and indefinite suspension by Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. Understandably, the concern has become whether or not Toussaint's suspension would last into the season, as Michigan starts its year off with a game against Alabama in Dallas. Perhaps you've heard.

One thing that Hoke hasn't addressed, however, is Toussaint's status for the games themselves. He refused to address it when asked at the Big Ten Media Days, saying only that he hadn't made a determination, and even with Toussaint back at practice, that uncertainty continues to this day.

Here's more from the Detroit News:

He was cleared to return to practice by coach Brady Hoke, but his availability for the season opener against Alabama on Sept. 1 remains unsettled.

"He's looked good. Fitz is Fitz," U-M offensive coordinator Al Borges said Tuesday before practice. "There hasn't really been any difference, He's in great shape doing what he does. He looks like Fitz to me, no more, no less.

Here's the thing: Brady Hoke clearly doesn't want to suspend Toussaint for the Alabama game, because if he did, he would have done so by now. Nothing has changed between July 21 (the date of the arrest), and now, so as long as Toussaint doesn't screw up again, it's unlikely that there'll be an impetus for Hoke to finally drop the hammer.

That said, there is one potential bit of embarrassment that may work against Toussaint and Michigan, and that is Toussaint's court date. Per the Detroit News, he's set for arraignment on August 28, four days before the Alabama game. That could potentially draw more negative attention to Toussaint and Michigan by association, especially if Hoke decides to let Toussaint play in Week 1.

But that's a lame impetus to keep Toussaint out of action. It's not "further" punishment since Toussaint hasn't been given permission to play any games in the first place, but as it stands right now, Toussaint's bad deeds have come and gone. There should be enough data to determine punishment by now.

That aside then, all Toussaint needs to do is keep his head down and work hard at practice, then avoid any bad situations outside of it—which is not exactly hard during two-a-days. It's just eating, sleeping and football. If he can get that right, he should play against Alabama.

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