After starting running back Fitz Toussaint was charged with drunk driving on July 22, head coach Brady Hoke suspended him indefinitely. But will that suspension continue into the regular season, keeping Toussaint out of Michigan's opening game against Alabama on Saturday night?
UPDATE: Friday, August 31 at 12:40 p.m. ET by Adam Wells
Michigan will, in fact, be without star running back Fitz Toussaint heading into Saturday's game against Alabama, according to head coach Brady Hoke (via Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports).
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Fitzgerald Toussaint and Frank Clark did not make trip to Dallas, won't play vs Bama— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) August 31, 2012
Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reported that Hoke said Toussaint and Frank Clark are going to be suspended for one game.
Hoke says Toussaint and Clark were suspended for 1 game. Sounds like they could play next wk. That's notable because Clark's case still open— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 31, 2012
This obviously puts the Wolverines at a disadvantage going up against the Crimson Tide. It is a testament to Hoke's resolve that he is not allowing them to play in such a huge game that will have implications on the BCS.
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Toussaint recently pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while visibly impaired, but Hoke has not revealed whether he would play against the Crimson Tide. You might say he's even been a bit coy about the whole situation.
Kyle Meinke from MLive.com has several updates on the Toussaint situation (including this whole "suspended indefinitely" business):
Hoke clarifies Clark, Toussaint aren't exactly suspended. With Hoke, suspended players don't practice. They're practicing.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 29, 2012
Hoke says Clark, Toussaint "practicing, maybe not playing."— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 29, 2012
Hoke wouldn't say whether Toussaint and Clark will travel.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 29, 2012
So we can't rule Toussaint out of the game. But we can't say for certain that he'll suit up either.
Still, it seems more than likely he will play and Hoke is being coy so Alabama doesn't know whether to prepare for him. Let's chalk this one up to a bit of gamesmanship. The hot story two days ago, remember, was that Toussaint was atop the running back depth chart.
Fitz Toussaint listed as No. 1 tailback on Michigan depth chart— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) August 27, 2012
Toussaint rushed for 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns last season and, alongside Denard Robinson, is featured in the exciting Michigan offense. His presence obviously would help Michigan against a stacked Alabama side in the opener.
Hoke could take a strong stance and send a message to his team by keeping Toussaint off the field for a week. But given how this has played out thus far, it seems more likely Toussaint will play on Saturday night.
Keep it here as more updates become available.
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