Michigan Punter Will Hagerup: what horrible things did he do?


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As you no doubt have heard, Michigan punter Will Hagerup was reinstated to the Wolverines about an hour or so ago.

He was suspended for the Outback Bowl, and he’ll miss the entire 2013 college football season too. The Michigan punter will have one season of eligibility remaining in 2014.

Why so many games?

“Violation of team rules.”

Ah yes, my old friend “violation of team rules,” the college basketball and college football answer to “lower body injury” or “upper body injury” in hockey. An arcane, mystifying phrase.

Hey, at least college football teams send you press releases about injuries, suspensions and re-instatements.

Professional teams send you….stuff about charity work, self-promotional ticket sales crapola, self-glorifying “news” about awards that no one cares about and well, that’s pretty much it. Pro team media mailing lists are pretty awful; they’re paranoid about controlling the message and offer you next to nothing in true information.

Don’t even get me started on sports media corporation press release mailing lists- nothing but blatant advertising, patting themselves on the back, and television ratings stats that NO ONE CARES about. At least college football teams give you personnel change info. At least the Big Ten tells you about hirings, firings, etc.

College teams are a little more open.

In fact, the Michigan punter Will Hagerup statement released by the school is somewhat interesting. Certainly interesting by public statement standards.

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Here’s an excerpt:

“Getting back around his teammates is an important step in this process,” said Michigan coach Brady Hoke.  “Will and I have had several discussions over the past five months, none of which have been about football.  Our primary concern has been for him as a person, and that will not change. I am pleased with his progress to this point, and he knows that must continue every day moving forward.”

 Michigan punter Will Hagerup:  “I understand my actions represent every person that supports me, as well as any man who has worn a Michigan jersey the past 133 years. My dad always says that character is how you act when no one is watching. In retrospect, I needed to take a big step in the character department, and I’m excited in the progress I’ve made in the last five months.

“This trial also has taught me a great deal about my faith, my family and friends, the athletic administration, the coaches and my teammates. I let down all of the aforementioned people, as well as the best fans in football. Before, I thought I could solve my issues by myself, but I was wrong. I now realize that I must and should rely on the important people in my life for guidance and support.

“They have given me a new opportunity to become the Michigan Man I always wanted to be, and I plan on taking advantage of that second chance.  That said, I realize everyone needs to see my actions, not simply hear about them.”

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This is true Coming to Jesus stuff here. So what awful acts did he commit?

What horrible things did he do to himself and his Michigan teammates?

The Detroit News has an excellent story on this today:

The senior was twice previously suspended. Hagerup was suspended the first four games of 2011 — Hoke’s first season — for violating team rules, and he also was suspended for the 2010 Ohio State game by then-coach Rich Rodriguez for the same reason.

Hagerup told The News in an interview last December after the suspension was announced he had lapsed into “old habits” and blamed no one but himself.

“Obviously, it’s probably the greatest disappointment of my life,” Hagerup told The News at the time, referring to this suspension. “I had made some pretty amazing progress with personal decisions this year, but nobody’s perfect. My progress wasn’t complete. I let my team down, I let my coaches down, I let my family down.

“I should have stayed clear of anything harmful to me and my teammates. My old decision-making habits came to bear. But I know I’m a good person. I know I’m capable of doing more good than bad.”

Habits? Self-destructive behavior?
Sounds like substance abuse to me. No one has published what the Michigan punter did; At least no mainstream media outlet has all the details, but it seems Hagerup’s demons could be alcohol and/or illegal drugs. Possibly. We don’t know.
I’m sure the answers will come out eventually. Probably sooner rather than later.
But if he’s truly changed then we need to commend him on that. If he’s really making progress and this isn’t just lip service; we all should be proud of his example of a kid trying to improve himself.
Matt Wile will be your Michigan punter this fall. The suspended Michigan punter was pretty good; tops in the Big Ten, 11th in college football.
Let’s keep an eye on this story and see where it goes.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker

Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks)

Comments

  1. if stealing an $1800 laptop from someone in your dorm is worthy of a 1 game suspension, what did this guy do ?

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