Speaking publicly for the first time since defensive end Frank Clark was arrested for suspected domestic violence and assault, Michigan coach Brady Hoke explained his decision to dismiss the senior from the football program.
Clark was arraigned in court on Monday afternoon, where he entered a not guilty plea. The Daily will have more on Clark’s arrest and Monday’s press conference soon.
Opening statement: Obviously, you all know and I put a statement out, we had a situation during the bye week with a young man making a bad decision. After getting all the facts that we could get and I could get, I made a decision to dismiss Frank Clark from the program.
What was reported … is unacceptable. It is not what we want here associated with our program. I know in the statement I talked about it being tragic. Domestic abuse is tragic. It’s tragic on a national scale. It’s somewhere in our society, and we all need to do something about it.
Being a husband, being a father, having two sisters, it’s a message that I send strongly to our football team about how we will handle ourselves with women.
On addressing domestic violence: We speak about it constantly. Believe me, at least four times a year. We have people from the University come in. But I’ve told our guys since day one that it won’t be tolerated. It won’t be tolerated in this program. … That has always been probably one of the first things I talk about with our team, at least a couple times a year.
The decision was made getting all the information that we could, that I could. In doing that, really, there was no decision to be made.
On initial reaction and making the decision: Number one, make sure you get both sides to every story, because there’s always two. Make sure you get all the information that you can. We have a character integrity that we believe in, and make sure that we’re abiding by those beliefs.
I just wanted to make sure we were correct in everything we were doing.
On disappointment following Clark’s maturation: To be honest with you, disappointing. Disappointed in the lessons as a teacher, as a mentor, as a coach. That’s what you’re trying to do. That’s why I got into coaching. That bores you when I talk about that, but that’s why I got into it — to help develop kids. Because I had a coach who helped develop me — cared about me, not just (as) a player.
On amount of off-field issues this season: It’s been one of those years. Honestly, our focus and, you may think I’m nuts, it’s on those 115 kids. That’s where I focus on. And if I don’t do that, I’m going to get distracted. … Look, I do know we’re doing the right thing for these kids in this program.
The harsh reality of it is I did the right thing today.
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