Matt Falcon turns down medical scholarship



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    • #13572
      Thunder
      Keymaster

      Southfield (MI) Southfield running back Matt Falcon is turning down the offer of a medical scholarship to Michigan. Formerly committed as a football player, several knee injuries caused Michigan to offer him a medical (i.e. no football) rather than a chance to play. He is going to try to play elsewhere.

      Here’s his announcement on Twitter:

    • #13595
      TTB Andrew
      Moderator

      This would be a dream come true if it were me. The opportunity to get a world-class education for free, without the bodily damage, time demands, or distractions from academics. I can’t imagine too many D1 athletes agree with that line of thinking, though.

      • #13598
        Thunder
        Keymaster

        I’m guessing he still has dreams of being rich and famous and in the NFL. It’s not a bad goal. It’s definitely a great deal, and I don’t think you could wrong to take it. It’s a great situation for him – he was such a good high school athlete, even though he was often injured, that he could get a free education even if he doesn’t play football.

      • #13614
        Lanknows
        Participant

        Have to take context into consideration Andrew. Making a million dollars a year sound pretty great to me, but if Bill Gates is doing it there is something seriously wrong with how he’s managing his money. Anybody would be ‘fortunate’ to make the NBA league minimum, but if Lebron James is making that he’s badly underpaid.

        Falcon has offers all over the country to excellent schools. He wants to play football too. Michigan is not letting him do that after initially telling him he could. That’s just a fact.

        I’m a little surprised that Michigan fans are so comfortable to explain this away. Between him and Pipkins I hope this isn’t a pattern where a guy gets hurt and our staff tells him you can’t play football here anymore even though you want to. Maybe both cases are legit medical issues…maybe not. It seems like an odd coincidence as I don’t recall this happening before at Michigan and suddenly in the last few months it happens twice?

        That’s not the kind of integrity and commitment I’ve come to expect from Michigan football.

        • #13617
          Thunder
          Keymaster

          Michigan football isn’t a charity. It’s great when people make sacrifices to help those truly in need (such as Mike Barwis with Brock Mealer), but there’s no need for Michigan to chew up scholarship spots with people who won’t play football for them. You just got done saying on another post that Jim Harbaugh doesn’t play Ty Isaac because “he’s not as good.” Now you think that Michigan should give scholarships to players that they don’t want anymore.

          If a kid gets hurt before he comes to college, I don’t think the college owes him anything. That’s the way the world works. And as far as Pipkins goes, he tore his ACL and barely played the following year. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that he can’t play anymore. If Pipkins came back last year and was serviceable or dominant, that would be a decent argument. I don’t see why the coaches would turn him away if they thought he could still contribute positively to the team.

        • #13618
          TTB Andrew
          Moderator

          Playing football takes away from time you can invest in education and tears up your body. For me personally, I’d take that free Michigan education and run.

          Falcon is an exceptional athlete, so I understand that he’s highly motivated to keep playing football, but it’s not doing his knees or ankles any favors. If he wants to assume the risk of further injury to keep playing, fine. But Michigan just has to do right by the player – not give him everything he wants.

          • This reply was modified 6 years ago by TTB Andrew.
          • #13621
            Lanknows
            Participant

            Yeah, I get that and agree with your point but obviously thousands of kids every year are willing to make the sacrifice to play the game. I do have respect for the guys that walk away, who see the “big picture”… but Falcon’s just entering college. For all we know he WILL be in the NFL.

            I don’t think pulling a scholarship offer due to an injury is “doing right”.

          • #13622
            Lanknows
            Participant

            Falcon, like Ondre Pipkins, will almost certainly play football for another team.

            Harbaugh gave Isaac a chance. He’s not giving that chance to Falcon or Pipkins.

            • #13631
              JC
              Participant

              “Pulling a scholarship offer due to an injury.”

              Let’s visit the facts here. He still held a scholarship to come to the University of Michigan, just not to play football.

              Before his senior year, coaching staff told him they wanted him rehabbing his knee rather than playing. He had the scholarship offer, he didn’t need to prove them anything more.

              He did not do this. He played football, and tore his ACL for the 3rd time.

              That’s serious damage to an ACL. The kid probably shouldn’t be playing football anymore. Medical staff didn’t clear him. They told him they’d put him on a medical scholarship.

              They did this early enough in the recruiting process, he can still select any school he wants that is still willing to take him.

              I don’t think Michigan did anything wrong here. I’d rather have this upfront method than what happened to that 4 star DB at OSU, when he enrolled early, got on campus, then they put him on medical, he transfered. He’s going to Auburn next year.

              Considering the way the events unfolded, I do not believe the Michigan staff did wrong by Falcon.

    • #13637
      UM_1973
      Participant

      I don’t know if the situation is different with our men’s basketball team. But I absolutely love the way John Beilein handled the Austin Hatch situation. Austin Hatch is seriously injured and is no longer able to play basketball on a competitive level but JB still allows him to play one season of D1 Men’s Basketball.
      The way I see it, the Matt Falcon situation is quite different. I think it would not surprise anyone if he make a recovery and become a good pro-prospect. If I were him, I would feel quite bitter with Michigan pulling my football scholarship over an injury while playing football. While it is true that he would not be able to play immediately, there is nothing to prevent him from being able to play top-level football in 2 year’s time.

      • #13641
        Lanknows
        Participant

        You are correct, I should technically have said “pulling a football scholarship”. It should be obvious from context that that is what I meant, since it was already discussed above.

        He got a scholarship offer TO PLAY FOOTBALL AT MICHIGAN – that offer was pulled. It mitigates the damage significantly for Michigan to offer him a medical scholarship, but it’s a bit of a P.R. stunt because, as with Pipkins, they know he wants to play football. For Michigan it’s about the same thing. Right thing to do, but also the easy thing to do, and low liklihood of it playing out that way.

        It’s a very nice way of waving goodbye.

        How often did this kind of “not medically able to play football” thing come up before Harbaugh arrived? Maybe it’s just a coincidence that we have 2 in a few months. Maybe…

      • #13642
        Lanknows
        Participant

        Yep. And consider that a bball scholarship is about 6 and half times the relative impact to a football team. AND consider that Hatch’s injuries were way more severe and meant he had a 1 in 100 chance of ever contributing, whereas Falcon is pretty likely to see the field within the next 5 years.

        Yep, Michigan sports aren’t a charity. They also aren’t a corporation. It doesn’t matter what organizational framework they have – it doesn’t stop them from doing the best that they can do FOR THE KID they offered a scholarship to.

        The same people who praised Beilein are now refusing to criticize Harbaugh. You can’t do both. Either you’re going to be a ruthless “This is big boy business and they aren’t a charity.” dude or you’re going to believe that college athletics are something more human.

        • #13647
          Lanknows
          Participant

          oops that was supposed to be a reply to JC.

          The way this is set up the reply button is at the top of the comment, so if you read through and click the nearest “reply” it goes to the wrong message.

        • #13650
          Thunder
          Keymaster

          I see a significant delineation between:

          a) Student-athlete suffers life-threatening injuries in a plane crash. Both parents have been killed in separate plane crashes.
          b) Student-athlete suffers third ACL injury before his senior year of high school football.

          One is clearly deserving of some good news. The other…eh…crap happens sometimes.

          Also, there is a rumor floating around that Michigan asked Falcon to forego his senior year of football in order to graduate early, rehab his injury with Michigan’s staff, and get right for college football. If that’s what they asked and he decided to risk it, anyway, then that’s even more of a reason not to give him a football scholarship.

          • #13651
            Lanknows
            Participant

            You’re saying the player’s need should be taken into account? I thought this wasn’t a charity.

            Both kids would benefit from good news.

            I think the “he’ll have other opportunities” is a good point Hatch, clearly, would not have. But it’s not entirely to the point of what we want Michigan to be about.

            I would agree that that rumor would be a significant factor in the conversion, if it’s true. That said – is it Michigan’s place to ask a kid to skip his senior year of high school.

            Again, I think the right thing to do is to give the kid the choice to do things the way he wants to. Michigan football can dictate playing time of course, but once you make a scholarship offer and it is accepted, you should live by it unless something crazy happens (like Cissoko/Harrison level off-field stuff.)

            • #13656
              Thunder
              Keymaster

              It’s not a charity. But even corporations will lend a helping hand to people who have terrible things happen to them. No charities (or at least very few) are going to bother giving a huge break to a kid who tears a ligament three times. Come on. It’s just not the same.

              It’s not Michigan’s “right” to tell Falcon what to do. Absolutely not. But it’s also not his “right” to get a scholarship from Michigan if he doesn’t do what they stipulate. If I go get a job at a power company, but they say I need to get a CPR certification before I can get hired, then by golly, I’ve got to get that CPR certification. I can’t just sit there and say, “Well, I got a flat tire and couldn’t go to the CPR class. Can I just have the job anyway?” They can’t force me to take the CPR class; they also are not required to hire me.

              • #13707
                Lanknows
                Participant

                I guess you are taking that rumor at face value. And Pipkins injury assessment at face value. I have my doubts. Like I said, it seems like an unusual coincidence for two guys to be in the situation of ‘take the medical or nothing’ in such a short timeframe. It’s not impossible that these situations played out the way the coaching staff is putting out there. It’s also possible they have an agenda and are leaking disinformation to save face for guys they don’t want anymore.

                • #13712
                  Thunder
                  Keymaster

                  I’m not 100% believing those rumors. But usually rumors do not appear out of nowhere.

    • #13643
      Lanknows
      Participant

      In case it isn’t clear, I think Michigan should honor the scholarship and let Falcon do what he wants to do. If it’s later proven that he really can’t play football – OK. Medical him then, with his consent. The choice should be his.

      People recover from ACL’s all the time, and here we are talking about a teenager.

      We’ve seen a bunch of guys pushed out of Michigan since January. Some of that is happily chalked up to a “new culture”, which OK, I get that you want competitive people and all that. I’m not totally comfortable with how things went with Kyle Bosch and probably some other kids, but I get it. This here is a high school student.

      I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world. Michigan could have waited till February to screw him, they could have not offered the medical. Not doing the worst thing doesn’t mean you did the right thing.

      • #13649
        Thunder
        Keymaster

        I’m not sure that football and basketball are the same. I’m not saying recovery rates and such are dissimilar, but they’re completely different games. Football fields are more questionable surfaces, it’s more of a contact sport, etc. Also, that ACL recovery club does not not how many of those players came back from 3 ACL tears.

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