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Michigan's Tate Forcier Ineligible For Gator Bowl

Per a Michigan football release, quarterback Tate Forcier is ineligible for Saturday's Gator Bowl because he "did not meet University standards." It's not clear exactly what standards he failed to meet, but speculation suggests that they are related to academics. While it seems pretty late in the year for a bad grade to just come in, the University of Michigan's exams didn't end until Dec. 22, so it's certainly possible a grade could have been delayed until just recently.

Whatever the case, with Forcier ineligible, Michigan will be without its backup quarterback for the Gator Bowl. For many teams this wouldn't be a big issue, but Forcier played in eight of Michigan's 12 games in the regular season. Denard Robinson hasn't been able to make it through many games without suffering some kind of injury, but the good thing during the regular season was that Forcier was always there to step in and play quite well. This won't be the case on Saturday, though.

Michigan's new backup quarterback is technically Devin Gardner, but the Wolverines had been hoping to get a medical redshirt for him since he hasn't appeared in a game since September. Playing in the Gator Bowl would eliminate the possibility of getting Gardner an extra year of eligibility, so Michigan would obviously prefer to not play him. If Robinson goes down, though, Gardner may be forced into action because Forcier is ineligible.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this whole story is that just a couple days ago Forcier talked extensively about a number of different topics in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. One of the things he was asked about was academics and Forcier said this (emphasis mine):

On academics: "I've never been the greatest student. My brothers were always the geniuses. I was always the kid who was street smart but not that smart classroom-wise. You really have to try to flunk out here. All you have to do is go to class, it's not that hard. I've always been an average student. I don't ever see myself being that smart of a student. I just feel like it's too much of a job being an athlete. It's too much of a job. You get some of these kids in engineering who are players on our team who have 4.0s, and I just look at them like, 'You must never sleep.' I feel like the work I have is a lot. I can only imagine what they have."

If Forcier is indeed ineligible because of failing to meet academic standards, it certainly wouldn't be all that surprising based on what he said in the above quote.

UPDATE: The Associated Press' Larry Lage reports that Forcier is ineligible because of academics.