Quarterback Tate Forcier has left the University of Michigan, according to a series of postings on his family's Twitter page late Wednesday night. Forcier was rumored to be on his way out of the program after being declared ineligible for the Gator Bowl and being sent home during the trip. Forcier's father made it clear that his son wanted to stay at Michigan, but some things needed to be taken care of for that to happen. Evidently things didn't work out, as Forcier's time at Michigan is apparently over.
Below are the tweets about this news (presented in the form of a press release) that were posted by Tate Forcier over a 30 minute time frame beginning shortly before midnight.
-Immediate Press/Sports Release: January 20, 2011- Robert "Tate" Forcier University Of Michigan Sophomore Quarterback
Why do we all wait until we are at our lowest point to seek God’s help? I’ve been kicked, pushed, knocked down, publicly berated, belittled, emasculated and more. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to give up or feel the victim. The humility of it all is indescribable and that is exactly my point. I had to reach rock bottom in order to see the light, and for that, I am thankful. It was not until then, I realized that it was my lack of accountability and maturity and not to pass blame.
I do hope all my young fans forgive me and benefit from my lessons that I have learned. Be grateful for what you have and be humble for your successes. Don’t wait to ask God into your life as he will help you see things clearer.
In summary, I believe, I will become a better student and a person of stronger character from these experiences at Michigan. I can proudly state,"I worked hard on the practice field, in the film room and at meetings" after all, football is my passion. I had fun celebrating with the fans. I even competed hard while injured as a true freshman through the last (8) games in 2009, but I always played the game giving it my all. I am proud to have been part of Michigan Football history and will always cherish the memory.
The last few weeks I worked extremely hard to catch back up. I really wanted to stay. I was not giving up on Michigan, but in the end, it was made clear they had given up on me. With that being said, its time for me to go. I promise the Michigan family and fans I will make you proud again.
Tate Forcier #5 - A Michigan Man Forever - Go Blue
As the Michigan Daily's Nicole Auerbach said on Twitter, "the only way Tate Forcier could leave Michigan was with the world's first live-tweeted press release." It really was a fitting ending to a drama-filled two years.
While all of this drama and how he went about breaking the news may seem odd, it's not if you're familiar with the Forcier family. After all, when Chris Forcier, one of Tate's older brothers, transferred from UCLA to Furman, his family sent out a press release that included a "statement of facts," which basically served the purpose of talking up his accolades both on and off the field.
Chris Forcier's press release was bizarre, to say the least, but it was typical of the Forcier family, who have a website dedicated to Chris, Tate and Jason. Jason is the oldest of the three brothers and he also transferred during his career, leaving Michigan for Stanford. While his exit didn't include the drama of a press release and the circumstances were a bit different, the fact remains that all three of the Forciers will have transferred at one point during their careers once Tate finds a new school to attend. (Jason Forcier actually transferred back to Michigan to attend graduate school for Tate's freshman year, but he was not granted immediate eligibility and therefore was unable to rejoin the football team.)
Based on Tate Forcier's time at Michigan, it's no surprise that it came to an end with a dramatic press release where he contradicts himself. In the release he admits he wasn't accountable for his actions and only recently came to the realization that he shouldn't pass blame on others, but later he says that Michigan gave up on him. He claims that he didn't give up on Michigan and wanted to stay, but then he proceeds to make Michigan responsible for his departure. So much for not passing the blame.
This seemingly contradictory statement isn't anything new for Forcier. In the week leading up to the Gator Bowl he was interviewed by The Detroit Free Press and was asked about academics. His response was this:
"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."
While Forcier admitted he was not a great student, he also made the comment that you have to really try to flunk out at Michigan, as simply going to class is enough to get by. Obviously this statement looked pretty foolish when only days later it came out that he was ineligible for the Gator Bowl because of academics. At that point it seemed like Forcier's time at Michigan was coming to an end, especially when it came out that he was not enrolled in classes for the winter term. Despite this, his dad made it sound as though his son only had to take care of some incompletes to clear up his academic status and eventually rejoin the school and perhaps even the football team.
"He has incompletes that need to be taken care of," Mike Forcier, who is in Ann Arbor, said Friday. "He's turned in everything and there is one more thing that needs to be improved -- a paper. It wasn't quite up to standards. When it's turned it, who knows?
"I know he would like to stay (at Michigan). At the same time, you have to know if you're wanted. You have to gauge if the new staff wants you, too. You don't want to force a square peg down a round hole. If we sense they don't want Tate, we have to make a decision."
The elder Forcier gave Tate an out with that last sentence, as it can now be spun that he left Michigan because the new coaching staff didn't want him rather than because of academic reasons. Obviously we don't know what happened for sure, but it's not too tough to connect the dots considering he was ineligible for the Gator Bowl. While I respect the fact that he apparently tried to work his way back after that issue popped up, I find it laughable that he seemingly tried to play the victim card in his press release by saying that Michigan didn't want him. As a fellow University of Michigan student I can respect the challenge of balancing time between academics and something that is time consuming (football for him; blogging for me), but at the end of the day he has only himself to blame for not putting in the amount of work required to stay at Michigan.
Let's not forget that Forcier was called out publicly by teammate Troy Woolfolk for his lack of work ethic last summer. Granted this was football related and didn't necessarily have to do with academics, but Forcier even had his wings taken off his helmet because Rich Rodriguez said he had to earn them. The wings were eventually returned, but while Forcier was apparently not putting in enough work, Denard Robinson was busy earning the starting job. After Robinson led Michigan to an impressive victory in the season opener against UConn, Forcier proclaimed, "All you need to know is I’m out."
Transfer rumors were nothing new for Forcier considering they popped up in August, but suddenly it looked like he was gone with Robinson entrenched as the starter. To Forcier's credit, his attitude changed following this episode and he decided to stay at Michigan, which was a good decision considering he saw quite a bit of playing time with Robinson banged up throughout the rest of the season. Forcier was committed to staying at Michigan beyond 2010, but as you already know he was ruled ineligible for the Gator Bowl, which was the beginning of the end for him. Now, regardless of what happened, his time in Ann Arbor is over.
As a Michigan fan I thank Forcier for what he did on the field the last two seasons at Michigan and I do wish him the best in the future. That said, acting like a drama queen about this situation by putting out a press release on Twitter was beyond unnecessary. All he needed to say was that he made some mistakes, loved his time at Michigan and that things unfortunately didn't work out, which is why he is leaving. Drawing it out over a half hour and being extra dramatic with sentences about how he hadn't given up on Michigan but they gave up on him was a very "look at me" type of move. Then again, I suppose that's what we should come expect from the Forciers by now.
While I applaud Tate Forcier for changing his attitude mid-season and contributing many great things to the Michigan football program the last two years, sometimes things just don't work out. Again, I wish him the best of luck in the future, but this whole situation, like many others during his time in Ann Arbor, could have been handled in a much better way. I suppose it doesn't matter now anyway, though.