Brady Hoke says he has 'great' relationship with Dave Brandon

Tony Ding / Associated Press
Brady Hoke is turning to Devin Gardner to start for the Wolverines against Big Ten newcomer Rutgers.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Wednesday that Devin Gardner will be the Wolverines' starting quarterback for Saturday's game at Rutgers, and he also said that he and Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon have "a great relationship."

Hoke was peppered with questions about his relationship with Brandon at his regular Wednesday news conference. In a statement released by Michigan about injured quarterback Shane Morris at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, Brandon said Morris had "a probable, mild concussion." Monday morning, during his regularly scheduled media event, Hoke had said Morris didn't have a concussion.

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In addition, during his Monday media session, Hoke had said he had not spoken with Brandon. But the statement from Brandon said Brandon had "numerous meetings since Sunday morning to thoroughly review the situation that occurred at Saturday's football game regarding student-athlete Shane Morris. I have met with those who were directly involved and who were responsible for managing Shane's care and determining his medical fitness for participation."

Hoke was asked Wednesday if he felt he had been "hung out to dry" by Brandon.

"Not at all," Hoke said. "I believe this: No. 1, the statement covers what we all have done to go through this. Secondly, Dave Brandon and I have a great relationship. A relationship that has been built on trust, it has been built on integrity, it's been built on character."

Hoke also said there was "a lot of time and effort" put into the statement.

Brandon hasn't met with the media this week, and Hoke was asked it if was fair that he was having to answer all the questions about Morris. "This is a big family," Hoke responded.

As for on-field issues, Hoke said Gardner would start at quarterback and that either Russell Bellomy or Wilton Speight would be the backup, meaning Morris is unavailable.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.