(ANN ARBOR) — University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke said on Friday that starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and backup defensive end Frank Clark will be suspended for Saturday night’s marquee matchup with No. 2 Alabama at Cowboy Stadium.
Toussaint, who rushed for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns last season, pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a vehicle while visually impaired. He was charged in late July for driving while intoxicated.
“The decision was not easy, but I feel it is in the best interest of this program and for these kids, and those always will be my priorities,” Hoke said. “We have choices every day, and you have to be accountable to this program, your teammates, your family and the University of Michigan.”
Clark was charged with second-degree home invasion in July, and has yet to be arraigned.
The eighth-ranked Wolvernines will go with a combination of three veterans and two freshman at running back against the defending national champion Crimson Tide.
“These are real lives, and I think too often many people forget that. It’s not always just about football, or a football decision. It’s about teaching life lessons, and if this helps these kids or someone else make a right decision later, then we’ve won,” Hoke said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN