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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Michigan to play bowl without Tate Forcier

By Adam Rittenberg

I really enjoyed reading Tate Forcier's quotes this week about his drama-filled career at Michigan.

The sophomore quarterback talked about losing his starting job to Denard Robinson, nearly transferring early this season and then choosing to stick it out in Ann Arbor. He discussed his maturity, his respect for Robinson and how everything is part of a plan.

Here's Forcier in his own words:
On Rich Rodriguez's statements last spring about Forcier's immaturity: "Just being a freshman, hitting the freshman wall. Having too much success, letting it get to my head, going out [partying]. I used to love going out. Now it's like, it's old. Being a freshman, everything's so new to you. You get overwhelmed with everything. Believe it or not, it hurt me having a lot of success so early. You take any kid, not just a quarterback, and put them on a stage like this and have success, it's going to be hard for them to be able to handle it, especially being so far away from home. It's just different. I learned a lot after my freshman year. It's not all about you; it's about the team."

Forcier was candid and entertaining. He sounded like a guy who had evolved after dealing with some disappointment.

Now he's dealing with more disappointment, and so is Michigan.

The school announced Thursday that Forcier is ineligible for Michigan's matchup with Mississippi State in the Progressive Gator Bowl. According to a news release, Forcier "did not meet university standards." That sounds a little vague, but Forcier's situation likely relates to academics.

It's an unfortunate situation for a player who earned respect for remaining with Michigan and backing up Robinson throughout the season. Forcier appeared in eight games and passed for 597 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions.

His situation puts Michigan in a tough spot entering the bowl game. The Wolverines had been seeking a medical hardship waiver for freshman Devin Gardner, who appeared in the first four games this fall before back problems kept him sidelined. Gardner, who has been simulating Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf on the scout team leading up to the bowl game, now is a play away from the field. Gardner won't retain a season of eligibility if he plays in the bowl.

Michigan really needs Robinson to remain on the field Saturday, for multiple reasons.

What's next for Forcier? We'll have to wait to find out.