Hinted at by defensive coordinator Greg Mattison last week, a member of the coach’s unit has officially albeit temporarily taken a forced sabbatical from the football program.
A UM spokesperson confirmed to the Detroit News Monday that safety Josh Furman (pictured, background) has been indefinitely suspended by the Wolverines. Head coach Brady Hoke subsequently acknowledged in a statement that an off-field incident was behind the punitive measure.
“Josh was suspended indefinitely from team activities as soon as we became aware of the report,” Hoke said in a statement. “These are serious allegations. We will allow the judicial process to run its course before making a final determination on his status with the program.”
The serious allegations to which Hoke referred involve an arrest on Feb. 11 and resulted in charges of domestic violence, assault and breaking and entering, AnnArbor.com reported. The lawyer retained by Furman told the website that his client “didn’t do anything” and that this whole situation is “much ado about nothing.” According to the attorney, this is what led to the player’s arrest and charges:
Attorney Gerry Mason said the incident occurred when Furman, who was with two female cheerleaders at a campus apartment, started receiving “nasty” text messages from a man.
When Furman got up, “one [cheerleader] pulled a dreadlock right out of his head, because they thought he was going to somehow go looking for the third-party male, and pick a fight with him,” Mason said.
Furman then went back to his apartment voluntarily, but the police had already been called. He was arrested that night.
Mason said the case is a “misunderstanding,” and that the two women have asked for the charges against Furman to be dismissed. They prepared a statement to that effect and took it to the police, but were referred to the prosecutor’s office, then victim’s rights, which never got back to them.
Michigan will hold its annual spring game April 28. It’s unclear if Furman will participate.
As a redshirt freshman in 2011, Furman played in 12 games, mainly on special teams.