Michigan dismisses DE Frank Clark after domestic violence allegation



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This photo released by the Erie County sheriff’s department in Sandusky, Ohio, shows Frank Clark, 21, of Ypsilanti, Mich. The University of Michigan defensive end is being held without bond Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in the Erie County jail in Sandusky, Ohio after he was arrested Saturday on a domestic violence charge. (AP Photo/Erie County Sheriff)


ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Defensive end Frank Clark was dismissed from the Michigan football team on Monday, the same day he pleaded not guilty to assault and domestic violence charges for allegedly beating up a woman at an Ohio hotel over the weekend.

Perkins Township officers said they responded to calls about a disturbance at the hotel and found Clark in the parking lot with bloody scratches on his nose and the odor of alcohol "emanating" from him, according to the police report. Inside, the found two broken lamps and the woman, Diamond Hurt, with a welt on her cheek and blood on one side of her head.

Hurt's 15-year-old brother told police Clark "grabbed (Hurt) by her throat, picked her up off the ground and slammed her to the ground while also landing on top of her."

Clark pleaded not guilty in Sandusky Municipal Court to single counts of domestic violence and assault. His bond was set at $3,000, and court officials say a pretrial hearing will be scheduled. No attorney was listed for Clark.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said the alleged behavior "is unacceptable and not what we want here associated with our program."

Hoke said the dismissal of the 6-foot-2, 270-pound senior was a "tragic situation." He expanded on that sentiment with reporters, saying "domestic abuse is tragic . it's tragic in our society and we all need to do something about it."

Hoke said recent high-profile domestic abuse cases in the NFL did not influence his decision to dismiss Clark. Rather, he said, after reviewing reports "there was no (other) decision to be made."

"Being a husband, being a father, having two sisters, it's a message that I send strongly to our football team about how we will handle ourselves with women," Hoke said. "We speak about it constantly, at least four times a year we have people from the university come in. I've told our guys since Day 1 that it won't be tolerated in this program."

Clark, who had 42 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks this season, was arrested in 2012 for stealing a laptop computer from a dorm room. He was suspended for one game by Hoke and paid $1,700 in fines while being sentenced under a law that cleared the felony from his record after he completed probation.

Given a second chance, Clark had turned into a senior leader for the Wolverines and drew praise for turning himself around after a rough childhood in Cleveland.

"I don't feel burned. That's part of mentoring," Hoke said. "You feel like you failed a little bit, let's put it that way."

The dismissal is the latest in a long line of off-the-field distractions faced by the Wolverines this season.

Receiver C'sonte York was kicked off the team in August after punching a man outside an Ann Arbor bar. Offensive lineman Graham Glasgow was suspended for the season opener after being charged with drunken driving in March. The team has largely struggled on the field, though a win at home this Saturday against Maryland would make the Wolverines (5-5, 3-3 Big Ten) eligible for a bowl game before their Nov. 29 regular-season finale at rival Ohio State.

Fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gardner said it was "pretty amazing" that off-the-field issues continue to be making headlines.

"But that's preparing us to deal with adversity in life. You're going to have a lot of adversity, things are going to come that you don't expect, and that's a lot of the things we've dealt with and I thought we've dealt with it well and continue to stay grounded and continue to work," Gardner said. "That's what you're going to have to do as a citizen in the world, that's what we're learning to do right now."

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