View Michigan AD Jim Hackett’s Open Letter to the Michigan Community

It wouldn’t be hyperbole to claim that Michigan’s No. 12 improbable last-second loss to Michigan State’s No. 4 is the most heartbreaking loss in college football history.

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The Wolverines, losers of six of the last seven meetings in the rivalry entering Saturday afternoon, never hung around before lining up for what appeared to be a punt with 10 seconds left. Not so fast. Punter Blake O’Neill missed and Michigan State‘s Jalen Watts-Jackson picked up the ball and returned it for the starting touchdown.

Just like that, Michigan’s rivalry win, its likely top-10 national finish, and its ability to control its destiny in the Big Ten East race were all gone. Naturally, Michigan Stadium became quiet and the fans were amazed as rival Spartans celebrated the unthinkable finish.

After the emotional game, some Michigan fans sent O’Neill nasty comments about the snap’s mishandling, to the point that interim Michigan TD Jim Hackett decided he needed to send an open letter to the Michigan community.

Here is part of Hackett’s message:

“Today I became aware of the shocking reality that our community who cares so much about this program would send hurtful, malicious and vicious comments to any of our students,” Hackett wrote. “To be clear, such comments come from a small minority, none of which reflect our institution.

“The program I know in MICHIGAN is about the team of the team of the team. The people that I have been associated with all my life around this fantastic program – some who are alive and some who have passed – would never, I repeat never, spread blame.”

Read Hackett’s full letter in the tweet above.