ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Thursday he prefers to wait until the end of the season before evaluating his coaches, suggesting Brady Hoke is safe for now at the helm of the school’s storied football program.

“We feel strongly at the University of Michigan athletic department that coaches deserve every opportunity to compete through the season that they have prepared for and that their student-athletes are committed to, and then we evaluate coaches at the end of the season,” Brandon said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We do that with every one of our 31 coaches. It’s no different for football.”

Brandon and Hoke have both received criticism for the handling of injured quarterback Shane Morris in last weekend’s loss to Minnesota — and that’s not the only issue facing the athletic director following a rough September. Michigan is 2-3 and showing little progress in Hoke’s fourth season as coach. Attendance at Michigan Stadium has dipped and there was even a student protest this week calling for Brandon to be fired.

Florida State

EXPERTS SAYS CIVIL SUIT AGAINST WINSTON LIKELY: Jameis Winston avoided criminal charges after a woman said he sexually assaulted her. But the Florida State quarterback can’t seem to move on from the case as a possible civil lawsuit and potential punishment from the university looms ahead.

The bottom line: it’s not over.

Legal experts say the woman has four years from the December 2012 encounter to file a lawsuit against Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and current leader of the top-ranked and defending national champion Seminoles. The case could also be settled out of court.

That could mean that she’ll seek a chunk of the millions of dollars he could command in a future NFL contract.


FRESHMAN DB FORCED TO QUIT FOOTBALL: Georgia freshman cornerback Rico Johnson will have to give up football because of a neurological condition.

The school announced Thursday that Johnson had problems in practice this week and underwent a medical evaluation. Doctors found that Johnson risked a permanent spinal cord injury if he continued to play contact sports.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said Johnson will remain on scholarship through his graduation. The 5-foot-11, 174-pounder played in Georgia’s first four games and was credited with five tackles.


FOUR PLAYERS CHARGED WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT: Kentucky freshmen Stanley “Boom” Williams, Dorian Baker, Drew Barker and Tymere Dubose were charged with disorderly conduct for their involvement with air pistol shots being fired near a residence hall on the South campus Sunday night.

The four have an Oct. 28 appearance in Fayette District Court in Lexington. The class B misdemeanor could result in up to 90 days in jail.

The charges come three days after Kentucky coach Mark Stoops suspended the players for Saturday night’s game against South Carolina for violating team rules. The four could face additional internal discipline for their parts in the incident.

No one was injured Sunday night, but police issued an alert advising people to stay indoors on the Lexington campus as they investigated.