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Hurst, for his part, said he hasn’t made a de­ci­sion yet, though he ex­pects to in the next week or so af­ter dis­cussing it with his fam­ily, with cur­rent and former team­mates and with Michi­gan coach Jim Har­baugh, who said ear­lier in the week he was open to dis­cussing it with any of his play­ers.

“We’ll talk about it, we’ll be able to fig­ure it out,” Har­baugh said. “I’ll be sup­port­ive in the con­ver­sa­tion and the dis­cus­sions about it.”

Added Hurst: “I def­i­nitely want his ad­vice, be­ing the head coach and just hav­ing so many con­nec­tions like that. I re­ally value his opin­ion. So I def­i­nitely want to get his opin­ion, ask him. ‘What would he do if I was his son?’ and those type of things.”

Of course, those types of things are of­ten what get left out of these dis­cus­sions in the me­dia and among fans who can’t see past their own root­ing in­ter­est.

So here’s hop­ing Hurst does the right thing for him­self now, even if it feels wrong to oth­ers, maybe even in­clud­ing some of his own team­mates.

Butt’s ad­vice

Hurst said he planned to talk to former Michi­gan tight end Jake Butt, among oth­ers, in the com­ing days. And he should, be­cause his ex-team­mate is now be­ing held up by many as the poster child for risk as­sess­ment.

Butt suf­fered a torn ACL in last year’s Or­ange Bowl and that in­jury that cost him an es­ti­mated $2.5 mil­lion in guar­an­teed money, at least, as he fell from a pro­jected sec­ond-round draft pick all the way to the fifth round.

It also cost him his en­tire rookie sea­son, as the Bron­cos placed him on in­jured re­serve last month af­ter a brief re­turn to the prac­tice field in Oc­to­ber, 10 months af­ter surgery.

Butt has in­sisted pub­licly that he doesn’t re­gret his de­ci­sion to play in the bowl game. Yet Hurst ad­mit­ted Thurs­day “it’s ex­tremely tough” to shake the mem­ory of that in­jury from his own mind, if not his own de­ci­sion.

“Just be­ing there and see­ing him go down, it was heartwrench­ing just to see the emo­tion on his face, his fam­ily’s face, and it was just so tough,” Hurst said.

“It was re­ally hard for me to watch that last year.”

And be­fore you try to make any claims about in­sur­ance poli­cies that are now com­mon­place in col­lege foot­ball and bas­ket­ball, you might want to take a look at one. Hurst, who turned down a a chance to go pro a year ago, signed his be­fore the sea­son, and he half-jok­ingly says he still doesn’t know what it says.

NCAA rules

Per NCAA rules, “ex­cep­tional stu­dent-ath­letes” can sign up for dis­abil­ity and loss-of-value in­sur­ance, and some ath­letic de­part­ments of­fer fi­nan­cial help through catch-all Stu­dent As­sis­tance Funds. The NCAA also al­lows waivers for play­ers to bor­row against fu­ture earn­ings. But poli­cies to cover po­ten­tial losses for a first-round tal­ent can cost $60-80,000 eas­ily.

Con­sider that Butt’s dis­abil­ity policy last year in­cluded a $2 mil­lion loss-of-value rider that cost an ad­di­tional $25,000 by it­self, ac­cord­ing to an ESPN re­port.

And while that might have helped re­coup some of what was lost fi­nan­cially when he suf­fered nerve dam­age along with the torn knee lig­a­ment, it’s never that sim­ple col­lect­ing on an in­sur­ance claim.

Like­wise, what works for some may not work for oth­ers, as Hurst said Thurs­day, not­ing that the abil­ity to “go above and be­yond what the uni­ver­sity does by pro­vid­ing more money for ex­tra in­sur­ance, I’m also not in a sit­u­a­tion to do.”

He was raised by a sin­gle mother who took out a sec­ond mort­gage just to help pay tu­ition for the pri­vate high school he at­tended near Bos­ton. He has worked as an Uber driver while in col­lege to make ex­tra money.

So when peo­ple talk about col­lege ath­letes and com­pen­sa­tion and the pay-to-play de­bate, “I think that’s an­other is­sue that peo­ple have to fo­cus on,” Hurst said.

And if a soft-spo­ken, heartand-soul player like this de­cides to fo­cus on his fu­ture, while his coaches es­sen­tially do the same, us­ing bowl prac­tices to prep for next sea­son, well, I don’t un­der­stand how any­one could have an is­sue with that.

David Gu­ral­nick/Detroit News

Michi­gan de­fen­sive line­man Mau­rice Hurst said he hasn’t made a de­ci­sion yet to play in the Out­back Bowl against South Carolina.

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