staff, April 27, 2015

John Beilein and freshman guard Austin Hatch announced Monday that Hatch will move to a medical scholarship and become an undergraduate student assistant.

"This is, and has been, a very difficult decision; one that we have been discussing with Austin over the last few months," Beilein said in a team release. "Together, we made this decision at the end of the season and have been waiting for approval from the Big Ten for his status change. With the request for a medical exemption waiver approved (April 27), we are ready to move forward with the next steps in Austin's career."

Hatch, a well-documented survivor of two plane crashes, came all the way back after sustaining life-threatening injuries to enroll at U-M this past fall. He made his return official in his third game of the season against Coppin State on Dec. 22, when he entered the game and recorded his first career point on a free throw after being fouled. He played in a total of five games this season.

"Basketball has always been a huge part of my life, however, it is what I play, not who I am," Hatch said. "It was a goal of mine to return to the game that I love so much and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to play for Michigan. After all that I have been through, it was a dream come true for me to put on a Michigan jersey and get into a game at Crisler Center.

"As I have progressed through this first season, I know that I am not where I want to be, both academically and athletically. My priority is academics and I feel that it is in my best interest to devote more time to my studies. This decision honors my father, and it is something that I know he would agree with and be proud of me for making."

Beilein said Hatch will remain an "important part" of the Wolverines.

"I am honored to be, and will be, a part of the Michigan Basketball program going forward — in whatever capacity my studies allow me to be," Hatch said. "I am a Michigan Wolverine for life. Again, I am honored and truly grateful that I am in a position to say that."

Read's full release.

Here's Hatch making his debut in an exhibition game vs Wayne State:

And here's Hatch sinking a free throw in the exhibition: