Detroit Free Press Columnist Goes After 17-Year-Old Signee

Timothy SaundersCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2010

The Detroit Free Press is at it again; this time, however, they aren't citing anonymous disgruntled former players and naive freshmen. Drew Sharp, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, was on WKTA following Rich Rodriguez's national signing day press conference.

The discussion started about Michigan's signing class, but took a pretty hard left turn once the name Demar Dorsey came up. Sharp attempted to make a crude joke about Dorsey's sub-4.4 40 time by suggesting that it was taken while avoiding police.

For those of you who don't know, Demar Dorsey had a "run-in" with the law back in 2007 and 2008, via

"Dorsey, ranked the No. 2 safety and No. 12 player in the country by, was charged with two felonies while in high school, according to court records in Broward County, Fla. He was acquitted by a jury on a 2008 charge of robbery with a deadly weapon, and had an earlier charge of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling dismissed."

Sharp took it one step further by comparing Demar Dorsey's situation to those of Justin Feagin and O.J. Simpson, which in his words "most of us still think he did it."

Not at all to say that O.J. is innocent (in fact, let's just leave that can of worms sealed). He is saying that because the majority believes something, it's true (in the words of Kay from MIB "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it").

Not only that, but because the majority believe this is true for this 47-year-old man, it means that we can blindly apply it to this 16-year-old kid, when the only thing they have in common is that they were both acquitted of charges, not even the same charges.

Sharp then asked Rodriguez if he was "comfortable" putting his reputation on the line for Demar Dorsey. Given the situation, that's not an unreasonable thing to ask a head coach.

Rodriguez was quoted as saying that he wouldn't have gone after Dorsey if he saw any character issues. Personally I'm more inclined to believe the guy who scouted, talked to and visited the kid for the last few months, than the guy who looked up Demar Dorsey and found that he had two charges when he was 16 of which he was acquitted.

Maybe I'm putting too much faith in the guy who's researched this recruit for the past months, who's met with, scouted, and talked to him for the past few months, but something tells me he would know more about the guys character, and whether he fits the profile of a guy heading for future legal issues, than a columnist with an agenda, who more than likely didn't start looking at this kid until he decommitted from Florida.

After going off on a tangent about national signing day becoming a sham and essentially attacking guys like Todd McShay and Tom Luginbill, because their jobs are to "swoon over the possibilities of these 18 year olds" and adding in some personal stuff which left me wondering who he was talking about anymore and how we got on the subject of teenage girls and their boyfriends, he said that "Dorsey is another example of a kid choking on his own ego, and thinking he can get away with murder."

Bear in mind that Demar Dorsey wasn't proven guilty, but was acquitted (with doesn't mean innocent, but it's not a guilty sentence), and that the extent of Sharp's logical evidence of Dorsey's character flaws is the fact that acquitted doesn't mean innocent, so he could be guilty, even though the case is closed.

And yet in the past two years, Dorsey has shown no signs of criminal behavior, nor has he given us any reason to believe that he is guilty of a heinous crime.

So Sharp's entire argument that Demar Dorsey has extreme character flaws is based entirely upon his own speculation.

Without looking into this story other than the previously stated facts, Sharp then went on saying that Dorsey deserved no second chance (whether or not he actually used up his first chance) and that he (Dorsey) had not learned "one damn thing through the close calls he's had through the justice system," his reasoning behind this claim is that Demar Dorsey has not gotten into any legal trouble since that we know of.

Once again, Drew Sharp bases his argument purely on his own speculation that this kid has since commited crimes. As Matt Shephard responded, "You're ready to throw this kid away at 16, you're assuming the worst when the kid was acquitted."

Now I wonder, who the hell is Drew Sharp that he can decide if a kid is worth anything at the age of 16? Who the hell does he think he is, that he can decide if someone deserves a second chance?

Sharp then asked a good question, "If you're Michigan, why take the chance." To his credit, this is actually a very good question, and a very important one as well, which has a very simple answer, because after all that recruiting I mentioned earlier, they have reasonable faith that he is not a liability. And like I said I think that they'd know better than Drew Sharp.

But then again it is Drew Sharp's job to decide what we need to know, and then inform us of what that is, just like it's Barack Obama's job to inform us of what our priorities are, right?

At that point Sharp was asked this question by a caller "Is there no room in your universe for a wrongful arrest? and insufficient evidence?", now tell me if this answers the question sufficiently "I usually see these episodes with high profile high school athletes, they find a way to protect their opportunities to play major college football and basketball."

Where in that is there an answer to the question? It sure as hell seems as though he's attempting to avoid it to me.

Take from it what you will, but given the raw facts, and what I've read from the responses of his coaches, who undoubtedly know him better than Drew Sharp, I believe Dorsey is a good kid, and a great-looking player, and I look forward to seeing him on The Team.

You can listen to this discussion here, as provided by


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