ESPN.com reported yesterday that Demar Dorsey, although qualified to play for an FBS football program, is still being held up by the Michigan admissions office.
Today, MGoBlog.com is reporting in an interview with Dorsey, the highly skilled recruit admitted the admissions office at Michigan told him he likely won’t be able to attend school there.
“They told me that they don’t think I can get in with admissions about two weeks ago or a week ago, but they weren’t sure," Dorsey said. They had been checking on my grades earlier in the year, and I was on top of it.”
Ever since Dorsey announced Michigan as the school he intends to play for, there has been controversy surrounding his past criminal record.
Dorsey has a history, albeit distant, of getting into trouble with the law.
Namely, two dismissed burglary charges as well as an association to a third.
It should also be noted the second burglary occurred while Dorsey awaited trial for the first.
Many feel given his legal troubles Dorsey shouldn’t have the opportunity to play football at one of the premier academic universities in the country.
As someone who attended that same University, and believes it to be the greatest university in the entire country, I’m fully on the side of those who have such feelings.
But I’m not on the side of the academic office.
Regardless of whether Dorsey committed these crimes or not, the University of Michigan offered him a spot on the team over six months ago.
If they regret such a decision, that is on them—not him.
If you don’t want recruits with checkered pasts to commit to your school, then don’t recruit them.
It is not as though Michigan didn’t know about Dorsey’s criminal record before they offered him a position on their team.
We’re not talking about an average undergraduate student who was just one of the annually admitted 1,000 or so.
Dorsey’s record didn’t just slip through the cracks of the admissions office before recruitment due to the immense student body.
No, we’re talking about ESPN’s No. 12 overall recruit.
If the admissions office doesn’t know about the No. 12 recruit’s legal past in advance of his recruitment, there is a lot more to talk about within the program than just Demar Dorsey.
And there is no question this hold up is about his legal past.
In no way, shape, or form is it about his grades, which were questionable at the beginning of the year.
According to his coach Mark James, Dorsey has a 2.5 or a 2.6 GPA and an 18 on his ACT, which fully qualifies him to play at an NCAA FBS school.
Although qualifying academically to play at an FBS school doesn’t necessarily mean having the academics to play at Michigan, when you look at past recruit’s academic records, they directly mirror Dorsey’s.
I would love to say that all the athletes who attend Michigan are held to the same admissions standards as the rest of the student body, but like any other university, they aren’t.
In fact, if you go by rivals.com’s rankings, out of the other three four-star recruits Michigan obtained as commits for 2010, their comparative G.P.A.’s are 2.5, 2.7, and 2.5.
Meaning, out of the top recruits in the entire Michigan class, Dorsey is either on par or in the top 50 percent in regard to G.P.A.
While the entire faction who isn’t a fan of the Rodriguez era to date would like to say that such grades are only part of Rodriguez’s recruiting, and in past years such grades would never be allowed, this just isn’t true.
In Lloyd Carr’s final year, rivals.com lists three four-star recruits with a G.P.A. below a 2.7.
One of Carr’s four-star recruits, Cobrani Mixon, somehow even made it in with a 2.3.
Unbeknown to many, he also had a legal past of a dismissed misdemeanor for knowingly damaging somebody’s car (all I could find out from the clerk of courts is that it was a Jeep).
After all of that—the low GPA, the misdemeanor charge, Mixon transferred out of Michigan after his first year.
So what are we left with then for Dorsey?
A legal record the university should have been well aware of before handing out a scholarship, and an academic record which is both historically the norm for someone of his talent, as well as one of the best G.P.A.’s out of the top recruits in his class.
Perhaps the most important component of this entire issue isn’t how Dorsey’s acceptance or rejection will affect the Wolverines in 2010, but instead, how it will affect future recruiting.
There is no doubt the University has already taking a huge public relations hit in the world of recruits.
By offering Dorsey a scholarship, and then later retracting it, Michigan will be seen in the eyes of future recruits as untrustworthy for quite some time.
When it comes to future scholarship offers and shown interest, if a recruit has a misdemeanor charge, a child, or any sort of questionable past, he may not trust Michigan to hold good to their end of the bargain, so long as he holds good to his.
As evidenced by this whole debacle, apparently offers and letters of intent aren’t taken as seriously in the admissions office in Ann Arbor as they are at other schools.
As for Dorsey, he originally verbally committed to Florida, but came to Michigan instead at the last minute in order to turn his life around.
If Michigan decides to reject his intent to play for them, Dorsey will be left with the strong possibility of having to play at a junior college.
Had accepted his original offer, he would have had the opportunity of becoming a repeat FBS National Champion and receiving a top tier education.
Now, he will likely receive his education as a “juco."
Hardly a fair trade.
Future recruits will no doubt look at the University with a skeptic’s eye—if they look at it at all.
Come recruiting season, expect Michigan to fall down a notch on a majority of player’s lists.
Who could blame them?
If you buy the top football teams in the country, would you come to a recently failing program, with NCAA sanctions, who has a history of flip-flopping on its commits?
If Michigan has any hope of turning its football program around, they had better let Dorsey in.
If not for keeping their commitment to him, then for keeping their program alive the next decade.
**On a side note, congrats to Michigan Baseball player, and high school friend, Ryan LaMarre for being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds today.
Never would I have imagined the local neighborhood kid I used to play roller hockey with as an adolescent would become a drafted MLB prospect.
Best wishes Ryan.