For the past few months, Michigan insiders have believed that the biggest hurdle facing Demar Dorsey on his path to Ann Arbor was whether or not he would qualify academically. Yesterday, news came out that Dorsey had indeed met the NCAA eligibility requirements, but his status was still very much up in the air when it came to being admitted to Michigan:
A source on Monday indicated Dorsey has “qualified, he has made it,” but the University of Michigan has not admitted him. “That’s where the hang-up is right now.”
Dorsey, according to the source, has not yet been notified of his status at Michigan, because the football staff is still working to have him admitted.
“I don’t know anything yet,” Mark James, Dorsey’s coach at Boyd Anderson High, said Monday by telephone. “I’m just like you guys I’m trying to find out something officially.”
“Demar is an NCAA qualifier with a 2.5 or 2.6 GPA and an 18 score on the ACT,” said James. “But he hasn’t yet been granted at Michigan.”
Controversy surrounded Dorsey’s commitment to Michigan when it was disclosed that he was arrested twice as a juvenile. He was acquitted on a charge of robbery with a deadly weapon in 2008 and had a previous charge of burglary dismissed.
James suggested that some of Dorsey’s issues with his admission may stem from his previous transgressions with the law.
“It’s very possible,” James added. “I’ve been talking with the coaches [at Michigan] and they continue to work on it.”
So, Dorsey (1) was cleared by someone in Michigan’s athletic department to be offered a scholarship and (2) qualified by the NCAA’s standards, yet in all likelihood won’t be admitted to Michigan because he won’t be cleared by the admissions office? This sounds like a miserable failure in communication between the coaching staff, the athletic department, and the school’s admissions office, according to Brian Cook at MGoBlog (emphasis mine):
This situation is the Draper/Labadie/compliance dysfunction all over again, with miscommunication between Rodriguez—who went to bat for Dorsey with a provost before signing day and got a signoff on him—and admissions replacing the lack of communication between the football administration and compliance. It’s a different sclerotic artery, but the root cause is the same.
So here we are, with a kid who said he’d come to Michigan having held up his end of the bargain only to get stiffarmed by some bureaucrats hell-bent on being a hooker who won’t do that. If there was a time to shoot Dorsey down it was before he signed a letter of intent, kicked off a media firestorm, and got everyone all excited about having someone in the secondary approximately as fast as Denard Robinson. Saying “we didn’t mean it” and kicking the guy to Florida State or a JUCO or somewhere else validates the firestorm, makes other high-caliber guys worried that they will be cast aside when admissions turns him down, and, most importantly, is totally unfair to Dorsey.
Lost in the discussion of whether or not a player with Dorsey’s academic and legal background should be recruited by, and admitted to, Michigan is the fact that the team (and therefore the University) has already extended Dorsey an offer to attend the school on a football scholarship, an offer which he accepted in February, and he has now reached the NCAA’s requirements for being eligible to use said scholarship. At this point — unless the admissions office has found a wholly justifiable reason that Dorsey should not attend the university beyond what was known about him prior to his signing a Letter of Intent — the only reasonably fair thing to do is to honor the scholarship offer that the school extended to Dorsey in February.
Will this happen? It sounds incredibly unlikely, and for the reasons outlined by Brian this is not only an embarrassment to the school and the football program but a horribly unfair situation for a high school player who made a firm commitment to Michigan (expecting an equally firm commitment on the part of the school) and did the necessary work to make himself eligible. Is Dorsey any more or less qualified than other recruits (like Marques Slocum and Justin Turner) who weren’t initially eligible when they committed to Michigan but eventually worked their way to Ann Arbor? I don’t know, but the fact remains that Michigan extended him an offer to play football at the Division I collegiate level and, by the NCAA’s standards, Dorsey should be able to play Division I collegiate football.
I hope that further details emerge that will help clarify this situation, so we can tell whether Michigan is truly balking on a commitment to Demar Dorsey or if there are other issues surrounding his admission that has left the school with no other choice but to not admit him. As it stands right now, I’m very disappointed in how this recruitment has played out, and above all I hope Dorsey gets a fair shot to play football at a Division I school, wherever that school may be.