- Courtesy of Davide De Pas
BY MARK BURNS
Daily Sports Editor
Published June 13, 2010
“You have to look at the whole story before you pass judgment on a young man,” Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said after five-star recruit and defensive back Demar Dorsey signed with the Wolverines on Feb. 3, 2010. “Not everybody is perfect. Sometimes young people get in the wrong situation at the wrong time, but they’re found innocent or they’re acquitted. We feel comfortable that every guy we sign is going to be a great fit for not only the football program but for this university and our community.”
“Every kid we recruit, we spend an awful lot of time, probably more than anything on character,” offensive coordinator Calvin Magee said at the time. “Just like the other kids we recruited, we saw a kid that has good character and we had no problems with it.”
From both statements, both Rodriguez and Magee believed Dorsey’s prior encounters with the law could be overlooked — even though he was charged with two felonies, a burglary of an unoccupied dwelling in 2007 and a robbery with a deadly weapon in 2008.
And despite Dorsey’s non-conviction in both cases, the Office of Admissions still refused to grant him admission into the University two weeks ago. Dorsey signed and returned documents that released him from his Letter of Intent.
But on Sunday, Dorsey finally signed with Louisville to play football in the fall.
According to a statement posted by the University's website shortly after Dorsey's denial of admittance, “A Letter of Intent is not a guarantee of admission, and student-athletes are told they must meet not just NCAA but also U-M requirements. If student-athletes meet NCAA eligibility requirements, they are not automatically admitted to the U-M.”
Dorsey’s high school coach at Boyd Anderson, Mark James, was quoted by ESPN.com last Monday saying Dorsey had met NCAA requirements pertaining to his ACT score and grade-point average. But while he may have academically qualified to attend Michigan, the Office of Admissions has the final say whether or not a student or student-athlete is granted final admission to the University.
The Statement on Admissions and Student-Athletes continues by saying, “All undergraduate admissions decisions are based on the individualized, holistic review of information about each applicant that considers academic achievements and his or her potential to succeed, as well as many additional variables such as essays, letters of recommendation and other factors. In the end, some student-athletes who have received letters of intent are not admitted and that has always been the case.”
Dorsey’s father, Eddie Jackson, expressed his disappointment in an interview with the Detroit Free Press after the saddening news.
“Anybody would be disappointed if you’re not going to the school you hoped,” Jackson said. “He’s optimistic to go to school … He’s your son — got to try to keep your spirits up. You live and you learn. You look at it sometimes, a lot of things coming down hard on him through his past. Through all that he kept a good spirit. He’s a strong-headed kid.”
And while there continues to be speculation about whether other issues affected Dorsey’s situation — the lack of communication between the coaching staff and the Office of Admissions or the failure of Rodriguez to contact the University before offering Dorsey a scholarship, for example — there lies one certainty: Dorsey will not be a Michigan Wolverine but, rather, a Louisville Cardinal.
Without Dorsey in defensive coordinator Greg Robinson’s newly designed 3-3-5 scheme, the Wolverines won’t have the ESPN-ranked No. 2 safety in the country. And certainly the Lauderdale Lakes, Florida native’s top-end speed would have helped Michigan’s defense overcome last season’s 33.2 points per game.
Dorsey has found a new home under Cardinal first-year coach Charlie Strong. He'll look to have an immediate impact with Louisville, as it lacks depth at the defensive back position.