The Demar Dorsey saga is now over, and it has closed with the news that the standout defensive back from Florida will not be attending Michigan.
All week there has been a ton of discussion about what Dorsey's status with Michigan is, and in an interview with MGoBlog last night, even Dorsey himself sounded a little confused about what was going on.
TOM: So, where are you at with Michigan?
DEMAR: Right now, I'm still signed under my letter of intent, so I can't do anything yet until I hear back from them. 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. They had been checking on my grades earlier in the year, and I was on top of it. When I got home one day, my parents said that they were sending back my letter of intent. They were sending me a release form. I'm not sure what that means, or if it means I'm officially not in. I think because I signed a letter of intent, if I wanted to open up my recruitment, I would have to send that back to them. If I can't get in from the admissions, then I have to send that back. My mom said we need to do that, so we have to send it out tomorrow, and we'll go from there. I have the ACT score, and I have the core, so we're just waiting to hear what happens. I haven't heard anything from the coaches yet.
That last part about how he hadn't heard anything from the coaches is the most concerning to me. If I were in Dorsey's shoes and my status was up in the air, I would hope to get an update quite frequently so I have an idea of if I will get into the school I originally wanted to go to. While it wasn't a good sign that Michigan sent a release form to Dorsey a couple weeks ago, it doesn't sound like he had a clear answer one way or another that he was not admitted to U-M.
While Dorsey himself sounded unsure of what all of this meant, his father, Eddie Jackson, spoke to the Detroit News and made it clear that the release papers have been sent to U-M, essentially ending all hope that he will end up a Wolverine.
Jackson said Dorsey met Michigan's academic-entrance requirements with an 18 ACT and a 2.5 grade-point average.
"He signed a letter of intent but basically what happened, I guess he didn't qualify to their standards," Jackson said. "Admissions sent him a letter that they weren't going to admit him to the school and said to disregard the other letter (of intent) and was free again to start looking at other options."
Jackson also mentioned that offensive coordinator Calvin Magee alerted him a couple weeks ago that something was up with Dorsey's admittance to Michigan.
"Which I respect him for that," Jackson said of Magee. "We always asked for honest. He said things were looking hectic, and it doesn't look like he's getting in. The coaches did everything they possibly can. Everything, I heard, came from admissions
"My understanding was everything was good with his grades. He was doing his work in school, which he had slacked up on in the beginning. He started doing exactly what he needed to do."
Dorsey, as we already learned, was qualified based on the NCAA's standards. For Michigan, however, the admissions department decided that either his grades weren't good enough or his past legal issues were too big for the University to forget about. Another possible issue could be with the fact that Dorsey earned a high school diploma from a place called LifeSkills, an "alternative high school opportunity." Whatever the case, Dorsey is not coming to Michigan, and the fact that we and Dorsey himself seemingly only now know this is proof of some serious communications issues at U-M.
The impact of losing Dorsey on the football program is pretty obvious. Michigan is already hurting for talent in the secondary, and Dorsey was viewed as a guy that could come in and see immediate playing time. Now Michigan will be one man down already, hurting the depth not only for this year, but also for a couple years down the road since Dorsey's potential was so high.
The other big impact of losing Dorsey is more bad PR. Rich Rodriguez went to bat for Dorsey just to be able to offer him a scholarship in the first place, and once Dorsey decided on Michigan, Rodriguez had to vehemently defend him from the media, which quickly learned of some of Dorsey's past legal problems. It turns out all of that was for naught, because Dorsey won't even be coming to Michigan. It wouldn't look great for Michigan if they couldn't take Dorsey after he made another mistake (in the classroom or in the legal world), but that's the thing, as far as we know, he didn't make a mistake and did all of what was required. Despite all of that, Dorsey got burned by Michigan's admissions department, which apparently failed to make his denial to the University very clear.
Behind the scenes, this once again points a serious issue with the communication between departments. We saw that when Michigan released its response to the NCAA, showing evidence of how bad communication between the football program and compliance department led to NCAA violations. Well, now we are getting a glimpse into the apparent lack of communication between the admissions department and the football program, because based on Dorsey's interview with MGoBlog, he wasn't sure if the release form was just in case or a definite answer to the question of whether or not he was going to get in.
I will concede that it's tough to make too harsh of a judgment because so much of this is behind the scenes and this is such a confusing situation, but on the surface it certainly looks like the University of Michigan severely mishandled this whole thing. Whether it's another communication problem between departments or a lack of communication with the recruit, something has to be done to make sure a situation like this doesn't happen again.
Dorsey should have had a definitive answer on if he was going to get in or not long before June. I know final grades can be the deciding factor, but U-M should have been ready and had multiple plans in place for when his final grades came in. If that wasn't even the problem and it was his past character issues, then the admissions department should have denied him months ago since they didn't just suddenly come out.
The other main problem I'm having is with the lack of communication with Dorsey. He didn't seem to have a great understanding of the process and if he was in or out. Cut and dry, coaches or somebody from the admissions department should have told him what was going on, and it really seems like it was more of a "something has come up; we'll get back to you when we hear more" situation. Problem is I don't think people did get back to Dorsey, instead just relying on a release form to tell him he didn't get in.
As a football fan, this news is concerning because my concerns with the secondary have gone way up. As a student at the University of Michigan, this news is concerning because the whole process seemed to be handled very poorly. Dorsey made his pledge to come to Michigan, got the grades to do it (according to the NCAA), and then got burned in the end. Perhaps we are just getting a story with lots of missing details, but like I said before, on the surface it seems like Michigan screwed this situation up big time.