There are many descriptors for Drew Sharp; "provacateur" (on a weekly basis); "slanderer" (for his libleous misquoting of Rush Limbaugh that he repeated and then laughed off in national interivews); "incomeptent" (for his low-level and crummy Free Press writing).
But today brings a new adjective into the mix; "Disgust."
Today's Free Press features this quote from Sharpton, er Sharp: "He [Demar Dorsey] is just another pawn, another easily disposable piece in a meat-grinding business where athletes are judged more by what they bring Saturday afternoons in sold-out stadiums rather than Monday mornings in half-filled classrooms."
So let's consider this business of "pawns." On the one hand we have Michigan; following the law (the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act), and declining to discuss anything with respect to the admissions process for Demar Dorsey. Despite the fact that writers (and I use that term VERY loosely in Sharp's case) like Sharp will continue to write the story and make presumptions, assumptions and speculation despite not having any facts about the details of the admissions process.
And then, we have "the pawns." I can think of three pawns, and the institution that has most abused them. The three pawns are Je'Ron Stokes, Brandin Hawthorne and Demar Dorsey.
The institution that has abused all three of them is the Detroit Free Press.
The way that Stokes and Hawthorne were abused was the outrageous misquoting of them on the front page of the Sunday Free Press on August 30, 2009. Taking quotes form them that implied a terrible breach of NCAA rules. A "breach" that, after the NCAA and Michigan investigated, turned out to have been a fabrication of the Free Press. (Other irregularites, as we all know, were found. I am focusing here only on the abuse of interviews with Stokes and Hawthorne on media day in 2009.)
The way that Demar Dorsey was abused was the elevation of his old juvenile arrest record to a headline story, and the transformation of his college application process to a quasi-criminal investigation.
There was a reason for the treatment of these teenagers as pawns, by the Free Press. The Free Press is involved in a concerted campaign against Rich Rodriguez. The Free Press is motivated in part by the personal animus of one of its reporters, Michael Rosenberg, against the new coaching staff with which he enjoys a less-cozy relationship than what he had in the Lloyd Carr era. The Free Press also features the knee-jerk defensiveness of its publisher, Paul Anger, who is always eager to try to make any story into a crusade for rightness. In the Michigan case, the Free Press sought to set itself up as the protector of collegiate student-athletes, by investigating NCAA rules that Anger wrote
"This apparent excess [what Rosenberg and Snyder reported] goes against the concept of student-athlete as embraced by the NCAA, which years ago set up rules trying to ensure that players have a semblance of a normal college experience, that they have time for class, that they are not at greater risk of injury in excessive drills and that overzealous coaches can't gain a competitive advantage."
What. A. Crock. There's no better evidence, of the Free Press' hypocrisy and malevolence, than what happened with Stokes and Hawthorne, who as freshmen found themselves in anguish, in the office of their head football coach, wondering what kind of damage they had done to him and to their team and their school. And of course, nothing said by Stokes or Hawthorne turned into a substantive allegation by the NCAA.
So when Drew Sharp talks about the treatment of student-athletes as "pawns," it makes me nauseous. He should know about using young men as "pawns." His paper has developed a certain expertise in it.
Drew Sharp. Disgusting.