The Shawn Conway Issue Comment Count

Brian July 28th, 2010 at 12:33 PM

shawn-conwayA newspaper profile of WR commit Shawn Conway mentions some trouble he got into recently:

“All my dreams came true when I got my scholarship,” he said. “I felt comfortable up there right away with the staff and the players, a lot of whom I already knew. It’s a natural fit. They make me feel at home and I’m excited for the chance to play in the Big Ten.”

Unfortunately, Conway encountered a setback in his journey. In April, he was suspended from school as a result of disciplinary reasons. He is trying to put that situation behind him and learn from his mistakes.

“I did something really, really stupid and I had to pay the price,” he said. “It should have never happened and I take responsibility for that it did. But I learned from the situation and now I’m past it and moving forward”

This won't be a surprise to people who keep their ear to the ground, as rumors about Conway's trouble have been flying around since late May, when the high school paper (of which there can only be one: it's called the Highlander) published an article about an anonymous student who'd been caught breaking into lockers on tape.

Internet buzz suggested that was Conway and a couple of independent sources confirmed it; now that Conway's been quoted saying he "did something really, really stupid" it's better to put two and two together instead of let that vague problem float out there to get Freeped. The stupid act is the one detailed in the Highlander. The article itself says that the secret being maintained by the principal (who cited the usual FERPA concerns) was of the open variety:

“I mean, when someone is involved in a disciplinary situation, then it really would be violating their privacy to discuss it at all,” Piper said. “Because they have been disciplined, they have a right to have that not made public around the school.” …

However, the secret is out.

Word of the suspension and the video tape quickly spread throughout the Seaholm hallways since the incident was captured on tape April 21.

The article goes on to describe a "tall African-American male" taking approximately 50 dollars from a locker… you get the point, and you draw a line from A to B. At this point it's common knowledge around Seaholm and since it's time to publicly acknowledge it in the Oakland Press it seems appropriate to disclose the nature of the offense since it's a two on the Richter scale.

As long as Conway stays on the straight and narrow this shouldn't impact his status with Michigan, and since he's had an improbably tough upbringing (parents divorced at four, mother sent to prison at ten, now the legal guardian of his coach) some sympathy is in order. Anything else and I imagine Conway will join the ranks of Kelly Baraka since a guy who can't keep it together for a year is not someone college coaches like to take chances on, but for now he's fine.

This has been a conflicted public service announcement.



July 28th, 2010 at 12:38 PM ^

those close to Conway agree that he's an otherwise upstanding young man who made a very stupid decision.  i think we can expect him to steer clear of trouble.


July 28th, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

Unfortunately I've known about this since my son who attends Seaholm showed me the article last May.  I believe in second chances and I hope Shawn takes advantage of this.  He has a great opportunity awaiting him.  Lets hope he learned from this and becomes a young man that Michigan can be proud of.


July 28th, 2010 at 12:40 PM ^

as long as he never does anything like it again. He may, however, have trouble with his teammates now. NOBODY wants to be friends with a guy who might steal from them.

Maize.Blue Wagner

July 28th, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

Having the facts laid out before the Freep gets a hold of the story is a good thing.  All the best to Conway, I hope he can stay on the straight and narrow for his sake primarily and for the football team. 


July 28th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

I think they are more likely to let a local kid slide than they are a non-local kid. The 5 people who still have Freep subscriptions are more likely to sympathize with Shawn Conway or Marc Dell or B.J. Cunningham and the rest of the Potluck Eight but Dorsey is just another thug from a land far, far, away. The Freep gets to look like they're taking the high ground by taking Rich Rod to task for "Desperately Seeking Dorsey" as well as for fellating Dantonio because he gives local guys chanceses.

I know, I know, I'm giving them a lot of credit. I don't think they're stupid, I just think they're assholes.


July 28th, 2010 at 12:49 PM ^

"now the legal guardian of his coach"

I think you mean either "now the legal ward of his coach" or "now under the legal guardianship of his coach." His coach is the legal guardian.


July 28th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

I thought for a moment that

mother sent to prison at ten, now the legal guardian of his coach

might indicate a weird twist, where Conway's mother was the guardian of his coach, who was in turn Conway's guardian.  I was both relieved and disappointed when I realized this made no sense whatsoever.


July 28th, 2010 at 12:50 PM ^

This was a school-related issue and one that did not require real police involvement, so it shouldn't be a big deal.

This is one of those "I did some stupid shit as a kid" moments and I hope it doesn't affect him too much in a negative way.


July 28th, 2010 at 12:52 PM ^

I hope he can hold it together.  A kid with that upbringing could use the structure of football/college to set an precedence for the rest of his life.  


July 28th, 2010 at 1:03 PM ^

It was deemed not serious enough to warrant any police involvement at all, he's paid restitution to the wronged party, and has been publicly outed as the culprit - something that's probably pretty embarrassing.

He's now under a new guardian (and, as the article points out, he didn't get a whole lot of parenting from previous guardians), and as long as he stays out of trouble in the future, it should be a non-issue.

There's a reason that the legal system expunges juvenile records for almost all non-violent crimes: kids learn from their mistakes. Hopefully Shawn has done the same.


July 28th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

that Shawn Conway will graduate from UM without any blemishes on his record. I just hope he gets to lug around a couple or three Big 10 championship rings and one National Championship ring along with his diploma.


July 28th, 2010 at 3:05 PM ^

I thought I read a while ago that since his coach is now his guardian and since he lives outside the school district that Shawn may not be able to play his senior year?

Or was that resolved?  I would hate for him to have this issue come out and then not be able to play his senior year.


July 28th, 2010 at 1:11 PM ^


While stealing isn't right and needs to be dealt with, this kid shouldn't get shunned (see what I did there?) by everyone for the rest of his life.  He got kicked out of the school, that is the penalty. 

He'll have a shorter leash now too. 

Do you check this website at work?  That could be considered stealing.


July 28th, 2010 at 1:02 PM ^

You don't need to apologize for not thinking it's ok to steal money from a student's locker. My hunch is that few people, including those on this website, think it's ok. The point is that everyone makes mistakes, and this one incident isn't necessarily a deal breaker, particularly if the student exhibits otherwise good behavior etc.

El Jeffe

July 28th, 2010 at 1:11 PM ^

What would "not shrugging it off" look like? Should we wag our e-fingers at him? Should we start a petition to have his offer revoked?

What would "not making excuses" look like? Should we scold him on this and other internet sites? Dress him down in a letter?

I ordinarily detest with an unreasonably white-hot passion the phrase "it is what it is," but it seems to fit here. Kid steals some stuff, is caught, is humiliated, is not thrown in jail, appears to be remorseful, and probably understands that he's now walking the line between Baraka and Iverson (not to say that smoking weed is equivalent to allegedly hitting a woman in the head with a chair in a bowling alley melee).

Time will tell what he has learned, but what else are we supposed to do about it?

big gay heart

July 28th, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

Are the absolute worst part of the blogosphere. Give me one reason why this was neccesary? If the Freep wants to run stories like this, fine, let them. It isn't your job to outderp them.

big gay heart

July 28th, 2010 at 1:34 PM ^

No, it shouldn't be mentioned, especially given that the said post contains the phrase "As long as Conway stays on the straight and narrow this shouldn't impact his status with Michigan" and uses a fucking high school newspaper as a source.

These are kids, dude.


July 28th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

Imagine having the worst thing you ever did as a teenager scrutinized publicly by thousands of people who never met you. 

I F'd up in high school.  Nothing illegal, but I was suspended for a week.  It was tough and humiliating, and none of it was broadcast to the whole country, or at least not 100s or 1000s of people at my future university.  College was a fresh start, a chance to not screw up again, and it wouldn't have been if my personal life had been splayed all over blogs and newspapers.

Things turned out great for me.  That owes much to the fact I had a stable home, two present parents, and no difficult background to speak of.  Conway didn't have those things growing up.  If he did something bad enough, like an act of violence, I would trust the administrators at Michigan to keep him off the campus.  I don't need to know why.  Have no interest in ever knowing the "real story" about Demar Dorsey, either.  They're kids, man.

He needs to take whatever punishment the school metes out for whatever he did, learn that actions have consequences, straighten up, fly right, and make the most of his opportunity at Michigan.  But let's let kids keep their personal lives personal, and limit our scrutiny on a sports fan site to what he's doing as a player.  Let the folks with access to the facts and who actually (gasp!) know Shawn Conway do the rest.