Unverified Voracity With Actual Number

Submitted by Brian on June 9th, 2010 at 2:05 PM

The view from admissions. There is virtually nothing that can convince me that not taking Demar Dorsey is a good idea as long as the university makes a good-faith effort to educate him once he arrives. What you do with the poor black kid after he shows up is what reflects the character of the institution. Admissions obviously feels differently, and the feeling that Michigan is about to embark on a Notre Dame-like wander in the wilderness only gets stronger today.

Our Helmets Have Wings, a recruiting-focused M blog, snagged an interview with a former admissions employee. Unless something has changed, this is purely about academics:

Q: Did the Admissions Office examine potential students who had legal troubles differently than other students?

A: Like all applicants, potential incoming athletes with legal troubles are required to disclose most types of possible run-ins with the law.  This is not only for the purposes of safety on campus, but also to help the university maintain its tradition of selecting students of a particular academic AND moral caliber for admission.  That being said, varsity athletes, ESPECIALLY potential scholarship recipients present special cases that are most definitely looked at differently than normal applicants, but in this realm and in regards to academics.  Again, the behavioral issues tend to fall to the discretion of the athletic department.  If they say the athlete is a good ship, or at least one that can be and will be during his time at UM, the admissions office will defer to that decision regarding said athletic applicant. I do not know, personally, of any decision that was contested by the admissions office when the athletic dept. approved.

If this is about "LifeSkills," the AD should have known about it since Dorsey enrolled there in October. I'm not entirely sure but I don't think that means he stopped going to Boyd Anderson; he probably did the LifeSkills curriculum in addition to his senior year classes at Boyd, using the alternative school credits to replace poor grades from his sophomore and junior years.

Given the nature of the problem here the university can stonewall any FOIA requests by referencing FERPA, a federal student privacy law. We will never know exactly what went down, but if Dorsey ends up at Tennessee or USC or another BCS school we'll have plain evidence that Michigan's is operating with a self-inflicted disadvantage, and negative recruiters will have a field day. There is literally no way the recruitment of a kid who never even enrolled at Michigan could have been more damaging. Now any happy ending to the media firestorm has to happen somewhere else. Thanks, admissions.

Bills update. Poster Raback Omaba reports that Jon Bills's surgery to repair broken vertebrae went well and the "prognosis for a full recovery remains high." He can move his extremities. Bills is obviously done with football, but hopefully he'll make a full recovery.

Hello: Nebraska? Multiple Big 12 ADs suggest Nebraska will be in the Big Ten by Friday. I would care a lot more about this if this Dorsey thing hadn't happened. At least their basketball team will suck.

Ethics follow-up. I posted a transcript of the tense interaction at the end of the ethics panel a couple days ago, and yesterday appeared on Dan Levy's On The DL podcast to elaborate on the opinion I'd shouted in the middle of everything. Again, totally meta, but something that's important.

World Cup content. If you're one of the many people who's been frustrated with the lack of a quality USMNT blog, I think you (and I) may have a new favorite place for the next month. It's Stars and Gripes, a just-launched Nats blog with an inclination towards strategy and a soccer version of Picture Pages:

Rooney makes his run, Johnson puts in a perfect ball, and Rooney puts in his second.

The constant switching from side to side often leaves the middle of the pitch exposed, where Lampard and Barry can move from the back and put themselves in dangerous spots just outside the box. 

Anyone willing to draw a big circle with an arrow on a still of the England-Andorra game is a champion. Read it all.

If you're the sort of soccer fan who doesn't know why everyone wants to drop Jonathan Bornstein out of the team plane (with a parachute; we're not monsters), War Blog Eagle has an excellent primer for you.

An actual number. Almost a month ago, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch deployed the FOIA to finally provide the real hard numbers on how much Big Ten schools are pulling in from TV. Somehow, no one noticed. Here's an attempt to do so. The numbers:

School year BTN Other TV Total TV Total*
2007-08: $6.1 million $7.7 $13.8 $18.8
2008-09: $6.4 $8.0 $14.4 $19.2
2009-10 (projected): $6.5 $8.4 $14.9 $19.9

* Includes money from TV, bowl games, NCAA Tournament.

These are less extraordinary than the rapturous articles about Super Genius/Villain Jim Delany have claimed, but they still greatly outstrip everyone save the SEC, which they meaningfully outstrip. Meanwhile, the SEC is locked into an ESPN contract worth 12.5 million per team per year for 15 years and the Big Ten will see BTN revenue grow yearly.

Another note: SNL Kagan analyst Derek Baine says the BTN is getting 88 cents per subscriber in the footprint, which is about a dime short of what they were asking for and more than triple what the Comcast guy told me they valued the BTN at during the year-long standoff between the two. Cable companies did not win.

(Apologies to whoever linked this; unfortunately I've lost it. If you think it's you ask me for a HT.)

Mmmm. Wavery. Michigan's 2011 class is a bit thin so far, with just two forwards coming in in a year when Michigan willl require at least another player at F, D, and G. Lucas Lessio made an appearance at the Oshawa Generals' camp, but is expected to keep his commitment to Michigan. And now the other guy in the class, Ontario forward Alex Guptill, sounds like he's not a lock either:

Already committed to play for the University of Michigan in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) either this year or in 2011, Guptill said his immediate future, including where he might play come winter, will become more clear at the end of June.

“It is all up to — if a (NHL) team takes me — what their stance is and then Michigan’s,” Guptill said. “It will go from there.”

IE: hope the Kings stay away. Guptill and Lessio were both drafted by the USHL's Waterloo Blackhawks and the Blackhawks believe they'll have them next year.

There is some good news: Guptill was the recipient of the Ontario Hockey Association's "Top Prospect Award," something that's been bestowed on former Wolverines Mike Cammalleri and Andrew Cogliano plus an array of other NHL players like Jeff Carter and Rob Schremp. The OHA covers Ontario's Junior A and B leagues.

Etc.: The Daily puts out another huge article, this on the evolution of Yost from an empty, silent place to the raucous place it is today. I'm pretty sure this "shimmy down" tackling technique is the same that GERG is employing in practice. The idea is to focus on the approach more than anything else because most players can get a guy down if they're in the right spot. This may sound boring, but the words "they want to get pecker to pecker with the guy" appear.



June 9th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

...Stars and Gripes.  Very cool, it's now been added to my soccer site favorites.

The key graf on conference TV revenues:

...the Big Ten will see BTN revenue grow yearly.

Upside for ad revenue is huge as the content improves as it's done steadily since the BTN's inception.  The dollars coming into the enterprise are turning into significantly more funds available for production and on air talent and for program development.

Obviously the chance to get more $0.88 subscriber fees helps as well.  But it's eyes on sets that sets the ad rates and where the big revenue exists.


June 9th, 2010 at 6:04 PM ^

More teams = more games = more content, both for existing programming (more football, for example, as now BTN can carry games from 12 to 16 teams rather than 11) and new programming. Expanding into areas not currently carrying BTN brings in more fees as well as providing more content (which is an argument against inviting that other Indiana school - isn't two enough?).


June 9th, 2010 at 9:43 PM ^

...on England - USA by venerable NYT sports writer George Vescey is definitely worth a look.

No Super Bowl, no sudden Final Four pairing, no Olympic battle-of-the-decimal points, no heavyweight championship fight, no World Series, no Stanley Cup, no golf tournament has had this much attention for a full six months. While older Americans fret that they do not “get” soccer (it really doesn’t matter if they do or don’t), for the generation that communicates with the flicking of its thumbs, this match may turn out to be Frazier-Ali. (The U.S. team playing the role of the unglamorous Frazier.) The closest thing in the United States these days is the ordering of the sausages and upgrading of the RV for some great college football pairing — Oklahoma-Texas, let’s say [you and I would say Michigan - Ohio State]. Those annual crusades are regional, not global, however, and not once-in-a-generation, like England-United States, about to happen in Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenberg in a nation so far away that it is late fall.

The accidental matchup grew even more provocative through the meat grinder of the English season, as English fans respectfully watched Tim Howard and other Yanks excel in the goalmouth in the ancestral home of footy, and watched Landon Donovan become a man — a highly mobile man at that — in a cameo for Everton, and watched Clint Dempsey’s soulful Texas border grit for Fulham.

No English fan can sneer, “Why don’t you Yanks stick to your stinkin’ baseball?” as one bloke snarled at me in Sardinia in 1990. (The 1-0 upset by the Yanks in 1950 is so ancient, it hardly even registers. Except that it happened.)

I am getting seriously excited about this potentially historic match.


June 9th, 2010 at 9:48 PM ^

...the inimitable WashPo Soccer Insider provides an update on the Yanks.

English reporters tried to bait Landon Donovan and Bradley into saying they would consider trying to exploit Wayne Rooney's suspect temperament and provoke him into a red card.

Donovan, who has been around the media block a few times, answered: "I think Rooney is going to be just fine."

Added Bradley: "No, we don't enter into all that. Good, hard game."

Also: Jozy, Gooch updates, Landon on becoming a team leader.  Bob Bradley on advice he's gotten from Fabio Capello:

"His quote to me, his coaching advice: 'When you make wine, the grapes aren't always the same.' The first few times he said that to me, I thought he was actually talking about wine. [laughter] Since then, I have thought about it and I realized he was trying to tell me something about football."

Here's hoping Fabio's advice proves useful in the end.


June 9th, 2010 at 2:30 PM ^

Sometimes it's better for a kid who is underqualified to go to a school where he is not competing with a class of HS valedictorians for his grades.  For example, I don't think it served Marques Slocum any benefit by enrolling in a school over his head.  Getting a degree from any university is more valuable than struggling for 2 years and finally failing out.

EDIT: Not to make this political, but when California banned affirmative action, the number of underrepresented minorities dropped precipitously at UCLA, Berkeley and the other top UC schools, but the total number of degrees awarded from the entire UC-system to underrepresented minorities increased.  I'd argue that the more degrees earned overall is trump.

Feat of Clay

June 9th, 2010 at 2:55 PM ^

I'd agree that more degrees earned is better, especially among groups who are earning degrees at lower rate than their peers.

However, I thought the problem of "overmatching" had been debunked by Bowen et al.  Generally speaking, a poor and/or minority student should go to the best college that will admit him or her.  His chances of graduation are better at the better school.  Whatever challenges are created by the high level of expectations are more than made up for by the peer effects of being surrounded by students who are more ambitious & goal-driven than he'd find at a less selective school.  It sounds like the UC system shows the compete opposite; I'm not familiar with the data there.

In athletics, it's a different situation entirely--yes, kids get admitted to places way beyond their qualifications, enough so that there would normally be a danger of being overwhelmed... but on the other hand, they get boatloads of support. 

Eh, I think I'm getting way off topic here, but I was just at a conference where this was being discussed so your comment rang a bell.

skunk bear

June 9th, 2010 at 5:27 PM ^

The first Saturday Dorsey returns an INT for 6, while Michigan's secondary gets torched can be laid at the feet of whatever admissions officer worked so hard to do this.

Do we know which admissions officer to thank or do they hide under the cloak of anonymity, like Freep sources?


June 9th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

I feel like this is the beginning of a long period of mediocricy for M football. How much damage can a program take PR wise before it has lasting effects?


And then we are going to be part of this huge expansion which brings in Texas and Nebraska and the like and we're gonna suck and then maybe next decade we can forget about all this and be back to normal!

/Sarcastic rant*


June 9th, 2010 at 2:41 PM ^

Hate to break it to you, but other than 3 or 4 seasons since 1993, Michigan has long been entrenched in a period of mediocrity.

One man does not make a program. Last I checked, Denard, Tate, Taylor, Schilling, Roh, Campbell, Marvin, Cullen, Woolfolk, Turner and many others are still on the team. Don't let one kid who couldn't get admitted shake your faith.


June 9th, 2010 at 2:48 PM ^

Oh I am not hanging this on just this subject. I'm just attributing it to all the negative things happening this offseason and last. I'm pissed about DD but I know it wont kill the program either way. It just adds to what may be a growing bad perception of some things.

Also I said mediocricy not mediocrity...my bad.


June 9th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

...being the voice of reason on this topic.  I heartily endorse your take.  The recruiting class took an undeniable hit as did the secondary, but it's not fatal.  Focus on who will be on the team, not who will not be on team.

Dorsey will land on his feet and if he chooses wisely, some other coaching staff and program will help him to continue his progress from his troubled past. 

It's sad that Michigan won't be the place where he achieves collegiate success but it's time to put down the pitchforks and torches and move on.

And yes, I'm for any improvements in the vetting process that can be implemented between the Athletic Department and the Office of the Provost that will eliminate the chance that this will happen again.  I would suggest that when it comes to admission, the ultimate decision is rightly with admissions.  If a recruit isn't in the position to be offered admission prior to national signing day, there will always be the chance that events may transpire between national signing day and the completion of the recruit's senior year that could cause admission to be denied.  There's really no getting away from that fact.


June 9th, 2010 at 2:31 PM ^


I am going to go ahead and disagree.  I like that Dorsey was denied admittance.  I do not know the particulars about the internal process that lead to the decision.  I also do not wish to spend my time obsessing about the reasons. 

"What you do with the poor black kid after he shows up is what reflects the character of the institution"

Brian, you really want to play the "race card" and hell the "socioeconomic card" too?  Do you think this matters that he is poor and black? 

As a two-time Michigan graduate I happen to think that the academic records of the incoming student body heavily reflects the the character of the institution.   As a Michigan grad, this should matter more to you too.

In the end, it seems to come down to Dorsey being a borderline case for acceptance.  The academic standards for athletes on scholarship are really quite low.  It is too bad he could not meet these requirements, regardless of his athletic ability.  I wish him good luck.

Monocle Smile

June 9th, 2010 at 2:43 PM ^

I would say most of us aren't pissed off because Dorsey was just out of qualification range. We're pissed off because admissions led him on right from the get-go, the media shat all over him for months, and then admissions remained frustratingly out of contact.


June 9th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

Do we know any of this?  I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but it just seems like we don't really know if admissions treated him that poorly or any differently from other potential scholar-athletes.  He may well have been in a gray area all this time and only now was it possible to make a definitive decision. 

I agree that it'd be nice if there was a fair amount of communication between admissions and athletics and then to the family, but is it not standard practice to send letters about admissions decisions, even in this day?  If it's expected that such infrequent communication will have a negative impact, then it's on the athletic department's head to make sure they communicate with the family and manage their expectations of timeline and process.


June 9th, 2010 at 2:57 PM ^

Stop with the phony outrage.  When most of the criticism directed at M for signing Dorsey was thinly veiled "this guy committed a crime--has gold teeth and dreads, and doesn't speak like us," race already entered into it.  Half the posters to most of the internet sites wouldn't have had the problem they did without that element.  And they criticized M's institutional character for admitting him.  Brian was just playing within the rules that the critics established.

And this: "As a two-time Michigan graduate I happen to think that the academic records of the incoming student body heavily reflects the the character of the institution.   As a Michigan grad, this should matter more to you too."

How so?  In fact it is the opposite. The incoming records of the students has NOTHING to do with the character of the university. That's like saying an upscale neighborhood has great character based upon the salaries of its inhabitants.



June 9th, 2010 at 4:21 PM ^

the admissions process does not take race or income into account.  the admissions department denied demar admission.  that is my point.  simple.

one of the reasons i went to michigan is due to its excellent academic reputation.  one of the reasons michigan has an excellent academic reputation is because it admits high school students with excellent academic records.  also simple.

also, where do you see outrage, phony or otherwise, in my post.  i am not outraged at all about any of this.  brian is the one with the (phony?) outrage about the "poor black kid" being the victim.


June 9th, 2010 at 4:33 PM ^

You didn't say that Michigan has an excellent reputation because it admits excellent students in the post I responded to, you said "I happen to think that the academic records of the incoming student body heavily reflects the the character of the institution."  That is an entirely different point, in every way.  Pretty simple.  Now, if you'd like to retract your original point in favor of this newer point, then we agree.  


June 11th, 2010 at 9:08 AM ^

from dictionary.com:

character - noun

1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
So clearly, the character of the university is partly determined by its academic reputation, as that is a trait.  The academics of the incoming students influence the academic reputation of the university.  Hence, the academics of the incoming students reflect the character of the institution.
I really can't be any clearer than that. 


June 9th, 2010 at 2:36 PM ^

This whole Dorsey thing is just so depressing.  I can understand if there was a character issue after the LOI, but the lack of consistency is awful.  Let him in, and help him. 

Stars and Gripes is definitely in the rota for soccer info.  I, for one, cannot wait until the World Cup starts.



June 9th, 2010 at 2:39 PM ^

Kids will go where the winners are It's pretty hard to negatively recruit against a winning school. What will you say? "You shouldn't go there because sometimes kids with questionable grades and backgrounds don't get admitted, and, well... I've seen your report cards."? Yeah... that'll go over well.

Newspapers, media and even the NCAA, on the other hand, can't really go after this at all. They already criticized Dorsey, so if he were to do well, they would just ignore it so that they didn't look bad. If he were to fail, they'd have a field day lambasting RR, and that's something recruits' PARENTS will know about. Much worse.

I wish Dorsey could've come, yes, but It'll be a cold day in hell before I admit it's a bad thing for Michigan to restrict enrollment based on grades and background.


June 9th, 2010 at 5:45 PM ^

Michigan has always had higher academic standards for athletes than most other schools. It will sometimes put us at a disadvantage, but I’ll bet it also helps us pull in athletes who are stronger academically. I don’t think we should change this just because RR wants only to satisfy the bare minimum the NCAA deems sufficient. And I say this as someone who will miss Dorsey keenly next year.


June 9th, 2010 at 2:51 PM ^

but the negative impact will only have longevity if we continue to struggle on the field. If we go 9-3 and whomp somebody in a bowl game this year, and then do it again, or better, in 2012, Demar Dorsey will be a distant memory.

Unless he intercepts Denard with a pick-6 for the winning score in the final seconds of the National Championship game in January 2013, that is.


June 9th, 2010 at 2:58 PM ^

I dont have a problem with how this whole thing turned out. I have faith that Demar will continue his upward trajectory at another school, and make a good life for himself.  Michigan will not make or break him.

If you want to be a fan of a football program at a school like Michigan, then you have to accept these kind of outcomes. DD didn't meet the admission standards. It had nothing to do with race or economic background. Bringing that into the picture is small-minded. He will end up somewhere that has lower standards. And that is fine. And Demar will continue to make something of himself. 

One of the selling points of this University's football program is the caliber of education one can get here. It has the best of both - highly regarded academic institution and football program. RR claims that this combination is a great recruiting tool. But you can't sell the academic reputation and not have high admission standards. The two are inextricably linked in the collegiate ranking systems. If you are a fan of this program, you have to accept this. And move on. 


June 9th, 2010 at 3:01 PM ^


is it just me or does this Nebraska thing seem like the worst case Scenario?  Nebraska and Mizzou make no financial sense what-so-ever!  50% of Nebraska's games were on PPV last season indicating they didn't have enough viewership for even fox sports to pick them up -- how does this help bring money into our B10TV -- 

God i hate the children of the corn shuckers

Wish Texas would come to their senses and leave Tech alone and join us...


June 9th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

National viewership would increase with Nebraska even though household subscribers to BTN wouldn't vary too greatly.  More national audience would watch a primetime Michigan v. Nebraska game than another Michigan v. Minnesota game on the schedule.  Also, CCG money.  


June 9th, 2010 at 6:18 PM ^

unless you meant that they were either exclusively or partially available on PPV, in which case a number of Big Ten schools would have fallen into the same category prior to the BTN (from being available in certain parts of the country on ESPN GamePlan; obviously that's no longer the case).

It's not a case of viewership as much as a crappy television deal. (Anything that involves Versus is obviously a crappy deal.) During non-conference play, FSN can only carry so many games, and without an FSN Nebraska, NU has to settle for what is available to them.

Nebraska brings more eyeballs (yes, it's only the 100th-largest market or so, but not everyone can be in the top 10) and more events. On their own, they don't help significantly, but it's also not just about television money. NU fans and alumni will travel to regular-season games - by now I'm sure you've seen the picture of Nebraska fans filling Notre Dame's stadium - and bowls, and more attendance is good for the conference. Better to bring in a school that fills the stadium than another one that doesn't.

Of course they are more attractive if they bring some of their southern friends. I suspect that if an announcement on Friday is coming, it will not be the last.


June 9th, 2010 at 3:22 PM ^

Winning will be the cure that will get our recruiting back on track.  Given the sub .500 record the past few years (and no this was not all RR's fault), RR has done a very good job recruiting IMO. I wish the my University would have given DD a chance and there better be more to this story than just being a border line student.  In the past we have admitted several borderline student athletes, and many went on to do quite well. 

Here's hoping this coming season will get us a winning record, a bowl game and better recruits later this year. A victory over OSU in Columbus would be sweet as well! Even though the recent news has been very pessimistic, I'm still optimistic that RR will turn our program around!


June 9th, 2010 at 3:23 PM ^

Demar was rejected due to the Athletics Department not signing off on him.  What's the only difference between pre-LOI AD and post-LOI AD?  David Brandon


June 9th, 2010 at 4:39 PM ^

The problem is that admissions told him what he needed to do. With their word Dorsey did what needed to be done, but before he got his grades back admissions changed their minds and he had no shot.  Now we find out he did what he needed to do and admissions still screws him over.  It's a sad day to be a fan of Michigan and the University.  What a joke!


June 9th, 2010 at 5:18 PM ^

...on which to base this claim:

...admissions told him what he needed to do. With their word Dorsey did what needed to be done, but before he got his grades back admissions changed their minds and he had no shot.  Now we find out he did what he needed to do and admissions still screws him over. 

Where's the evidence that:

  1. Admissions gave him some minimum bar to clear?
  2. Dorsey cleared the hypothetical bar?
  3. Admissions changed its mind and raised the hypothetical bar and set a new hypothetical standard?

Achieving the clearinghouse minimum is not the same thing as doing what's needed to gain admission.  I've not seen anyone say on the record that Dorsey had the bar raised by admissions (i.e., time 1, one standard communicated by admissions to Dorsey; time 2, a second standard applied to Dorsey's record).


June 9th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

I don't want to play any card about the Demar Dorsey situation but I just can't understand why they took him at first but they suddenly changed their minds. That is pathetic and the admissions office is a joke.


June 9th, 2010 at 7:21 PM ^

Statements like this are so ignorant, so full of assumptions as to be funny at best, offensive to anyone who respects this University at worst. The sad thing is that such assumptions seem to be shared by the majority here. Everyone needs one person or entity to blame, when most likely all the main players share a little bit of the blame.