Birkett officially joins the ranks of Rosenburg,

Submitted by Trepps on June 10th, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Sharp, Snyder and others with this sanctimonous, hypocritical piece of crap:…


Regardless of whether Birkett's conlcusion that Dorsey should have been admitted was correct, he has absolutely no right to claim he is taking the kid's side when Birkett was one of the people flaming the fires in the first place.


IMO, he has officially joined the ranks of the other idiot opportunist rag writers covering our local team. 


Shalom Lansky

June 10th, 2010 at 1:00 PM ^

Because then we could have a Michigan Super Hate Conference Playoff!  Under the current system Rosenberg never plays Birkett and we can't truly know who is the true Michigan Hating Champion.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:00 PM ^

You know what: this is really not in the news outside of Michigan. UofM did not admit Demar. Neither it appears will Florida State. A byline, that's it.


It's OK. Ignore Sharp and Birkett. Noise and nothing else.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

But he picked the wrong reason why.

If they have legitimate reasons to not offer Dorsey admission, fine. Every school has standards, and Michigan's are relatively high. That's not the problem. The ONLY thing Michigan did wrong in this case (it's a pretty big mistake, IME, but there's still only one) is to not inform Dorsey earlier that this was going to happen.

Even then, I don't know if they would have had the information to make this decision earlier. He's only just finishing up school, so they may have had to wait to decide.

We come out looking bad, but Birkett picks up on the wrong issue.


June 11th, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

They asked him to get his grades up, and he did.  You have some saying "there's no way he could have improved that much" and automatically assuming the improvement is a fraud, and you have some saying he busted his ass, kept his nose clean, held up his end of the LOI and Michigan hung him out to dry.

What's particularly damning is the national LOI program manager's comments that 1) an LOI is intended to be “an agreement on both parties that if you sign there’s a guarantee of the athletics aid for one academic year.” and 2) that Dave Brandon isn't 100% truthful when he says "This is not a unique situation."

According to the manager of the national letter of intent program, "less than 2 percent of the 36,110 recruits who signed an NCAA Division I or II scholarship last year filled out a release request before setting foot on campus."  Of those, only 37 were "contested by schools".

What Michigan did with Demar Dorsey happened with 0.1% of the LOIs.

Someone not named Rodriguez had a change of heart because of Dorsey's past, not grades, and that's why he's not here today.  The grades "not meeting Michigan's standards" are just the excuse that people are fine accepting.

The kid wanted a fresh start, our coach needed his player, and all we're left with is another negative hit on Michigan's image that could have been avoided if they'd honored their commitment to Dorsey.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

... not the Athletic Dept or Football or even RR. And, if what he is saying is true, that this is about Dorsey's background, he is right. They fully knew about his checkered history and apparently gave a preliminary OK.

Now, if this is about something else, something they did not know about, then maybe Admissions has justification for not admitting him. We probably will never know for certain. I, for one, hope it was something new or undisclosed, because I do not like to think that anyone within the Michigan system would do this to a kid.

Monocle Smile

June 10th, 2010 at 1:19 PM ^

But Birkett is a journalist who is expected to have integrity and consistency. He publishes his opinion, Change of heart or not, it's perfectly legitimate to call him out for being hypocritical simply because he nowhere admits that he was wrong about his judgment of Dorsey and his continuous judgment of Rich Rod.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:23 PM ^

His judgement of Dorsey doesn't even matter here. Whether or not he felt that it was a good idea for Michigan to sign Dorsey, once a school accepts a LOI it has a responsibility to the kid, which is about what Brian wrote, too. I don't get why this article is anything but a legitimate take on it.

Monocle Smile

June 10th, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

It's not out of the realm of possibility that the admissions problem with Dorsey was exacerbated by the media shitstorm these past couple of months...a shitstorm to which Birkett contributed. Right though he might be, Birkett shouldn't be bashing admissions for making a decision he possibly impacted.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:08 PM ^

I thought this column was balanced, didn't make any leaps of logic, and definitely not a continuation of the stupid shit that Birkett was up to in February.

He basically takes the exact same stance as Brian on the issue, saying that regardless of the previous firestorm around this kid, if U-M was trying to save face by denying him admission, they actually made the wrong move, and it's too bad for Dorsey.

He actually closes with this:

Instead, Rodriguez and his staff, who were roundly praised by Dorsey’s father for the way they handled the situation, were the only ones with enough principle to stand by their word.

He praises RR, and you're going to compare him to the Free Press? If you only read these guys with an eye of hate, then you officially sink to their level. Reading critically does not mean always hating, it means that you independently evaluate each claim and story.

Section 1

June 10th, 2010 at 1:26 PM ^

In another thread, I defended Birkett against the technical charge of "hypocrisy."  Schizophrenia might be more like it.  I highlighted the very same quote.

Birkett's the perfect example of a writer with whom I don't always agree, but for whom I refuse to presume an ill motive.

With the Free Press, it is impossible not to impute "motive."


June 10th, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

I agree with his article 100%.  He is just in no position to write it.

He was one of the reporters badgering Rich Rod for accepting Dorsey's commitment and then gave the infamous line about Dorsey "not bringing his crowbar" to Michigan on a live chat.

It was a very well written article and I don't think that Birkett has a biased against Michigan.  However, it is hypocritical for him to write an article condemning Michigan for not letting Dorsey in when he condemned Michigan for taking his commitment in the first place.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

Does the admissions department take this hard stance with Dorsey if Birkett et. al. didn't generate controversy in the first place?  Perhaps, but I tend to think that admissions is erring on the side of caution because of the shitstrom that came out in th epress after his commitment.

Birkett's reporting does not come without a bit irony....


June 10th, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

I have never understood what Tony Dearing was thinking when he hired a Spartan as the Wolverine beat writer.  This is even more incomprehensible when one considers that he has Andrew Reid, who was by far the best UM beat writer, professional or student, when he wrote at the daily, covering local recreational sports. 

I would lay the blame for this squarely on Dearing's shoulders.  No matter how objective Birkett tries to be, expecting him to not hate UM is like expecting a python not to eat your small pet if he gets a chance.

If anyone wants to vent his or her displeasure to Dearing, it can be done here:

[email protected]

Maybe, if enough people care about the quality of coverage, someone who doesn't have to work so hard to be objective could be the next UM beat writer.  I would prefer Reid by a longshot.  He is going to be a star someday; he might as well start now.  He definitely knows the territory.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:34 PM ^

Is your job tied directly to the marketablity and credibility of OSU? If so, then - yeah - I think it would be a bit of a stretch for an OSU fan to hire you. Why would they hire an arch enemy of their school to report on the ins-and-outs of its most prized in-state jewel: OSU sports.

Now, if your job has little-to-no bearing whatsoever on the status of the school and you are merely in some cubicle punching numbers for some company and just by coincidence your boss is an OSU fan, then he should still hire you even if you are a UM fan


June 10th, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

Just because Birkett went to MSU he's inherently unable to report on Michigan Athletics? He's  professional who usually writes fairly balanced articles. He pressed a little hard about Dorsey at the press conference and made a bad joke during a CIL, the latter he was reprimanded for.

He's a professional, and any perceived bias reflects more on the observer than him, imhe


June 10th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

I don't remember saying that Birket was unprofessional in his piece on Dorsey. I didn't call him names or anything like that. Personally, I thought what he did at the original press conference was pretty juvenile - but he's a reporter, so it kinda comes with the territory to be a pest and ask annoying questions (10 times). Nevertheless, I agree with much of his current article. For reasons well-articulated on this site already, it's a shame that Dorsey wasn't admitted and Birkett is spot-on in his assessment.

My point is that there is a big difference between randomly working for an OSU grad at a company and intentionally sabotaging it b/c he is an OSU grad, and working as the Lead Reporter for an institution that you grew up largely viewing as an enemy for the vast majority of your life. As someone who has worked in public relations before, I understand that professionalism comes with the territory and that even with rivalry, a person can do a great job. However, when it comes to the lifeblood of a school (i.e. sports), I would not trust anyone other than an alum or someone with absolutely zero ties to the school to report on its programs.

Granted, this is pure speculation, but I'm willing to bet that there are not many UM grads as the Lead Reporters for OSU sports for the Columbus newspaper. I would also speculate that not many Auburn grads are the Lead Reporters for Alabama sports in Tuscaloosca; and, likely not many Oklahoma alums hired as the Lead Reporters for Texas sports in Austin. I imagine the reason for this is that sports is GOD in those locations and most of the schools/newspapers would only trust an alum or a complete outsider (i.e. no affinity whatsoever to the school) to report on it.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

I'm tired of reading and hearing shit that Birkett, Sharp, Rosenberg, Snyder and the rest are writing and saying.

I'm equally tired of talk about B10 expansion, USC sanctions, Izzo to the Cavs, Demar Dorsey unfairness, and the NCAA.

I don't want to hear any more about oil spills, the deficit, Iran, North Korea, primary elections, and the entire United States Congress.




Its summer time, damn it. Time for some humor.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:26 PM ^

Dude, that's the exact same opinion everyone here has. I know he was all bulldog in the Dorsey press conference but there's a big difference between being a Tough Questions reporter and launching a jihad.

Complaining about stuff like this just makes M fans look bad.

Tom_Harmon 2.0

June 10th, 2010 at 1:28 PM ^

Perhaps Mr. Birkett can see the wind is shifting direction and he wants to re-establish his credibility by attacking the Admissions Office instead of the team directly.


June 10th, 2010 at 1:48 PM ^

Dad's Ratatouille Recipe

Preparation time: 1 hour and a half, minimum.


  • 1 lb of yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb zucchini, chopped
  • 1 lb yellow squash, chopped
  • Bell peppers, seeds removed, chopped into 1/2 inch square pieces:
  • --1 lb green bell peppers
  • --1/2 lb red bell peppers
  • --1/2 lb yellow bell peppers
  • 1 lb eggplant, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 lb fresh ripe tomatoes (or equal amount of high quality canned tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-inch sprig rosemary
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock (or thin tomato juice)
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


1 Preheat oven to 400° F.

2 Using a large oven-proof pan over medium high heat, sauté onions in olive oil until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and reduce heat to low.

3 While the onions and garlic are cooking over low heat, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a another frying pan over high heat. As soon as oil starts to smoke, quickly add enough zucchini cubes all at once to cover the bottom of the pan. Keep on cooking over high heat, stirring, until zucchini is lightly browned on all sides. Remove zucchini cubes, and add them to pan with the onions.

4 Working in batches, repeat this process until all of the zucchini cubes have been cooked. Do the same with the yellow squash. Make sure to add a little olive oil between each new batch. Continue with the bell peppers, then the eggplant cubes, adding the browned vegetables to the onion pan as soon as they are cooked.

5 When all the vegetables (except the tomatoes) are browned and in the pan with the onions, increase the heat to high and stir, making sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add salt to taste, thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary, the vegetable stock, and stir well. Place in oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Alternatively you can cook them on the stovetop on low heat for 30 minutes.

6 If using fresh tomatoes, boil water in a saucepan on stove. Remove stems from tomatoes, and crisscross the bottoms with a knife. Plunge into boiling water for a minute or two, until skin starts to fall away. Rinse in cold water and remove skin. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, remove seeds, chop coarsely, set aside.

7 After the vegetables have been in the oven for a half hour, remove from oven, drain vegetables in a colander set over a bowl. Clean browned bits (if any) off bottom of pan with a paper towel. Return any liquid to the pan and reduce to a thick glaze over medium high heat. Keep on adding juices to the pan as they run out of the vegetables into the bowl.

8 When all the juices have been reduced, return vegetables to the heavy pan. At this point the ratatouille should be moist and shiny, with very little liquid. Turn heat off. Add the chopped tomatoes and cover. If serving as a warm side dish, let the ratatouille stand for 10 minutes, just enough to "cook" the tomatoes. The ratatouille can be served at room temperature or refrigerated and reheated the next day.

9 When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 6-8.


June 10th, 2010 at 2:40 PM ^

birkett may be a douchebag, but that article wasn't that biased or worthy of OT's subject line. i thought he made some valid points, and it is embarrassing to the university. i'm not condoning birkett's work, i just don't believe that article makes anything "official."


June 10th, 2010 at 3:16 PM ^

What exactly did Birkett write that was trashing out Dorsey?

The only thing I remember was a comment on a live chat where he thought he was responding to a comment from someone who used the pseudonym "Dorsey."  An apology was made later. I give people a little leeway for something on a live chat.

A link to any column he wrote trashing out DD would be appreciated.

That said, I am embarassed by the way the University handled this. Mr. Birkett's take on this is exactly right.