Extended McDowell Signing Day Drama

Submitted by JeepinBen on February 5th, 2014 at 1:02 PM

According to TomVH on twitter Malik McDowell has yet to sign and send in his LOI. It's been publicized that Malik wants to attend to MSU (and announced State during a ceremony this morning) but his parents (specifically his mother) don't think that MSU is the best place for him. Tom's latest tweet (@TomVH)

"There is definite drama with the Malik McDowell situation. HS coach doesn't know ehn he'll send it (sic) in letter of intent"

I'm a bit torn here. There's obviously something going on with this young man and his family that involves a huge life choice. However, possible SPARTY NO on NSD just after star rankings started to matter?


Tony Soprano

February 5th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

17 year olds don't have the best judgement in the world.  I'm sure the mom is looking at the reasons MM is picking state and in her mind, it's not justfied - she thinks he's making a huge mistake.  As a parent, it's our obligation to speak up and try to steer our kids out of danger or risk.

Now, the fact that the LOI has to be signed by a parent means that the parent actually does have some control in the process.


February 5th, 2014 at 4:41 PM ^

It remains a situation within her control until such time as he's no longer a minor.   Something happened during their offiical visit and she's biting mad.  Put that aside and consider Malik's public statements of enjoying the party atmosphere and it is clear that Malik might possibly have his priorities confused.  If I were the parent in question, I wouldn't be putting my name on anything that could be construed as condoning such priorities.  But that's me.  If Malik is that determined to go to State, he can (perhaps will) wait until he's 18.  I see no reason why a parent should be bashed for doing what they believe is in their child's better interest.


February 6th, 2014 at 9:49 AM ^

It IS hers to control.  IMO, the fans dissing her are either not parents themselves, or are 5 years old and should be playing with their dump truck instead of posting on her.

Look, #1, no one on here knows the ENTIRE story.  There obviously is data she knows that no one on here knows.  Maybe he got into trouble when at MSU, maybe he has a 'bad' friend(s) there, maybe like above stated, athletes there dont have to play school.

Bottom line, SHE is watching out for her son and attempting to make a good, solid choice for his future.

If Malik wanted to go to UM, OSU or FSU, she would sign.  There is obviously a BIG negative reason why she does not want him to go to MSU.

IMO, good for her for doing what she is doing.  If Malik was old enough, he could make a bad choice on his own.  Thank goodness for the law that makes mature, caring people stop you from making bad choices until your old enough to fail on your own.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:12 PM ^

I disagree with this, because we don't know the full story.  Perhaps mom has a legitimate interest for her strong aversion to MSU.  Perhaps, as has been speculated, she heard on the recruiting trip that MSU players don't have to attend class and she rightly understands that education and, equally importantly, discipline, are important on the chance that football doesn't work out.  Or, perhaps, there are kids that Malik knows at MSU who are really bad influences, and she rightly wants him away from them.

Point is that 17 year old kids often don't make smart choices.  There is obviously a line between good parenting and controlling a kids life, but without knowing more, I think it is silly to dismiss his mom's concerns. 



February 5th, 2014 at 1:59 PM ^

"Do you have children?"

A very valid question.

As hard as it is for some people to believe, sometimes parents know what is best for their children, and I emphasize "sometimes".  Of the things I have done over my life, raising two sons, both  Michigan alums, was the hardest task by far I ever faced. There are times when you know your kid is making the wrong choice but you let him make it anyway because he will learn from it and suffer no long term consequences.  There are other times, particularly as kids become teenagers and approach college, where a bad decision can signficiantly impact their future.  It isn't always fun to be a parent, nor is it easy and it often makes you unpopular.

None of us, I suspect, have the full picture of what Malik and his parents are concerned about.  I feel sorry for all of them.  NSD should be one of the greatest days of that young man's life. His parents should be bursting with pride.  Instead, there is head butting taking place, and that is a shame.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:46 PM ^

There is a line between good parenting and being like Tate Forcier's dad and just running your kids life.  It really boils down to what her concern is.  If her concern is that MSU runs a 3-4 under and she thinks that he would be better off in a 3-3-5, then yeah, that's pretty bad.  Or if her anti-Sparty sentiment relates to her being a fan of Michigan or some other time, I am with you.  Hell, her she is anti-MSU because she thinks that the campus is a dump (it is), the dorms are ugly, the selection of majors is not what she would like or because it is a longer trip for her to go to the games, then you are right on.

But, you have to assume that this woman knows her son, good and bad.  Perhaps she knows that he is easily influenced into making really bad (perhaps even potentially dangerous or illegal) choices by friend who make similar bad choices, but when removed from such friends, he has a better chance of not making such choices.  If these friends attend MSU, or live close by, then this is a valid concern, and her desire to prevent her son from making such bad choices at 18 that they could ruin his life is valid, and not immature. 

Perhaps our difference in point of view relates to our own life situations.  I am a parent of two (young) boys.  being a parent really does make you look at things differently.  Serious question:  are you a parent?

1989 UM GRAD

February 5th, 2014 at 3:02 PM ^

You're kidding, right?

A parent has many obligations...one of which is to ensure their children make smart decisions.

If my child wanted to go play football at a school, but I felt that the school was wrong for him....hell, yes, I would prevent him from doing so.

We obviously have no idea what happened at MSU, but if I was told that School X football players don't need to "play school"...or that my son had friends who were bad influences who were going to be at School X...or that there was a toxic culture there...or that there was rampant drug use or drinking at the School X football team...or whatever...I would absolutely step in and prevent him from playing at School X.

As a parent, doing this is my right, my obligation and my duty.

Not to sound too much like a "get off my lawn-er," but I think we can all imagine the negative results of letting a child (and, yes, an 18 year old is still a child) make all of their own choices.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

Doesn't that depend on what her concern is?  If it is life changing, then she needs to do what she needs to to protect his future.

For example (making up the circumstances but using a real life player gone bad), if Aaron Hernandez had an involved mother and she was concerned about him being at Florida because he had friends who were there who had violent, gang-related tendencies and were bad influences, would she have been wrong to hold the decision hostage? 

I get what you are saying - it is his choice - but as a parent, sometimes you need to step in to prevent your son from making what could be a bad life choice that has disasterous ramifications.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:38 PM ^

I mean if we are talking about truly disastrous, permanent consequences such as having your kid end up in prison for life, then okay.  But regardless of what happened on that visit, we're not even in the same ballpark here.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:46 PM ^

Okay, so put some faith in your almost-adult son and the coaching staff to prevent those influences from derailing his life goals.  We're not talking about a 12-year-old here.  At some point, if you refuse to trust your kid to make decisions that are best for him, he's simply never going to grow up.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:49 PM ^

But maybe that's the problem.  Maybe she doesn't have faith in his ability at this stage in life to make the right choices.  She knows her son better than any of us, so if she doesn't believe that he is mature enough at this time to make the right choices - perhaps his own conduct has given her a reason to have this concern - then who are we to doubt her.  Everyone needs to grow up at some point, but at 18, some kids are just not there yet.  As a parent, if she recognizes this, I applaud her for doing everything that she can to put her son in the best position to avoid making what could possibly be life-altering negative decisions.


February 5th, 2014 at 2:03 PM ^

So can she pick his major for him?  if she refuses to let him pick his first job out of college, say by sabotaging his application, is that cool too?  Maybe he won't be there yet by 22.  How about 25?  At what point would you say the parent has a responsibilty to stop trying to control the decisions of their children?

Even if it were reasonable for her to block his choice of MSU before the decision, it is now pointless. She's already lost.  The dad has stated he is willing to sign it.  At this point, her actions are doing nothing but causing embarassment for Malik, the family, and MSU.

1989 UM GRAD

February 5th, 2014 at 3:10 PM ^

There's no simple answer to the questions you are asking, as each situation is different.

Picking a major isn't as big of a decision as picking where you are going to go play football for four (or five) years. 

Each child matures at a different rate.  Some 15 year olds are able to make mature decisions...while keeping in mind the long-term ramifications of these decisions.  Conversely, my 42 year old sister in law isn't - and never has been - capable of intelligently making these types of decisions.

You're trying to paint with a broad brush here...asking broad questions...when the reality is that there is no one answer.

Each person is different...each circumstance is different...and the ramifications of any decision can vary from minor to life-changing.

Choosing where to play football for four/five years is a life-changing decision.  If mom has a legitimate concern about her son playing football at School X, hell yes she should jump in and prevent her son from making a decision that could negatively affect the rest of his life in a significant way. 

Choosing a major, while somewhat life-changing, is not nearly in the same league....


February 5th, 2014 at 3:28 PM ^

The decision to play football at one major Big Ten program over another major Big Ten program is almost certainly not a life-changing decision that requires parental oversight, and given the fact that it's Malik that has earned free tuition at these institutions, I think he's entitled to make his own choice. But I get it.  You think the mom should jump in.  I think you're wrong.  Agree to disagree.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:52 PM ^

She clearly does not have any faith in the coaching staff. If she has a reason to believe that they are not trustworthy, why should she? Putting faith in her son is one thing, but if you yourself agree that the coaching staff has to be a part of the equation, I think you should be arguing her side.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:32 PM ^

The biggest problem, is that this is public. This feels unfair to MM. On the other hand, I wouldn't want my kid to go anywhere that I felt wouldn't meet his/her academic needs either. I hate ND, but I would never stop my kid from going there, as it is an excellent institution. With what we are hearing about MSU, however, I would probably dig my heels in on this as well.

Hope for his sake that things get resolved soon. Too bad that such a special day has to go poorly like this.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:36 PM ^

Exactly at what point do you stop putting your foot down?  10 years old?  12? 15? 17? 18? At 18 my parents told me that the day I pay for 100% of my school (yes Malik's is free) and pay rent in the summers, i can stop following their direction.   I would say that Malik's Parents are still allowed to parent as it appears as though Malik is still living at home and being provided for by said parents.  It is a shame that it has turned into this, but I certainly won't speak for anyone in this situation or point fingers when i have no idea what the conversations were like throughout this whole recruitment.  


February 5th, 2014 at 1:40 PM ^

I think the decision to attend college is a very natural point at which to stop putting your foot down.  It signifies the child moving out of the house, becoming independent, and very soon thereafter becoming a legal adult. Barring extreme circumstances,  I just think a parent attempting to select where a child attends college is wrong.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:25 PM ^

It depends on what her objection is to MSU.  If she feels her son wants to go there for the wrong reasons, she should be upfront with him about that.

Also, this could be a case of her wanting him to sleep on it a bit longer.  Once you sign a LOI, you can't get out of it without losing a year of eligibility.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:07 PM ^

If he were to come here it would be obviously under extreme duress.  We don't need that drama.  Time to move on.

The best outcome for us at this point would be if he left the region and went to FSU.



February 5th, 2014 at 1:08 PM ^

Just go where you want to go kid, parents will forgive you. If you want to go to MSU so you don't have to work hard in the classroom then do it. Just know your D- coordinator won't be there your entire career.