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?



February 5th, 2014 at 1:43 PM ^

When I was a kid growing up in Detroit the only way a kid went to state is because they couldn't get into Michigan. Who would pick state over Michigan? My have times changed. I understand people have their schools of choice for whatever reason (a childhood friend of mine said he liked state more than Michigan because of their colors) but as far as academics, prestige etc it's like night and day, in my opinion.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:46 PM ^

Honestly feel bad for this kid. He is obviously getting torn in a million different directions. I think FSU may be what's really best for him. Get outta town and all.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:47 PM ^

Gotta feel bad for this kid. Who would want this family issue played out in the court of public insanity? This kid's character is being put out there for everyone to examine. Hope they get it figured out stat. 


February 5th, 2014 at 1:51 PM ^

Please allow me to offer a contrary point of view:

1. Malik's mom is coming under a lot of fire from people who don't know her, or her son, or the circles they move in.  Ms. McDowell has a lot more life experience than her son, and a lot more knowledge of him, his character and his friends, and should be presumed to have his best interests at heart.  It is possible that she sees some problem at MSU that would not exist at U of M.  It is at least possible that she has a legitimate concern.  If she is right, then her son would probably be better off in Ann Arbor than East Lansing.

2. A lot of us have to settle for our second choices in life, and sometimes we look back and are grateful we didn't get exactly what we wanted.

3. In the immortal words of Brady Hoke, "this is Michigan for God's sake" -- not Siberia, not Bob Jones University, or even Brigham Young. Even if Mr. McDowell gets his arm twisted a little by his mom, I doubt he'll be utterly miserable here.  He might even decide he likes the place eventually.

4. All of which means that I wouldn't necesarily turn my nose up at Malik McDowell if he sends in an LOI, though if I were Brady Hoke I'd have a long talk with the young man to make sure he is academically up to the task, and can gin up some enthusiasm for Michigan football.


February 5th, 2014 at 1:56 PM ^

I can't follow this. It's quite depressing to Michigan.

Did you ever think you'd see the day when a Detroit kid whose parents are HUGE Michigan fans would publicly diss them because he wanted to go to State that badly? Yeah, it's dramatic but it's also another bad sign that Hoke has simply lost his recruiting touch and that kids are currently very skeptical of the Michigan brand.

What might be worse is no one can dispute Damon Webb's comments while being honest about how they feel.



February 5th, 2014 at 2:20 PM ^

If you look at the facts: Michigan develops corners better than State.

However, players developed much better than Richardson and RJS so they got buried on the depth chart. He is just bitter his boys aren't playing when in hind sight, there are just better players than them.


February 5th, 2014 at 2:05 PM ^

This makes MSU look bad, not Michigan. MSU just won a Rose Bowl yet McDowell's parents are appalled at him becoming part of their progrm.


Hoke hasn't lost his recruiting touch. If you actually followed recruiting for any length of time you would know that it has ups and downs. UM is in a down period because of an ugly season.


February 5th, 2014 at 2:08 PM ^

We just signed the highest rated recruit in the program's history and Hoke has lost his touch?

Sorry but that's ridiculous. Damon Webb is a teenager who probably has a chip on his shoulder b/c he's going to our arch rival after attending our most noted pipeline school. However, I think Cass Tech players have been hit or miss, with quite a few big misses, well before Brady was HC. Some kids just don't pan out. Not always the coaches' fault.


February 5th, 2014 at 2:16 PM ^

Also it's reasonable to posit that perhaps Webb was put off by the fact that M had prioritized and signed the one CB recruit ranked higher than Webb. Webb, it seems, wanted to be "the guy." He'd never be that in a class that includes Peppers. 


February 5th, 2014 at 4:09 PM ^

What a ridiculous assertion; Hoke has lost his recruiting touch?

Did Ferns have a Sparty (and Alabama offer?) Did Peppers have an offer from everywhere? Did Mason Cole have national offers (including Ohio St., Florida State etc.), Drake Harris (who spurned Sparty, held national offers).

The whole class is high end talent. If Michigan had recruited like this and the last couple years (and actually retained more than 55% of their classes) things would be a hell of a lot better.

If Ferns, Mone, Peppers, Harris, Marshall, Speight, Cole, Winovich, Furbush and Bunting represent a lost touch then I hope Hoke keeps this up. 

Srsly. smh


February 6th, 2014 at 1:03 AM ^

The class is good. I'm very encouraged by their other offers, so it's not a referendum on that. Pretty much all of this class was built before the bad season. Yes, they held on to those guys but what went down with Hand, McDowell, Campbell and Harris represents an obvious down-turn in momentum. I just think McDowell was the hardest to lose of that group.



February 5th, 2014 at 2:00 PM ^

While it's true that a recruit needs a parent/guardian signature to participate in the National Letter of Intent program if under the age of 21, he (or she) does NOT need a signature to receive financial aid.

The LOI is an optional program and does not have to be signed. It means the recruit can still be recruited by other programs until enrollment. However, a player could sign a financial aid agreement and still receive a scholarship by the institution. 

The parents can make it difficult on McDowell to go to Michigan State, but ultimately they cannot prevent it.


February 5th, 2014 at 5:01 PM ^

To get regular Financial Aid you need to fill out the FAFSA. If you are a dependant your parents (or custodial parent) need to sign it. The purpose of this is so that the student can't just claim zero income and expect to get financial aid based upon that, if they are a dependant then the parents income needs to be listed and signed by them.


February 5th, 2014 at 2:01 PM ^

Whatever PR bump Malik gave Sparty is now diminished; every time someone recalls his commitment, the story will include mention of his parents' low opinion of Sparty's academics. 


February 5th, 2014 at 2:03 PM ^

His parnets should have kept this whole thing in house.  Would've been much easier to manage.  I don't blame them from wanting to put them in the siutation they feel is best for their son.  They know him better then any of us.  They know how they've tried to raise him and what values are important.  Somehow he'll convince his folks the can handle the situation maturely and not fall into the situations they're worried about.  He'll end up at State and do well.


February 5th, 2014 at 2:03 PM ^

he is 17years 8 months old. Does it create any problems for him to wait until then to sign his LOI? I assume he's the only one who would have to sign then.


February 5th, 2014 at 2:10 PM ^

NCAA law that you have to have your parent or legal guardian sign it until you're 21.... And I believe his father said he was willing to sign it.

Boy I'm just glad my parents and I agreed on where I should go to college... Well, at least my mom and I did hahaha


February 5th, 2014 at 3:05 PM ^

What BigK said.

She can't stop him from attending MSU and getting a scholarship there. All she can do is stop him from participating in the NLI program, which means other schools can continue to recruit him until it's signed and faxed. Who knows? Maybe Brady Hoke can work some magic...


February 5th, 2014 at 2:12 PM ^

Worst comes to worst, he can just wait to sign on his 18th bday. Ultimately, she can't stop him from going where he wants to go. She can just be a pain in his ass. 

(EDIT: Wait, you're saying he can't sign alone till he's 21? That seems ridiculous, given that 18 year olds can join the army at 18).

Granted, if he doesn't sign till later, there's always a chance that he'll reconsider and sign elsewhere. But if he wants to be a Sparty, he'll be a Sparty, regardless.


February 5th, 2014 at 2:25 PM ^

Can't blame MM's parents for wanting him to attend the school with the best academics. I'd do the same as a parent. ("Hmmm. Stanford or Oklahoma? Yeah, you're going to Stanford.") Still and all, there's no reason why they had to go public with their family laundry. It's unseamly. It embarrasses their son. And it suggests that they've got larger issues.