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Posted on Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 8:45 p.m.

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez defends signing defensive back Demar Dorsey

By Dave Birkett

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez defended his decision to sign blue-chip prospect Demar Dorsey as part of the Wolverines’ 27-man recruiting class Wednesday.

Dorsey, ranked the No. 2 safety and No. 12 player in the country by, was charged with two felonies while in high school, according to court records in Broward County, Fla.

He was acquitted by a jury on a 2008 charge of robbery with a deadly weapon, and had an earlier charge of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling dismissed.

“Anytime there's a situation, we look at it,” Rodriguez said. “We have found out the whole story. A lot of times there's more to the story than what people understand. You have to look at the whole story. If a guy is in the wrong place at the wrong time and made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, all right, then you have to look at why he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But you don't pass judgment on him when he did that as a juvenile.

“There's nobody on this football team that we've signed that has a felony conviction. So you have to look at the whole story before you pass judgment. Or misdemeanor conviction.”

Dorsey, the cousin of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, committed to Florida early in the recruiting process, but began considering Florida State and USC, along with Michigan, in recent weeks.

Rodriguez indicated that Florida never stopped recruiting Dorsey.

“These other schools do the research, too,” Rodriguez said. “And don't always believe when they say they drop somebody when they didn't drop somebody. Somebody has committed to somebody for a year, over a year, and they still recruit them last week? Still recruiting them last week? Then they didn't drop the guy, all right? Maybe the guy decided not to visit there. Make sure you get the facts. Everybody don't get the facts on everything and pass judgment on something.”

Mark James, Dorsey’s coach at Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson High, did not return several phone calls seeking comment.

Dorsey is expected to contribute immediately as a true freshman in Michigan’s thin secondary. Rodriguez said Dorsey will start his career at cornerback, but could play safety as well.

“Demar’s a very athletic guy, very fast,” Rodriguez said. “He’s indicated he may run track as well, like Denard’s doing up here, so it may be good news for our track program. A fast guy who can play corner and safety. ... We’re excited about Demar.”

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 7:43 p.m.

Why is anyone surprised by the behavior of Birkett? He has already shown he is biased and now is getting some free pub by his actions at the presser. This type of journalism is A JOKE! You don't have to color everything "roses" or be a homer, but be at LEAST subjective! I think Birkett's journalistic "talent" would be best served on a TMZ website than a sports one. Look, Dorsey had some incidents in his past that were the mistakes of his youth. So, should he never be given another chance? If my memory serves me correct, Carr had kids he took under his wing who had troubled pasts and try and help them become responsible young men. Does it alway pan out? No, but at least those players were given a chance. So why isn't RR allowed the same lee-way? Oh, yeah..he's not a "Michigan guy" (whatever that means)...oh, I mean he just hasn't won enough. If he went 10-2 last season and landed Dorsey, no one would blink twice. If Dorsey hasn't changed, he'll be off the team and have blown his future. But that is on him...but at least RR gave him a chance to get a great education ata a great university...


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 3:55 p.m.

i think MSU is bad talkin RR and supporting Birkett is cuz MSU had the Top recruit in the BigTen Gholston, and MSU was praised for that. Now they attack Dorsey cuz he's the top recruit now in the BigTen. And Even thou i was a huge UM fan when Lloyd was here, he did recruit some guys with troubled pasts, EVERY SCHOOL DOES IT. its jus how the coaches and University handles it. I think wat RR is doin in Ann Arbor is wat UM needed. I can see Dorsey becomin a Charles Woodson. RR will develop him into the meanest safety/Corner. I have faith Dorsey will not want to get into trouble and giveup a great opportunity to attend UM. Now i think its unfair to pick on RR cuz many dont like his style of play and cuz he had no luck whem he arrived here yet, i believe this class is going to hlp him in the future and next season is goin to be really successful. GO BLUE!!!!


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

Why is it that i didnt hear anything bout this stuff bout dorsey when he was committed to Florida, o yeah cuz ppl are very bias and cuz RR has had no luck up here yet, they try to prey on him. Id bet ppl wouldn't say anything if dorsey was at Florida. Florida gets a lot players that had bad past. Pretty much the SEC. EVERY SCHOOL HAS THIS. I trust RR and take his word that Dorsey is not a criminal, and also he'll keep him out of trouble. Every1 needs a second chance. This is UM in Ann Arbor. Thats a lot better than Gainesville, LA, Knoxville, and Tallahassee. I for one welcome Dorsey to Ann Arbor and hopes he'll be a Michigan Great and will become a great Role model. GO BLUE!!!!!


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 8:31 a.m.

Anytime there's a situation, we look at it, Rodriguez said. We have found out the whole story. A lot of times there's more to the story than what people understand. You have to look at the whole story. If a guy is in the wrong place at the wrong time and made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, all right, then you have to look at why he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But you don't pass judgment on him when he did that as a juvenile." Wrong place at the wrong time? According to free press, the cops picked this kid up for burglary 3 times and he confessed twice. He was also picked up for armed robbery but the case was dismissed for lack of evidence (the victim couldn't pick out the assailant from the 5 guys in the car..Dorsey admits he was there). And this is RR's explanation? What would have been nice would have been for RR to explain what he saw in the kid's character that made him worth taking a chance on. Instead we get this double talk.


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 7:52 a.m.

QUESTION TO ANNARBOR>COM: When the reporter covering the story becomes the story is that a story and is this "classic" journalism??????? I anxiously await a detailed professional response from multiple editors.

Richard C

Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 7:33 a.m.

I must admit, the headline caught my attention because of my geekish prejudice against athletics, in particular about the low moral standards among the players and the excuses the fans will make for the players. To some extent, reading the replies here, I feel vindicated. Mostly, though, I'm just confused. Best to go back to the real world and ignore the whole subject of athletics - at least until I hear about players mugging people on the streets of Ann Arbor.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:22 p.m.

Wow, I read these awful comments and am completely disgusted. Since when did reporting a story become grounds for firing? If you want a fan site, start a blog and stay there. I listened to the video several times trying to find out where exactly the controversy is. Mr. Birkett is a reporter who did his job. He asked a question that any REPORTER seeking to find out information should ask. Just because you don't like the facts -- yes this man was accused of a crime and yes he was acquitted (both facts were very clearly stated in the article), doesn't mean they should not be reported. Maybe it feels good for some of you to find a scapegoat for all that's wrong U of M football.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 7:55 p.m.

@Mitch... You do realize that this "time when journalists would act like journalists and research a story before they went all in with it" you say you yearn for is the day before the Internet was invented, don't you. How do you suppose these journalists of yore did their research or found their information? They asked questions AT PRESS CONFERENCES... exactly what you're scolding Birkett for doing. He asked questions. He wrote RichRod's response. He did his job. Only in these good-old-days you fantasize about, we wouldn't have read those answers until the next morning's paper hit your doorstep, and you wouldn't have witnessed the same press conference streamed online. And considering this story cites court records from Broward County, Fla., it's quite apparent that he did do a little research beyond the press conference. And the story also indicates that he attempted to reach Dorsey's coach, who I'm sure would have only said good things about the kid if he had taken the time to return a phone call. Say what you want about Sharp and his correlation with O.J., etc. That's obviously a bunch of crap. Go crazy over on that site with your opinion, because you'll be responding to an opinion. That's what it is. Sharp is a columnist paid to write opinion pieces. But it's the outrage on this post that makes me wonder about the sanity of my fellow U-M fans. There's no opinion here. It's a no-frills, straight-shooting news story. A recruit signed. He has a tainted past. Reporters ask coach for his opinion. Coach gives his answer. Reporter writes his answer. Where's the controversy? What is everybody so fired up about? Do we not want reporters asking these questions? Don't you think those old-school journalists you seem to think went away would have asked the same questions and wrote the same story? If you don't, you're wrong. And, show me evidence of this research you crave in the Otto article you reference. (And call "great.") There's not one shred of research... it's all straight opinion, just like Sharp's. But it happens to be in line with your opinion, so it's "great"??? Great??? I happen to wholeheartedly agree with Otto's opinion, but I wouldn't come anywhere close to calling it great journalism. (And Otto's story on MLive probably has so few comments because nobody can FIND ANYTHING on MLive.) So it's not some old-style journalism you crave, but new-style fluff that wouldn't have found the light of day in a newspaper before the Internet was created. And that's fine... It has its place. I check out all the fan blogs as often as I read or the Detroit papers, too. But I hope I continue to get real news, like this, from and the Detroit papers in the future. And I hope people start to realize that when these last few bastions of real news go away, our society will be worse off for it. Imagine if Free Press city reporters decided not to look into Kwame Kilpatrick because, shucks, after all, they are the city's newspaper. It should be their job to shine a positive light on the city, right? You don't want people to know that your mayor is a straight-up crook, do you? Nah, let's keep the bad news hidden and maybe people will move back and start buying American-built cars again. And maybe if every real reporter covering U-M football reaches some Zen-like state and hands RichRod flowers before every press conference, his team will win ten consecutive national titles and all of his recruits will be Rhodes Scholars. Why do you think U-M has granted press credentials to all these fan blogs? Because they know the fan blogs will only write things that the university wants them to write. That's the journalism you want. It's not old-school. It's decidedly new-school.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 5:33 p.m.

"But if you do think that kid deserves another shot..." This is exactly my point. When did the kid blow his first shot? When he was acquitted? How does being found not guilty constitute someone blowing their first shot in life? In the video RichRod says exactly what needs to be said..."don't pass judgment until you know the whole story." Yet, despite that, Drew Sharp goes on the radio and says the following things about Dorsey... - Dorsey was timed in the 40 running a 4.4 while "avoiding police," Sharp attempts to joke. - When it's mentioned he was acquitted, Sharp says, "I wonder if that was because he was a high profile recruit. Hmm. I wonder. OJ got acquitted. Being acquitted doesn't mean you're innocent." Really, trying to compare this to O.J.? Wow... - Sharp: "If this was any other 16 year old facing charges on burglary, armed robbery, and assault, that kid might be serving probation. He probably thought 'I have to go to trial so I can get this off my record.'" So now Sharp knows what Dorsey was thinking? - Sharp: "I'm done with second chances. I have a hard time believing this kid Dorsey's learned one damn thing through his close calls with the criminal justice system." That's right, Dorsey hasn't learned one thing. He was acquitted of charges as a 16 year old, has not has any legal trouble since, but hasn't learned one thing (roll eyes). Apparently Sharp knows enough about the kid, his court case, character, etc... without ever meeting him, researching the case, talking to his coaches, etc... to pass judgment on him as a thug who hasn't learned anything. Bravo... And some of you wonder why us fans get defensive about such things. Garbage journalistic practices like this are exactly why. Note to Birkett: next time Drew Sharp opens his mouth, stay far away and don't touch anything he says with a ten foot pole. One Drew Sharp in this world is enough, and you do NOT need to go down that path as a reporter. If you want to do a story on Dorsey's past, fine, but do it respectfully and give the WHOLE story on what is a sensitive and personal issue, not a one-sided Drew Sharp/Nancy Grace slant that bashes the kid's character without knowing anything about him just because it'll rile up the haters and get you some attention. That's all I ask.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 4:17 p.m.

Why does being a fan equate to losing all sense of reason to so many of us? The job of a Michigan reporter is to bring us news from the Michigan program. Not the GOOD news. The NEWS. Does it seem like the media is piling on recently? Sure. But that's because there's MORE BAD NEWS TO REPORT. Everybody is on Birkett's case here because of a story he wrote about a recruit with a questionable background. What about the other 20-some POSITIVE profiles he wrote about the other recruits. Did anybody accuse him of being a homer? I keep reading his stories about that make these 3-Star recruits nobody else in the Big Ten seemed to want sound like great coups for Michigan. Doesn't sound like a "hater" to me. In fact, he must have written close to 50 stories only about signing day and the recruits... and this is the ONLY one that you can consider negative. (Note I say "consider negative", because if you took the time to read and comprehend it, it's not that negative. It isn't bashing Dorsey or Rodriguez. It's a story about Rodriguez defending his decision to give the kid another chance.) When your job is write stories about the reality of Michigan football right now, it's tough not to be perceived as negative if you're asking questions about 3-9 and 5-7 seasons. And if you don't want questions asked about recruits charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, don't recruit kids charged with robbery with a deadly weapon. But if you do think that kid deserves another shot, and I don't have an opinion of whether he does or doesn't because I -- like all of you -- have never met him, then you have to be willing to answer questions about that decision. I can only trust RichRod made the right decision in this instance. I hope he has. But I have no problems with reporters asking him to explain his decision. Birkett, thanks for the story. Fans, please try to find a slight grasp of reality.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 12:28 p.m.

On such a positive day with excitment in the air, leave it to the Ann Arbor News to try to make signing day a negative day! Instead of always looking for skeltons in Michigan's closet as they love to do, it would be nice if they did some coverage on (MSU) Misdemeanor State Univeristy in E. Lansing. Follow the straight and narrow and enjoy your next four or five years in Michigan Mr. Dorsey!!!


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 11:50 a.m.

When the Ann Arbor news lost its print edition and went online as, they also lost decent journalists and got Dave Birkett.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 11:23 a.m.

Once again, there are 2 camps--the anti Birkett camp and the pro RR camp. I think Birkett has every right to question the coach on his decisions. I did not see his questions, so I don't know if they were 'too agressive', but since when are there rules protecting the coach of a football team? I think comparing Larry Harrison, Booboo, Harrison, etc with Dorsey is misguided, over the simple fact that their transgressions did not occur until they were already at Michigan. It is a privilege and an honor to get a scholarship to Michigan (or any other school, but I only care about Michigan for this discussion). The fact that Dorsey was in a situation with 'armed robbery' in the same sentence is troubling. I don't know the facts, and hope that he works out well and represents us all well, and learns from his life experience. But to have been in trouble with the law twice with pretty serious charges is a concern. It's not like you are letting the guy enroll at the university at his own expense, or whatever. He is taking a scholarship and acting as a representative of the university, like it or not. And it's not mistakes that he made once he was in the family. Would he even be considered if he were a mediocre athlete? I have seen people say that "young people make mistakes", but I just don't know too many young people making mistakes with the accusation of armed robbery. I don't know what mistakes are acceptable, but armed robbery? That sounds like more than a mistake. That's deadly.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 11:15 a.m.

Last year during the whole Feagin incident, if I remember correctly, RichRod said anytime there's a questionable recruit, they check his background but also run it by University officials. Did anyone in the media ask if University officials had this run by them? If not, why not? I have no problem with the media reporting something in a fair way if it's warranted. However, in this case, I do NOT feel there was anything fair, but rather a one-sided character assassination on Dorsey. RichRod said he found out the whole story. He asked the media to find out the whole story. Did the media find out the whole story? NO. Did they tell you the whole story? NO. Did they look into Dorsey's case, read the testimony, talk to Dorsey, his family, friends, coaches, the jury, etc... to find out the whole story? NO. They simply tell you he was once on trial, and according to Drew Sharp, even though he was found innocent, "so was O.J.," so therefore Dorsey is being accused of being guilty despite being found innocent. Sharp has you believe that he was found innocent simply because he's a big time football player who is a spoiled kid that thinks he can get away with anything. So I ask you, the media, and you, the RichRod haters/Birkett/Sharp supporters...where's the FACTS, the SUBSTANCE to back up those claims? Because those claims, to me, are nothing more than libel/slander without them, and it's a shame Dorsey is having his character/personal life destroyed by the media without being able to defend himself and without the media doing a balanced piece and giving his side of the story (or at least, you know, researching it themselves since that's what journalists are suppose to do). And by the time the media does ask him, guess what? Too late, the damage has already been done.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 10:51 a.m.

Some of you people are just trolls. Boubicar was a Lloyd recruit. Acting as if Lloyd didn't have any bad eggs is laughable. Remember Larry Harrison? Tagging RRod with Chris Henry and Pacman Jones is also laughable. Two guys who got into trouble once they hit the NFL and had all those millions thrown at them in NO WAY is a reflection upon RRod. The OJ Simpson "acquittal doesn't equal innocent" argument is also laughable. Congrats on being a Drew Sharp slappy. Yes, there have been guilty people acquitted. Yes, there have been innocent people convicted. How about we stop being so darned cynical because there is a 1% chance of the justice system getting it wrong. Birkett was out of line doing no research and hammering the coach.

Steve Pepple

Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 10:51 a.m.

A comment has been removed because it contained a personal attack against another commenter.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:58 a.m.

chosen1 i do not agree. there is a recruit 2009 class at osu named jamal berry (RB). he was CONVICTED (not acquitted) on a marijuana charge in florida. i live in ohio and i didn't see any major papers questioning tressel including the columbus dispatch.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:43 a.m.

Marineblue, If this recruit had gone to osu or msu how would you have reacted? whether we like it or not it is a story. Hopefully one with a happy ending. He isn't trying to bring michigan down, he was doing his job. Juicy stories sell papers, even here in a2. Dave has been objective in all of his reporting on the team and hasn't led a witch hunt. He's just another reporter being villified by michigan fans like Jim Carty was.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:21 a.m.

Why is it that the only 'really good' recruits Michigan can get are ones with serious baggage? Is this guy our Gilbert Arenas? Time will tell.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:20 a.m.

should Birkett have asked the question? YES, it is a legit question, a follow up question? again YES! keep going on and on and badgering the coach when he has already answered the question? that is not journalism also didn't Birkett used to cover msu football? seems I remember him doing a story on JL Smith climbing a mountain.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:13 a.m.

well birkett, you have done it again. this pathetic effort has shown the readers your true colors. how are you even allowed to cover football given your msu background? i think that it would be best if reassigns you to another area of news to cover. you have clearly demonstrated your bias and have no business covering football. everybody used to want to be like MIKE, seems that you WANT to be more like drew. it takes a sad man to try and ruin a great day for RR, his recruits, and the fans of Michigan football. ps. for those of you that want to express your true feelings to mr. birkett go to youtube and access this clip of the presser. there is no censorship.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:10 a.m.

the thing we DO know is that IF anything happens with ANY of Michigan's football team RRod will deal with it correctly. Unlike certain coaches who actually recruit people with records and then allow a culture that leads to a terrorist attack on a frat house by a group of his football team and then covers it up.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 9:05 a.m.

Can we think about what Dave's job is for a minute? He is paid to report stories and when Drew Sharp raised the initial question it became a story. There was a follow up question. Rich did a great job responding to them. Unfortunately too many here in ann arbor want only feel good stories and anything that is negative is wrong and must be destroyed. I hope that Dave isn't reprimanded or fired because of a few sour apples


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 8:27 a.m.

Can a ANNARBOR.COM representative please answer this: Who is the reporter asking the questions to RichRod? The article neglects to mention that and the video does not identify the male voice asking the questions


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 8:11 a.m.

Despicable article, I am very unhappy with the way Birkett hammered on RichRod the day he had a great recruiting class. I don't necessarily like him writing UM articles and I am canceling my subscription as we speak. You can call us "UM" fans weak but i'm tired of writers who take shots at big name schools just to get a reaction. Isn't America about second chances anyway? I'm pretty sure it is, especially when you weren't even convicted...


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 8:09 a.m.

The kid was found not guilty hes a 5* per espn the anti michigan people and internet trolls will always hate on everything no matter what it gonna be a playmaker maybe u seen his all-star game the kid is sick, found Not Guilty that should put the matter to rest Not Guilty maybe some of you know what that means.

Paula Gardner

Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 7:54 a.m.

Comments have been removed that violate our policy. Reminder: If you want to react to this story, please stay on topic. And criticism of the story cannot cross the line into a personal attack.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 7:44 a.m.

Just look at RR's track record then draw conclusions


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 7:28 a.m.

"RR has a history of recruiting miscreants! Chris Henry, Pacman Jones, Boubacar Cissoko and Justin Feagin. And that article on Conelius Jones is scary too! I'm missing Lloyd Everyday." You must be a new fan, because you obviously don't remember the trouble of Marlin Jackson, Adrian Arrington, Larry Harrison, Mario Manningham, Carson Butler, Chris Richard, Johnny Sears, Kevin Grady, Brian Griese, etc. Over time, every team will have players that screw up and I'm fine with giving second chances, but to intimate that Lloyd was immuned to this is flat out wrong. BTW, Boubacar Cissoko committed to Lloyd before Rich was hired.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 7:10 a.m.

For those who believe acquital means innocent...I give you O.J Simpson. Do you believe he didn't kill his wife and the delivery guy? But he was found innocent by his peers. How many others have been guilty of a crime but found innocent? PacMan's legal issues were started before he went to WVU and while there was cited for underage drinking on 2 seperate occassions. Let's not be so blind by our fandom that we lose the ability to think logically. I hope this kid is a model citizen who has turned his life around and that the change of scenery will be what he needs to stay out of trouble and from putting himself with the wrong crowd.

Sean T.

Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 6:54 a.m.

Let's be honest if this kid went to MSU we'd be all over it! I'd probably be throwing stones at Dumbtonio saying "Talent over Character" and many of you would be right along with me. None of those Sparty's had issues in High School and they screwed up in college so I guess they should get their second chance. Now Dorsey was acquitted of his crimes so I won't judge this kid and I'll be glad to have him here! But if he screws up here he should be kicked back to the hood where he's from because RR would look like an idiot because he knew the kid had issues, no matter if he was acquitted. Our Glass House in AA has a few cracks in it so it's time to put away the stones now. Let's be honest...RR has a history of recruiting miscreants! Chris Henry, Pacman Jones, Boubacar Cissoko and Justin Feagin. And that article on Conelius Jones is scary too! I'm missing Lloyd Everyday.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 6:52 a.m.

You received a more than fair answer the first time you asked the question. Your continuous badgering of the coach should embarrass you. If you were in Gainsville and Dorsey had gone to Florida, would you have disrespected Urban Meyer the same way? I'd venture guess you wouldn't have. Why do some of the media feel it their responsibility to run this coach out of town? Let the man do his job and let him succeed/fail on his own. Then, at least, we'll know one way or another that it was his own merrits that caused him to succeed/fail. Not the continuous badgering by a group of second rate "journalists" trying to be "edgy" and grandstand for their next job.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 6:46 a.m.

I don't begrudge RR taking a risk on this kid -- after all, he's a top notch recruit -- but this board is dripping with hypocricy. I'm not going to defend the MSU football players -- what they did was stupid and, in my opinion. But there was provocation in both incidents where Glenn Winston was involved. The players did not just, out of the blue, decide to raid a fraternity and intimidate its members. But in Dorsey's case, what makes one go out and commit armed robbery? Or burglarize a house? Is anyone here suggesting he didn't do it? RichRod admits Dorsey was involved with this comment: "But you don't pass judgment on him when he did that as a juvenile." This comment raises the question: when else would Dorsey have gotten into trouble? He's only been 18 since August. And you know these kids know how to game the system. If they get in serious trouble, they pull the "I'm a juvenile" card. Hopefully, because Dorsey has been 18 since August, he realizes the stakes have gone up. He should stay out of serious trouble given the great second chance he's been given. (Or is it third chance?) But if anyone on here is trying to claim he was falsely charged and is an angel while claiming the MSU football players should not get a second chance then you are a hypocrite of the worst kind. A final comment: the MSU football players who are being given a second chance were already in the MSU football fold when "the incident" occurred. Naturally one is going to try to give those kids another chance. Those that appeared hopeless were kicked off. Dorsey was invited into the UM football family given his issues were known. I'm not saying it's wrong. But don't try to claim UM is different from any other program. (And claiming that Florida, Florida St, and USC wanted the kid really says it all. Those programs are hardly known for their integrity.)


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 6:24 a.m.

For those that continually cite Pacman Jones as an example of Rich taking "bad guys", he didn't have all his legal troubles until AFTER he left West Virginia. He toed the line pretty well under Rich's watch. It also doesn't change the fact that Birkett acted completely unprofessional yesterday and sounded foolish. Why does the media in this area continually harp on the negative? Do you think the Columbus Dispatch or Cleveland Plain Dealer have columnists that treat their hometown teams this way? No Way!!


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 2:41 a.m.

I thought Michigan only recruited players with GOOD character.... Wersch cracks me up can you say HYPOCRITE


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:53 a.m.

I thin the difference here is that RR is under alot of pressure, he has that NCAA allegations crap, constant criticism, losing record, new DC to hire, etc. Lloyd was great but he wasnt even close to where RR is at. EVERYONE KNOWS NEGATIVITY IS WHAT RAISES RATINGS AND PROMOTIONS. I for one think Demar Dorsey will not become the next pacman jones cuz RR wouldn't let that happen, RR probably learned about that for some time by now, he jus didnt have a star with bad rep. Demar Dorsey will be in Ann Arbor where its not near as much trouble as in Tallahassee, LA, and Knoxville. I say give him a second chance. The only reason this is a big deal is because Dorsey is a top tier recruit. and for jones, he WAS IN TROUBLE, now u dont hear anything bad about him. HEY MAYBE them both will become great role models. UM does have a great rep, and that rep will continue on.... And for me i dont give a $@%& who reports wat cuz they r doin their job and reporters are always looking for the BIG SCOOP aka NEGATIVITY (No ffense to birkett). Let Dorsey's game shutup everyone. O yeah i heard he was aquitted, ACQUITTED if any of u went to law school (which i dont but i do have a cousin as a lawyer) that acquitted " declared not guilty" So Dorsey was not guilty. He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, thats what the jury declared. I believe in aNN arbor he wont be at the wrong place (great atmosphere) at the wrong time (great atmsphere less likely get caught up in trouble). and for those who say RR recruits thugs, I believe Every school recruit atleast 1 thug. Many of them change there ways and become model citizens. i thank many of u ppl who defend Dorsey and RR, thats what a trueblue fan is, thinking positive and sticking to your team even if they aren't doin well. HAIL TO THE VICTORS VALIANT!!!!


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:42 a.m.

Here you go, Birkett lovers... listen to your other buddy, Drew Sharp, pretty much proclaim that Dorsey was found innocent because he's a spoiled star athlete who thinks he can get away with anything and just because he was acquitted doesn't mean he's not guilty... and any other every day 16 year old would not have been so lucky. Unbelievable... I'm glad Dorsey already signed his letter of intent because the way the media is treating him I know I would have reconsidered. The least the media could have done is find out more facts about the case and trial and gotten his side of the story, not just put it out there he was on trial as a 16 year old and make everyone think he's guilty.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:30 a.m.

Hey 2sweetblue, coaches other than "richie" also recruited Dorsey and were praying that he was gonna commit to them today. Are you familiar with Urban Meyer, Jimbo Fischer, and Lane Kiffin? If not, they are the head coaches of Florida, Florida State, and USC. These programs have had a little success over the last 10 to 15 years. It is called BIG TIME COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!! You can either be on board or you can decompose with all of the other OLD BLUES that think Michigan is above everyone else. You don't think Lloyd Carr ever recruited "questionable" and "risky" student athletes. If you think the answer is NO, then you need a reality check my dear! Go Blue! Go Rich Rod! I hope Dorsey becomes an All American and quality student. That way, he can stick it in the face of all the idiots doubting him today!


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:27 a.m.

InsideTheHall: Besides Birkett, the other reporter asking questions about Dorsey was Drew Sharp from the Free Press, which pretty much explains a lot...


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:27 a.m.

Based on your scenario TruBlue, Mr. Birkett was an unprepared reporter at a press conference who had an inferiority complex that was eager to jump at the opportunity to lob an ill conceived question that soundly rejected his attempt to validate himself as a reporter that is to be respected because he asks the tough questions. How about the dude just didn't do his research...I don't hear any other questions asked or articles written. To the average joe, that reeks of agenda...


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:18 a.m.

Birkett: Who was the reporter asking RichRod the questions on this subject? You do not identify him in your article.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:15 a.m.

Good to know Rich Rodriguez is recruiting top tier players ranked in the top 15 nationally, top 2 in his position. It doesn't even matter because Jake Ryan is going to punish QB's before they release the ball.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:13 a.m.

@2sweetblue - Please explain how this is a "second chance?" It's not like Dorsey was found guilty and went to jail, a la Glenn Winston at MSU, then got let back on the team as soon as he came out of the slammer. What part of "acquitted" don't you understand? It's a shame that Dorsey is already being victimized by folks like yourself here when a jury found he did no wrong. Duke lacrosse team anyone? I feel like I'm watching Nancy Grace reading some of these comments.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:11 a.m.

Good job Dave! I'm sure that you will share a good laugh about this one with your boys Rosey and Sharp. The people love to hear stupid question after stupid question. Great reporting. All of you idiots get in a room and repeat the same questions like a bunch of little girls. You all know that he will answer it the same way every time, but I know that is "your job as a reporter".


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:09 a.m.

"US" Michigan fans + "second chances" reek 2sweetblue. Second chances mean a scholarship player, being found guilty in court, being allowed to come back to the university. This resembles nothing like the debacle that is msu. I wish Lucas a speedy recovery, crappy form on that jump shot by the way.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 1:07 a.m.

How come Birkett (and those who "love" this article) didn't go off on RichRod for recruiting Conelius Jones, too? ------ "Jones hasnt played football in the Spartanburg system for a couple of years after he got into some trouble, he said. He was one of the players that Brown went out into the community and got back in school during the spring. Hes given me another chance, and I want to make sure I make the most of it, Jones said." ------------- Come on, where's the outrage over Jones? Why didn't you badger RR over him? Better go digging in to his past, too, to see what he did in middle school or whenever so the doubters can point at another "RichRod will recruit anybody" article. Guess what, oh holier than thou users of kids make mistakes. I know they're not all perfect like yourselves, so therefore I guess they shouldn't be worthy of making something of their lives, huh? Jones doesn't have a perfect past, but thanks to his coach he has turned his life around. Though I guess we should pull his scholarship, huh? Dorsey wasn't even convicted of anything, yet he's being perceived as a bad guy? Uh, okay... get over yourselves.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 12:59 a.m.

So now us Michigan fans are all about second chances..... Two months ago nobody believed in second chances.... Again GREAT article Dave I am glad to know what kind of players Richie is recruiting....


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 12:49 a.m.

DAVE BIRKETT = YELLOW, NOT EVEN CLOSE TO MAIZE. You think you're asking the "tough questions" and being objective but in reality your perpetuating stupidity and compromising journalistic integrity and your own.

Carl Paulus

Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 12:32 a.m.

So a kid from one of the poorest places in the country is accused and acquitted of a crime two years ago and instead of talking about how he now is getting the opportunity of a lifetime to play big time college football and receive a college education, Dave Birkett decides to assume he's actually guilty of something. I wonder if Mr. Birkett would have written something similar if it was a say, a kid from Plymouth or Novi. My guess is that his story would be about "second chances."


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 12:17 a.m.

This is one of the worst cases of a reporter showing his a$$ with an obvious agenda that I have ever seen, and doing it at the expense of a kid. 99.9% of the people on here talking smack aren't even smart enough to have facts before they post. (wow sounds like the "reporter" so this doesn't surprise me) Birkett is a complete joke, this is absolutely insane this guy has a job covering the Wolverines. This is a great class, it is a good day to be a Wolverine. And the home town paper comes with this sh!t! Spartans won 1 more game this year, they have 1/4 of their team with convictions on their records, have an average recruiting class and a coach that has done absolutely nothing in past to be considered on RRod's level. Is this why Birkett is pushing his agenda? Little brother Birkett please try to be professional and do your job. You know what, I think I need to pay $40.00 on the internet to do a back ground check on Birkett to see whats out there on him. No longer will I support this half a$$ed news site. Hopefully Brandon bans this fool from future pressers.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 12:07 a.m.

This whole story is absurd. The first question Dave Birkett asks at signing day is unprofessional in that he obviously didn't do his research and due diligence. #1 the incident took place while Dorsey was a juvenile, #2 charges were dropped, #3 the player was acquitted by his peers. Now MSU's situation; #1 double digit player's charged with assault, #2 a handful of them already plead guilty, #3 they were in an academic setting far away from crime or other more harsh areas, #4 they were scholarship athletes when the crime was committed, #5 some player's were found guilty of previous crimes and served a shortened jail sentence and then committed a similar crime again...I could go on and on about how this resembles nothing like the msu situation... IF anything happens with this player while he is a scholarship athlete at Michigan, then he is gone and we all know it. Dave Birkett obviously has an axe to grind and I applaud Rich Rodriguez for standing up for himself, the program, and this player in the face of such a immoral and moronic accusation that was based on the writer's own faulty research, and journalistic standards. Dave Birkett contributes nothing to be proud of to this medium. I suggest that he write for a publication that more suits his professional ethics and interests, he obviously is a very unhappy and unsatisfied individual personally and professionally.


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 12:03 a.m.

Wouldn't be a normal day for the Ann Arbor Press without trying to find something to complain about in the world of the University of Michigan. Poor journalism by Birkett, as he was trying to push buttons today with Rodriguez on a day that should be a proud day for the school and the team. We signed one of the top safties available at a position that we desperately need help at and all you can find time to write about is possible mistakes the kid made as a juvenile that he was not even found guilty of. It's amazing how much these journalists have it out for the Rich Rod regime and they do nothing to try and hide it either. If I were the editor I would have a long time with this little midget looking punk reporter about how to do your job properly. Also, what has happened to innocent until proven guilty? Trust me, as somebody involved in the criminal justice world I thought I was sometimes unfair in my views, why don't you throw this kid under the bus a little more Birkett? Wow, these journalists sicken me and I can't figure out why MLIVE is associated with them!


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 11:40 p.m.

Clearly the folks who are defending Birkett didn't watch the press conference. It was pathetic, and for those of you who compare this to MSU you are crazy. Remember, this kid just picked us! He is a 4/5 star athlete, Denard's cousin, a bright spot... Finally. Now he is a star because his past was brought up by a pathetic reporter. Weak. Go Blue, fire the reporter.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 11:24 p.m.

I think everybody is crying like little babies. I enjoyed the article because it showed Rich Rod will recruit anyone. Go back and look and some of the characters he recruited at West Virginia. Can you say PACMAN JONES....... Thank you Dave well done!!


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 11:08 p.m.

I call on to suspend Dave Birkett from covering Michigan Football indefinitely. His comments in the press conference were extremely irresponsible, as well as proving his lack of journalistic integrity. Birkett publicly slandered a man who was proven innocent by a jury of his peers(Demar Dorsey), as well as showing disdain and disrespect for Rich Rodriguez by repeatedly bringing up the issue. At the very least, Mr. Birkett should write a letter of apology to Coach Rodriguez and Mr. Dorsey. He should also publish an article in explaining his unprofessional actions. If wishes to remain a legitimate publication, these steps must be taken.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 11:02 p.m.

How is this similar to what happened at State? Dantonio immediately let a kid back on the team that was *fresh out of jail,* as in, GUILTY. Dorsey was ACQUITTED. Maybe Birkett will do what RichRod suggested and take the time to research the whole story. Sure would be better than badgering the coach along with Drew Sharp (yes, he was the other "reporter" attacking this issue) at what should be a fun day to promote his new kids without providing any substance of everything that happened in Dorsey's past. I, for one, think he'll be fine at U-M, especially with his cousin here to look out for him.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:57 p.m.

I've debated canceling my print subscription for a few weeks now, but after listening to your MICHIGAN football guy push his own agenda at Rich's press conference today- i'll be canceling tomorrow. Man, I wish he would have been around to ask a question like that to Lloyd- Lloyd would have ripped him apart. There are plenty of other blogs out there that aren't looking to constantly push the negative every chance they get. You don't need to be the next Drew Sharp to sell papers, in fact, it's cost you at least one subscription. If you are trying to sell your site and paper in and around Ann Arbor, hiring a Sparty grad to cover UM football may not be the smartest idea to keep your readership.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:55 p.m.

I've debated canceling my print subscription for a few weeks now, but after listening to your MICHIGAN football guy push his own agenda at Rich's press conference today- i'll be canceling tomorrow. Man, I wish he would have been around to ask a question like that to Lloyd- Lloyd would have ripped him apart. There are plenty of other blogs out there that aren't looking to constantly push the negative every chance they get. You don't need to be the next Drew Sharp to sell papers, in fact, it's cost you at least one subscription. If you are trying to sell your site and paper in and around Ann Arbor, hiring a Sparty grad to cover UM football may not be the smartest idea to keep your readership.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:44 p.m.

It's good to know birk was a writer for the enemy i'm sure he has some revenge he'd like...also wrote for ESPN right? Wow...probably the two sources I know that hate Michigan the most. Also feagin (1 player) out of all the players we get? C'mon man jeez


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:25 p.m.

If this story is legit, I want to know about it. I guess we Michigan fans can dish it out to State fans, but we sure can't take it either. This is similar to what Dantonio did giving his guys a second chance. Fans of both teams can choose to spin this how they want to, but hiding the facts for "positive" stories is not news and does not meet the criteria for "free press" in the US. Keep up the good work, Birkett. You provide the stories and let the readers decide how they want to spin it in their own minds.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:19 p.m.

After the whole Justin Feagin situation, I am not so sure that Mr. Dorsey would have been my choice, even though he was not convicted. Let's hope he is a great Michigan man and player, but after RR's record at WVU (with several people who have not been model citizens at WVU and in the NFL, and with Feagin) and given his record at Michigan overall, I'd be careful. But of course, I'm not a coach. Did anyone see Seantrel Henderson's interview in the NY Times? He sounds like a man-child who thinks the world is coming to him, and totally sounds like a spoiled child. Ended up at USC because of the big stage. Didn't like the Vest because "he spoke too much and was too dry" (told him he'd have to meet expectations, like going to class, etc); didn't like Minnesota because it was too small time (well, maybe); made the coach at Miami wait 1.5 hours because he was getting his hair done. and they were mad that USC's Pete Carroll never called back when he left USC, yet took Lane Kiffin (not exactly the cleanest guy) at his word that USC would not be put on probation and that he was honest. Hmmm. Here's hoping that he stays healthy but it would not break my heart if he did not succeed in football given his bad attitude. Thank goodness he didn't want to come to MIchigan, talent or not. We don't need people like that. THe coaches nationally trip over themselves to get a talent like him, but to what end? They sound like they are selling out to get a truly selfish immature guy. You know what? I"ll take 2 stars over this 'star' over the character issue any day.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:17 p.m.

Pac Man, anyone???


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:05 p.m.

I sure hope you were not the one harrassing the coach on signing day. Wake up man, quit trying to stir things up, it is NOT NECESSARY. If your goal is to lose readership continue with your actions. If you want to be seen as a "good reporter" put some positive things in the press.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:04 p.m.

This isn't the story here Mr. Birkett. Your behavior at the presser is the real story. Your Spartan background and biased reporting remove you from ever being considered an objective reporter regarding anything related to UM football. I fully expect you to delete this post because can dish it out but not take it.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 9:58 p.m.

Birkett just likes to try to become famous with these articles when really the bigger article is that what 20 state players were ACTUALLY CONVICTED?!?! Wait...yes convicted meaning they were charged but no no let's talk about Michigan they have a lot of reputation. Good work Mr. B your a gentleman.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 9:31 p.m.

Tater I believe that is called a second chance


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 9:22 p.m.

In Mr Birkett's world accused means convicted. He gets the Pulitzer for yellow journalism.