Apparently jokes at the expense of Rich Rodriguez’s heralded Michigan recruits don’t go over so well with the hometown newspaper. And AnnArbor.com’s Michigan beat writer Dave Birkett just got a spanking for making one.
This from the website’s chief content office Tony Dearing, who explains the story quite well:
“During a live chat on the site, University of Michigan football reporter Dave Birkett made an inappropriate remark relating to a player recruited to play for the Wolverines.
The comment involved Demar Dorsey, a blue-chip high school player from Florida who was arrested for burglaries during his teen-age years, but never convicted of any crime. He comes to Michigan with no criminal record and deserves to be treated as such.
During Monday’s live chat, Birkett briefly left the discussion to allow a repairman into his home. When he returned, he explained why he was away. A participant in the chat, using the screen name “Demar” made a joking remark about planning to come over to Birkett’s home. The comment was screened, and did not appear in the chat. But Birkett thought it was being posted in the chat and responded: “And thanks Demar, I’ll see you here shortly. No need to bring your crowbar.”
For those of you needing a refresher course on Demar Dorsey, take a gander back at JT’s Signing Day report on the exploits of Dorsey who had been implicated in multiple burglaries, including one with a deadly weapon. While the settlement of those legal cases by diversionary programs or juvenile law was good enough for the University of Michigan to give Dorsey a second chance, it doesn’t mean that the local media should be forced to ignore the very real past of the controversial safety.
I’m all for hoping that Dorsey has turned his life around, but for a
newspaper website to force its writers to pretend that an athlete wasn’t arrested multiple times for burglary is plain ridiculous. Maybe Birkett didn’t show the most tact, but its not up to the hometown news team to protect the players wearing Maize and Blue. If Rich Rodriguez is going to accept high-risk athletes with a criminal past into a program once known for its stringent discipline, he’ll need to accept the you-know-what that comes with it.
(H/T: Ty Duffy at TheBigLead.com)