Slightly Off-Topic, But Still Relevant

The primary focus around here is oversigning, but from time to time you can't help but talk about academic standards and players qualifying when you talk about oversigning.  Those supporting oversigning often point to issues with finding enough guys to qualify academically to fill their roster.   We have mentioned here several times that we equate oversigning to hedging against attrition and how some schools have the luxury of doing it and some schools do not or will not.

Here is a prime example of how not being able to hedge can really bite you in recruiting.  Rich Rodriguez's prize recruit and the highest rated recruit for the entire Big 10 conference will most likely not play at Michigan this year, or next, or ever.  Demar Dorsey will likely not make it into school at Michigan this year, despite meeting the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements and being an NCAA qualifier.

Dorsey, the Big Ten's highest-rated recruit according to ESPN Recruiting, hasn't been allowed to enroll at Michigan, his high school coach Mark James told Corey Long.

"Demar is an NCAA qualifier with a 2.5 or 2.6 GPA and an 18 score on the ACT," said James. "But he hasn't yet been granted at Michigan."

Controversy surrounded Dorsey's commitment to Michigan when it was disclosed that he was arrested twice as a juvenile. He was acquitted on a charge of robbery with a deadly weapon in 2008 and had a previous charge of burglary dismissed.

James suggested that some of Dorsey's issues with his admission may stem from his previous transgressions with the law.

Both James and another source close to Dorsey told ESPN.com that Michigan's coaching staff is still working very hard to get him admitted.


This brings a lot of areas of discussion to the table:

1. How is Dorsey affected by this?  He signed a LOI to a JUCO as a backup plan, but you have to think the kid was excited about clearing the NCAA clearinghouse and going to Michigan.  Will he end up at another D1 school on scholarship?  Rodriguez's comments about JUCO players are pretty interesting; pretty much he is saying that if Dorsey goes to JUCO it is unlikely that he will be able to come back to Michigan because of the issues with credits from JUCO transferring to Michigan.  This sure sheds some light on the JUCO farm leagues in Mississippi.  

In November, he spoke about wanting to sign a junior college player or two but not getting his hopes up.

“There’s not a lot of transferrable credits for junior-college guys to come in here,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes people look at that as a quicker fix. That’s not going to really be an option for us just because of the academic differences.”

From the link above to the ESPN article.

Regardless, you have to feel for Dorsey who thought he was going to Michigan and is now looking elsewhere.  A lot of this can be solved by changing the signing process - one of our readers Mario, former linebacker at Alabama, has had some great insight and good ideas in this regard.

2. Are academic requirements really different across conferences and is it true that just because a guy clears the NCAA doesn't mean he will get into school?

3. How is Michigan going to be affected by this loss?  Had they been able to hedge their attrition by oversigning, would they have taken another player just in case?

4. What kind of competitive advantage is it to be able to oversign?

5. Does Rivals and Scout include the potential to qualify as part of their rating system??? Here we have the highest rated recruit for Michigan, and the Big 10, but at the end of the day, if he doesn't qualify how high should he really be rated?  If Rivals and Scout and all the other recruiting ranking services leave out academics or the ability to qualify it should be considered just as bad as if they left out a player's ability to read defenses or run a fast 40 time.  We see now why Randy Edsall was so livid about recruiting services.

6. Are part of Rich Rodriguez's problems at Michigan related in some way to the change in culture he is experiencing?  A guy like Dorsey would be lock to get into West Virginia, wouldn't he?

This could be a crushing blow to Michigan's secondary as Dorsey was expected to come in right away and help shore up a position of need.