Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Poll Results: Should Michigan have re-offered David Dawson?

Yes: 80%
No: 20%

I do not particularly agree with the decision to re-offer Detroit (MI) Cass Tech offensive lineman David Dawson.  Dawson committed to Michigan in the spring, decommitted a couple weeks ago by visiting Florida, and was re-offered late last week.  Michigan has a policy in place that will no longer hold a spot for players who visit elsewhere, but they pulled Dawson's offer completely when he failed to be forthright about visiting Florida.

This topic has been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere, but I think there's the potential for Michigan recruits not to respect Hoke's "No Visit Policy" in the future.  And they would have at least a decent argument for doing so.  I realize Dawson has had a rough time with the loss of his father, and some people think that's good enough reason to give him another shot.  And maybe it is.  But I think it potentially starts a slippery slope.  What about a kid whose dad left the family recently?  What about a kid whose dad goes to jail?  What about a kid whose dad is abusive?  There are all kinds of family troubles out there, and you either have a policy or you don't.

28 comments:

  1. I might be missing a few details here, but offhand I don't see a problem with this.

    Dawson went elsewhere and they pulled his offer. I believe (perhaps naively) that they wouldn't have hesitated to fill the spot with someone else (say, Tunsil).

    The parties (Dawson and UM) then apparently got together for round two.

    I guess I'd like more evidence that they were "holding a spot" for Dawson all this time.

    Also, I understand that this could look bad to some people.

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    1. I don't think they are/were holding a spot for Dawson. But the coaches did tell him that they wouldn't recruit him anymore because of his shady visit to Florida. It's not that they kept his offer out there and didn't refill it; it was that they rescinded the offer completely...and then a few weeks later, they extended the offer again.

      From what I understand, the coaches are asking their recruits to be upfront with them. Some of the kids have been upfront, and the coaches have told them not to visit elsewhere. Why shouldn't Logan Tuley-Tillman take a free trip to TCU and then "re-commit" as soon as he gets back? Why shouldn't Henry Poggi take a free trip to Alabama? There are apparently no repercussions, because the kid can just re-commit to Michigan ASAP.

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    2. There are repercussions, because if someone else commits after you have vacated your spot you are out of luck.

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    3. That's not really a repercussion. It's just a chance. For example, the way it sounds, Conley could have re-committed about a day or two after de-committing. So he's basically just taking a chance that someone else would want to take his spot within about 24-48 hours. That's not enough time for other kids to visit or make an informed decision. I'd say that's very little risk at all.

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    4. First, there is no written policy about this. It's really been left to us on the web to speculate about the "rules" governing commits under Hoke. And that lack of codification is it's power. I don't think it's nearly as straightforward or ripe for abuse as you make it out. There are repercussions; the coaching staff will be looking for others to fill the vacated spot sure, but, more importantly, the offer needs to be re-extended. Sure, Poggi takes a trip to Bama or LTT heads off to TCU, but it's up to the coaches to determine if the player is being a tool and playing them or if there's a legit reason for decommitting. Dawson has a reason. And he reached out to make his case (at least from what I've read…) He also has not recommitted and there are two other recruits coming in to potentially take his former spot. I've heard others speculate that he commits before the 14th. My guess is the coaches don't allow him to do so (assuming he wants to) until after the weekend. I agree it would be much clearer if it were a yes/no policy, but I don't think that's practical and perhaps what is unfolding is more powerful — it's not the policy that's dictating the reaction, but the relationship with the coaches.

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    5. I don't think a written policy or speculation is necessary. It's quite simple. If you are visiting other schools, you do not have a guaranteed spot. Commitment is a two-way street.

      Whether the coaches continue to pursue you is obviously up to their discretion. The honesty and relative talent of the recruit are taken into account.

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  2. I agree with you comments Magnus, if you want a policy to be respected, then you have to enforce it. It is that simple. By giving a special consideration to certain kids, you are opening a can of worms by providing other kids with reasons to disrespect the policy. I think this is a mistake which will really make Hoke look bad if Dawson decides to have another change of heart and commit elsewhere. I actually don't think he is by any means a Michigan lock.

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  3. I don't think there is any harm here in Coach Hoke, or the University of Michigan taking the high road and reoffering this kid (or any other kid with the circumstances you listed). You look at it on a case by case basis, and handle accordingly. Sure, some other kid down the road may test the policy (a couple alreay have and have suffered the consequences of their actions)... this program is bigger than any one recruit. And the coach can always refuse to re-offer any kid that they don't want back, or feel he isn't remorseful for his wandering eye.

    I compare this to rehiring a remorseful ex-employee; if it works out great it's a win-win for everyone and a stonger bond is built with the employee for the company/program giving them another chance. If it doesn't work out... you can alway dismiss them and move on, the company... or team in this case can really win big if the recruit appreciates this offer and recruits like heck for us down the road. If not... the program can move on to the next recruit, one loss won't sink the ship.

    I respect Coach Hoke giving the kid another chance, none of us were in the room when that discussion happened... if he heard/saw something he liked and decided to reoffer that's good enough for me!

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    1. Zero kids have tested the policy and suffered for the consequences of their actions. None. Some wanted to visit elsewhere and were told that it would be a bad idea. A couple have visited elsewhere and thus de-committed, but they've either committed somewhere they would rather be (Pharaoh Brown, Oregon) or they're still being recruited by Michigan (Dawson, Conley).

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    2. It was Pharaoh Brown, and I thought another kid from that year that tried to hide their visits that I was thinking of with that statement. I would say getting dropped as a recruit by one of the top programs in the country is suffering the consequences of a decision being made. You are correct they still get to play football somewhere, but not at Michigan.

      I think we take for granted that these kids are getting the type of parental advice that many of us may have received as kids. They may just be shooting from the hip, w/o a mentor or a good one anyway...

      I like the policy that we are all interpreting Hoke to have out there... I just don't think it hurts him to error on the side of compassion for the selfish benefit of the program with a top recruit, the upside outweighs the risk in my opinion.

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    3. Getting dropped by Michigan doesn't really matter if you want to play for Oregon instead.

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    4. By the way, I have heard from a couple guys from Lyndhurst that Brown still would have wound up at UM if the coaches would have "kissed his butt" more. Apparently, he ticked off Mattison on a visit to his school or home (after the Oregon trip) and that was the nail in the coffin.

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    5. Maybe Brown sticks with Michigan afterall - but he wasn't given the choice. The coaches dropped him. He can't choose Michigan if he is dropped by Michigan.

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  4. Magnus - can you provide more details about Dawson not being forthright about his visit to Florida? Did he not tell the Michigan coaches that he planned to take the visit? If this is the version of events, how do you know this? Inside source or was there a public comment made by someone that was involved? I'm curious about how these details came to light.

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    1. Insiders have said that Dawson had been making contact with Florida's coaches without the knowledge of Michigan's coaches, and Thomas Wilcher basically confirmed that in his comments immediately after Dawson's de-commitment. Wilcher also said that Michigan yanked Dawson's offer and would no longer pursue him. Basically, Dawson had planned out his Florida visit while Michigan's coaches thought he was 100% committed to the Wolverines.

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  5. I don’t think this represents a change in the policy. The policy as I understand it says that if you visit other schools, the school no longer has an obligation to hold a place for you. You’re not loyal to us, we’re not loyal to you. Dawson chose to visit Florida so he no longer has a guaranteed spot at the University of Michigan. Yes, they’ve chosen to re-offer him but he no longer has a “reservation.” If Hunt or Lacy should commit sooner, then Dawson is out.

    The danger comes when a committed kid decides to look around close to National Signing Day, figuring he can just get his spot back if he doesn’t like the weed in Oregon or the hookers in Columbus. By this point, it's unlikely there would be a quality replacement available and then we're screwed. Could the Dawson situation be a incentive for a kid to do this? Possibly. But we see kids wavering close to or on NSD every year, regardless of the Policy. I trust the coaches to weigh the risks with the benefits. They know David Dawson and Gareon Conley. We don’t. If they think they’re high character kids, regardless of their wandering ways, I’m good with it.

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    1. Yes, that's the policy, but Michigan's coaches deemed it fit to YANK HIS OFFER because of the way he went about it. Then they gave it right back to him a couple weeks later.

      This is not a case - like Conley - of having second thoughts and being willing to give up your spot to see what else is out there. This is a case of knowing the policy and trying to sneak around it.

      Conley =/= Dawson

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  6. I'm with IowaBlue and DanGo. Having said that, I don't understanding Dawson waiting for 2 weeks. I'd like one of those 2 replacements to grab the spot.
    I think of a divorcing couple, remarrying. They checked the spouse-pool and found it not to their liking. The re-committment is probably stronger.
    "That's not enough time...." I don't agree with that at all. Some kids have been given an offer and have committed in less than a day. The qualified ones know what they want. Just my opinion.
    BTW, I really like your "personality". You're the first site I go to. Thanks for your "well-rounded" (pun) site!
    PRL

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  7. I wonder if this is a special circumstance because the kid is from Cass Tech. Maybe Dawson has shown contrition of late and apologized to the coaches, and maybe Wilcher has gotten involved in smoothing things over. Dawson makes me nervous because at least two of the other OL recruits have publicly chastised the kid, which leads me to believe he is rubbing people the wrong way. I'll trust the coaches on this one, though. Hoke is having no problem reeling in OG's so he is not recruiting the kid out of desperation. If Dawson went to a school that was not so tied to UM, he may not have this second chance.

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  8. Whenever someone says slippery slope, prepare for an illogical argument to follow.

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  9. On a slightly different note, Magnus how do you feel about Michigan willing to take someone in Dawson's mental state? He has been through a lot, and obviously he has trouble dealing with it, do you think Michigan is taking a risk?

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    1. Well, I'd rather not venture too far in that direction. I don't know Dawson himself, so I think it would be a little presumptuous for me to suggest that I know his mental state.

      However, I will say that I read an article sometime within the last year that looked at kids who decommit throughout the recruiting process. It wasn't a long-term study, but it suggested that kids who change their commitment during the recruiting process generally don't pan out in the long run. And if you look at the guys who have decommitted from Michigan in recent years, those kids aren't generally lighting the world on fire (Kevin Newsome, Shavodrick Beaver, Kevin Sousa, Christian Wilson, John Wienke, Demetrius Hart, etc.). In my weekly "Ex-Wolverine Updates," I don't often find myself thinking, "Gee, I wish we still had that kid."

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    2. Good point, although I was suggesting more along the lines of him being very confused about things rather than having severe issues with his mental health...

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  10. The policy is: if you are committed you don't take visits, not "If you decommit you are dead to us." I don't think any exception has been made to that and I really don't get all the fuss from fans. Some people out there take this stuff very personally...

    Thunder, You ask: Why shouldn't another recruit take a free trip and then "re-commit" as soon as he gets back?

    The answer is: because maybe they can't.

    They may get an offer after a visit, they may not. It depends on the circumstances.

    You seem to think they maybe part is a bit nuanced, but it seems pretty straight-forward to me. Conley was up-front and his scholarship offer was kept in-tact, despite the de-commit. Dawson wasn't and his offer was pulled. He got it back eventually, but he risked losing his spot (and still might.)

    Dawson sin was that he wasn't upfront - but we don't know the exact circumstances. He basically wanted to do what Conley did, but went about it the wrong way. If the coaches are comfortable with his character, so am I.

    Ultimately, I think the kids have the power here (until signing day). If you choose to be overly-strict, rigidly refuse to acknowledge any situational circumstances, while other schools are kissing-butt at every turn, you're going to lose. You have to respect that these kids have choices. Be up-front as possible and communicate what's going on.

    Michigan coaches take some kids who are character or academic risks, but that doesn't mean they don't have standards. It means they make a situational assessment and are flexible. They don't draw arbitrary lines in the sand, they weigh pros and cons. I see that as a good thing.

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