Some thoughts on the McDowell Controversy

I think it's fair to say that this particular recruitment has been pretty crazy. It's really unfortunate that this had to play out publicly; it's unfortunate for MSU, it's unfortunate for Malik, and by extension is unfortunate for both of his parents. I personally wish that things hadn't had to go the way they did. I wish his mother wouldn't have gone on record with a newspaper reporter, and I wish she hadn't gone on the radio, and I really wish the response from the fan base wouldn't have been so caustic. Regardless of what she said, going after her, personally, on message boards (and she probably shouldn't have been out fighting on message boards either, to be fair), did not help the situation for anybody involved. I get it's incredibly hard not to refute blatantly false claims being made about one's alma matter - or simply a University that one is a fan of. I also get it's really hard to resist joining in on personal attacks, when seemingly personal attacks have been made. This is especially true if the attacks are demonstrably false.

I will say, however, that there is a lot about what his mother said that simply doesn't make sense, any way I look at it. I'm not trying to attack her, it is simply that with the information she has put out there, much of what she has to say about Michigan State doesn't follow factually or logically. I am very confused about several of the things she said. A few of them could follow logically in a vacuum - that is not considering what other schools Malik was looking at. Looking at the context of the other schools, it makes absolutely no sense, at least to me.

First, if she wanted him away from his friends, why would UM have been "OK" and not MSU? MSU is a little over an hour from Southfield, where as Ann Arbor is literally up the road. I know from when I was in school, your friends in your hometown, are far more likely to make a half hour drive to visit you at college, than to take a drive that takes over an hour to make. It also is less likely that you would drive back to your hometown frequently from over an hour away, rather than a half hour away. I assume the friends she is referring to are in Southfield, or the surrounding area. Perhaps she was referring to the girlfriend exclusively, there, but if that is the case, why not simply say that you don’t want him near his friends that are already in the area of campus?

Second, how is MSU any more of a party school than UM, FSU, or OSU? Apparently, it’s okay to rape girls at UM and FSU. Apparently, they’ll let you burn out your eligibility before taking any action in Ann Arbor. I have been to three of the campuses in question, andMSU may be the most tame of the three. Additionally, you are talking about a school in a city that literally has public celebration of marijuana at Michigan. I’m not aware of any official events in East Lansing where you are just allowed to smoke pot openly.

Third, has she even looked at the rating of various academic programs at MSU? Even if MSU was ranked lower in the field that he would like to go into, I would have to think that MSU is firmer when it comes to athletic academics out of all these schools. Their 4 year graduation rate for athletes is on par with these other schools. There are numerous examples of MSU players doing extremely well academically, and even if they got to miss class (as was alleged in this case) they have to do the work, do well on the tests, know the material, and earn their grades. The fact so many student athletes at MSU are able to excell academically (such as Sadler, or Scarpinato), despite the fact they probably miss a good deal of class is a testament to how serious MSU athletics are about their academics. Recently, Izzo almost kicked a perfectly good player off of his team for academic issues. Key starters were benched due to skipping a single class. Not many D1 schools do that. Just look at the majors on MSU compared to many good D1 schools. MSU has premed majors, engineering majors and so forth. Where as General Studies, Criminal Justice, and similar degrees abound at other schools – it’s especially the case at Michigan, and I’m just going to assume it’s the case at Ohio State and Florida State.

Fourth, her whole speech about Burton is terribly uninformed. He may yet send his second player to the NFL, but him sending even a single player to the NFL at a service academy is truly impressive. Had Calhoun not cared about his academics, he could have gone left early after this season and been drafted. He won coaching awards for last season. He put together a top notch defensive line that had last 3 solid starters, 2 of which went to the NFL early (Gholston and Worthy). He coached a relatively unknown 3 star DE from New Jersey into arguably the best DE in all of college football, and if not the best, than second best. There should be no other coach in the country you’d rather have your 5 star DL be coached by, if you want him to succeed and have an NFL career. Even if she didn’t think Burton could get it done, there probably isn’t a better atmosphere to be in as a defensive player than to be in Narduzzi’s defense, and to have Coach Mannie as a strength and conditioning coach. Worthy and Gholston may have been under different Defensive Line coaches, but both were able succeed under the coaching staff at MSU. Finally, who wouldn’t want to be in a position to break the rotation on the defensive line for a team that had the best defense in FBS last year, and an elite defense the past 3 seasons? The defensive line he will be part of, whether it be this year, next year, or if he stuck around, his third year, will likely be the best of the Dantonio era, one of the better D-lines in FBS if not the best, and he surely will get more recognition than he would on a defensive line like FSU, OSU, or UM.

Fifth, she seems to be suffering from some major bias. I don’t know who fed her the information, if she came up with it all on her own, or if she had some ulterior motive for saying the things she did, but whatever the reason, and I’m not going to speculate, many of her complaints about MSU are demonstrably false. I just wish she would have actually tried to find out the facts prior to making her statements.

Sixth, regardless of her personal feelings, she certainly didn’t have to go out to the media and do what she did. It couldn’t have been good for Malik, and if her goal was to keep him from going to MSU, it certainly didn’t work. I hate how the response to her by MSUfans (accompanied by a large number of trolls who smelled blood in the water, who have no interest in MSU) went down. I think it just made things harder now. She has a lot of emotion invested in this at this point, and signing the paper work would mean that everything she did, all the shit she took, was all for naught. Having gone through all of that, it certainly isn’t any easier to lift that pen and push it to the paper.

I will say that she seemed perfectly capable of dishing out the insults, however played the victim when a little of her vitriol was returned to her. If you’re going to go out publicly and denigrate a university and making claims that are blatantly untrue, you should probably expect to be criticized back. It would have been great for 100% of the fan base to take the higher road, but there’s alway going to be that .01% of fans who dive into the dirt and sling some mud themselves, and all it takes is 1 out of 1,000 fans to make a comment to seem like the fan base has unleashed a literal storm of shit upon somebody. I just hope everything works out for Malik, and he doesn’t hold the comments of a few against the entire fan base.

This is a FanPost, written by a member of the TOC community. It does not represent the official positions of The Only Colors, Inc.--largely because we have no official positions.

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