Broward News

Michigan Wolverines Willing to Tote Legal Baggage of Talented South Florida Athletes

In what was thought to be a recruiting coup, the Michigan Wolverines landed a highly sought-after local football star: Boyd Anderson High defensive back Demar Dorsey who on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to play football at the Big Ten university. That's his hip-hop scored highlight reel above.

But the euphoria lasted only until the following day, when the local paper searched Dorsey's background. Turns out Dorsey has been arrested twice in Broward County.

Dorsey was acquitted of felony armed burglary charges in an incident that occurred when he was 16. Another case of burglarizing an unoccupied building was dismissed.

The Wolverines are aggressive when it comes to recruiting Broward County football players -- but the program has a spotty record when it comes molding them into responsible citizens. Last year, former Deerfield Beach football star Justin Feagin was kicked off the team following allegations that he and a friend were working with a South Florida drug dealer to sell cocaine on campus. That case was the basis for an investigation by the university's athletic department as to how thoroughly coaches check into a recruit's background.

Based on the article, it seems Dorsey owes his relatively clean background to the forbearance of local prosecutors.

Maria Schneider, head of the juvenile division of the Broward County State Attorney's Office, acknowledged Thursday that her office cut Dorsey a break a couple of times on criminal charges as a juvenile. The first, she confirmed, was for a burglary in June 2007. Dorsey, a first-time offender, was sent to a diversion program, rather than a trial. Later, he got another chance, even though he admitted to police his involvement in two burglaries in a single morning in November 2007.

Dorsey also has faced a charge as an adult of robbery with a deadly weapon in another instance, but a judge dismissed that case at trial for lack of evidence

Another former Broward football star is said to have played a key role in Michigan's recruitment Dorsey: Denard Robinson, the athletic Wolverine quarterback who starred at American Heritage but who grew up in Deerfield Beach.

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Thomas Francis