Thursday, February 4, 2010

Drew Sharp: Terrorist

Drew Sharp, Free Press columnist and all-around baseless moralist, recently went on the radio to blast Rich Rodriguez for the signing of Florida safety prospect Demar Dorsey, a player who apparently, at the age of 16, was acquitted of several charges: "He was acquitted by a jury on a 2008 charge of robbery with a deadly weapon, and had an earlier charge of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling dismissed," according to On the program, Sharp questions why Rodriguez would take a chance on a player who had previously shown a checkered past after the Justin Feagin issues last year--something that Sharp still doesn't understand, asserting that Feagin was a cocaine dealer in high school.

"You guys [fans] only want to hear what you wish to hear," says Sharp. "This is why I have very little respect for the fans out there. Because you guys do not want to hear what you need to hear. I feel that's my job and most of the people in the job that I have, my co-host included in this, we feel that it's incumbent upon us to tell you want we think you need to know and then you can form your own opinions."

Unfortunately, in Sharp's telling us what we need to know, he editorializes. But not in any meaningful or insightful manner. Frankly, Sharp uses terrorism--defined loosely as "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion"--as a means to get you to agree with his way of thinking. Want to argue that Dorsey is a risk for the Michigan program? Why don't you, without knowledge or reasonable doubt, speculate that most (all) high school athletes that get into trouble only get acquitted because of their stature or that the charges Dorsey was acquitted of are the only ones that the public knows about. Sharp even shamefully goes so low as to compare a 16-year-old Dorsey to OJ Simpson: "OJ got acquitted. Most of us still think he did it."

Sharp has a sense of entitlement from working as a journalist for the Free Press. He says, "If you're a head coach, why put yourself in that spot? And that was the tone that myself and other reporters there asked Rich this afternoon. I was making sure, are you comfortable that you're basically putting your career on whether or not this young man can keep his nose clean, figuratively speaking." Sharp feels the need to not only moralize everything, but more importantly, to make everyone aware of his morals and the morals that he thinks you should have. In his eyes, the signing of an 16 year old, acquitted on all charges, is outside the bounds of this morality and thus condemnable. He boldly claims to being done with second chances. But what's worse is that this may not even be a second chance for Dorsey. Sharp seems not to acknowledge the idea that his acquittal may have been for legitimate reasons. Because in Sharp's world, the world governed and run by the upstanding morals of himself, high school student athletes are never innocent, even when they are; second chances are wasted on the privileged who ultimately throw them away on the slippery slope to hell.

I try not to spend a lot of time editorializing on the local newspaper because it doesn't much concern me. Drew Sharp should be embarrassed though. This is offensive, dismissive, and presumptuous. And frankly, I wonder when it crosses the line into slander.


Anonymous said...

Drew Sharp needs to recuse himself from covering UM sports because he has lost any shred of objectivity (not that he had any to begin with).

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