photo – zimbio.com
We’ve heard it all too often. So-and-so “needs another chance” or “he is turning his life around”, but on so many occasions, the young man just doesn’t get and fails to succeed when given every opportunity. Does the superstar rumored to be headed to Louisville fit that mold, or is he truly a changed man? Grantland.com goes in-depth about Dyer’s story; the glory, the suspensions, and the path to redemption. He met Fitz Hill, a former college coach at San Jose State, now turned president of Arkansas Baptist College; the school where Dyer attained an associate’s degree. Hill – the story tells – helped Dyer “rehabilitate his brand” to make him a D-1 prospect yet again.
There’s an old playbook for bringing athletes back into good standing. At Arkansas Baptist, Dyer had kept his nose in his books, stayed away from bad seeds, and given motivational speeches to local youth. With Hill’s guidance, Dyer could talk about his new focus, how he was free of distractions, how he deserved another shot.
But Dyer’s brand rehabilitation was more delicate than that. As the running back saw it, his past sins were pretty minor. Sometimes, they weren’t even sins. They were the suggestions of sins: words like “marijuana” and “gun” that barnacled themselves onto Dyer, never resulting in a criminal charges but ginning up a lot of suspicion. These were Dyer’s “red flags.”
In sportswriting, a red flag is a warning of a potential future bad act. In 2011, Dyer failed a drug test at Auburn. That was a red flag. Dyer had owned a gun during the same period. No one had seen him fire it or brandish it. But the gun was a red flag, too.
But what does that have to do with Louisville? This blurb raised some eyebrows around town.
After he left Arkansas State, Dyer’s phone didn’t ring much. But last October, USA Today‘s George Schroeder published a long and vivid story about Dyer’s life at Arkansas Baptist. Colleges began to offer scholarships. Dyer has picked one — a big, D-I school, he said, where he can play starting next month. “It’s a school where he can replicate and duplicate,” said Hill.
Again, it must be said that nothing official has come from UofL, and Coach Strong said on Wednesday that there were “no new players in the program.” Still, there is a lot of smoke coming from this Dyer fire.
The Courier’s Steve Jones interviewed Fitz as well and it appears as though Michael has owned up to his past mistakes.
Hill pointed out multiple times that Dyer has never been charged with a crime even though he believes there’s a widely held misperception that he has.
Hill also was bothered by multiple online comments underneath articles he’d read from members of the public calling Dyer “a thug.”
“Michael has owned up to the fact that he has smoked marijuana. Michael owned up to the fact and regretted that he did that, and (he) owned up to the fact he may have been some places he shouldn’t have been,” Hill said. “But he was never arrested for it and never convicted of anything.
Only time will tell, but in this situation, let’s trust Charlie.