Jan 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio celebrates on the podium after Michigan State Spartans beat the Stanford Cardinal 24-20 at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Malik McDowell Not Worth The Hassle For Michigan State


There has been a ton of controversy surround Malik McDowell.  Too much controversy for a kid just trying to pick a college.  To make matters worse the controversy hasn’t even been caused by the by the Malik McDowell himself but by his mother who has engaged in a back and forth with fans and media over her sons decision.

Malik McDowell’s mother, Joya Crowe, is a staunchly opposed to her son attending Michigan State based on an experience she had on campus.  But in the week leading up to National signing day, McDowell seemed to be sticking to his choice and on National signing day announced he would be a Spartan when the Spartans took the field in September.

But after the cameras were off and the spotlight dimmed, the nations #2 ranked defensive end didn’t sign with the Spartans.  Instead his parents started setting up unofficial visits to Florida State, Ohio State, and Michigan.

So why didn’t Malik McDowell fax his letter of intent like he told the nation he would during his announcement on ESPN U?

He didn’t want to upset his mother.

Malik’s Father Greg McDowell confirmed as much in an article on 247Sports.

He is open to that, and that’s why we’re planning on taking these unofficial visits,” Greg McDowell said. “He wants to go check out Florida State again and Ohio State again. Michigan could be the first or second or the last. They’re 30 minutes away. We have no issue getting up there and checking it out. I told him it’s going to be a compromise with him and his mom. I know you shouldn’t have to compromise with your mom about this decision, but you can’t want something that bad to risk a relationship.”

The above quote was featured as part of a Free Press article by Joe Rexrode.  I bring that to your attention because Greg McDowell will not return calls by the Free Press.

However Crowe was willing to voice her opinion to the Freep’s Joe Rexrode:

We don’t want him at MSU,” Malik’s mother, Joya Crowe, said Monday night, and she gave multiple reasons. “Something happened, I don’t want to put it out there what it was,” she said of her son’s recent official visit, “but I had a bad experience at MSU.”

Asked to elaborate, she said: “It was something on my end, I don’t want to get into specifics.”

I want him to get a good education,” Crowe said. “Not that he can’t get a good education at MSU. But he also wants to be a first-round pick after college. Nothing is guaranteed, but I don’t think their defensive line coach has the background for that.”

With everything that has been said by the McDowell camp it may be in Michigan States best interest to walk away from McDowell and they should do so for two reasons. His Mom and Dad.

Michigan State has finally built an elite Big Ten program.  They have done that because the entire team has bought into the Mark Dantonio system. A system that includes position coaches like the one Malik McDowell’s mother believes in unqualified. The Spartans do not need a player who is going to constantly be questioning his commitment to the university because of constant pressure from his Mother.

How is a coach supposed to instill discipline in a player when they have to worry about their mother running to the media every time she disagrees with the coaching staff. It sets a bad example for the other players who may then try to manipulate the coaching staff in the same manner.

Further the player himself can become isolated from the team if he is the focus of constant attention and distraction.

By brining Malik McDowell into the fold the Spartans run the risk of having a malcontent player who my be looking to transfer in a year.  The football program puts too much time and effort into recruiting to have a scholarship thrown away at the first sign of trouble. The adversity of a Big Ten football season is difficult enough to overcome without the added distraction of one player adding additional pressure.

It is really unfortunate that a student athletes parents could so adversely affect his future but in the case of McDowell that may be the true. Hopefully the talented defensive end can find a school that will be satisfactory to his parents. Once that happens maybe is parents will let him play football and build a career in peace.  However if Malik is to have that peace, his choice shouldn’t be Michigan State. Especially since his Mother is so adamantly opposed to that choice.

For the good of Michigan State University and Malik McDowell, the Spartans should withdraw their scholarship offer.  That way Michigan State can start the process of finding another highly rated recruit and McDowell can move forward without the additional distraction of family drama being played out in the media.

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Tags: Malik McDowell Michigan State Spartans Football

  • Joshua Giovannone

    He is worth the trouble actually. He’s a guy looking out for his future who has parents dragging him down. Going to msu makes you part of a family. The type of coach that coach D is why he is worth it. He doesn’t want to go anywhere else and has no intention to visit anywhere else. Per reports today.

    • Tony Fischer

      Well Josh I hope you are right but until that letter of intent is signed and in the hands of MSU you can’t rule anything out.

  • Tony Fischer

    Malik McDowell has said he is committed to MSU before but has yet to actually commit. Even is he did, does State want a player who’s parents are going to run to the media the first sign of trouble. If Malik has a disagreement with his position coach (someone his mother says is unqualified) is his mother going to post on a message board. Will Malik want a transfer?

    MSU does not have to beg top rated recruits to play for them they are a Big Ten program. They either do or they don’t.

    If Malik is truly committed to MSU as he says he should sign the letter of content NOW. Otherwise he is just as committed as he was before national signing day.