Much like pregame soldier-family reunions or fake-out marriage proposals, the tradition of surprising walk-on athletes with full-rides has become something of an over-used social media fixture. It’s cute and fun for the people involved, and the other players always eventually jump up and down, scream a lot, and shove the lil’ guy around as he cries or smiles after some sort of prolonged speech. The formula isn’t revolutionary and most of them are poorly executed, but the videos still find their way to my feeds one way or another.
Folks, today is a good day, because we finally have a solid surprise on our hands.
Per his Michigan bio, walk-on guard Andrew Dakich, son of former Indiana player and ESPN commentator Dan Dakich, has requested to redshirt each of the past two seasons; both times, he was denied the redshirt and instead suited up to provide a few minutes here and there as a reserve. This mainly affected his eligibility, as he’s scored just 22 points and 24 rebounds in three years of play.
After keeping one scholarship open in case of a midseason transfer, Michigan basketball coach John Beilein decided to surprise Dakich with a scholarship for the 2017 winter term, the senior’s final semester as a Wolverine. Rather than just up and announce the thing at the end of a bad speech, Beilein opted instead to have a pair of Michigan campus police officers crash a team meeting.
The star officer played it straight the whole time, asking Beilein how to pronounce the player’s name and did a good job of not breaking character as he read a statement to Dakich in front of the entire team. Dakich, meanwhile, looked like he was about to shit his pants as the officer told him he was due to see the compliance office as a result of his involvement in multiple open investigations.
It wasn’t quite as intense as the gas station shakedown proposal, but Dakich was still shook as hell. Good surprise.