The Blind Side Summary, Chapter 8: Character Courses

by Amy Holwerda

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on The Blind Side.

On March 30, 2005, Joyce Thompson, assistant director of enforcement at the NCAA called the Tuohy home. Some of the schools whose offers had not been accepted by Michael Oher drew up formal complaints to the NCAA against the Tuohys. Because the Tuohys frequently made donations to Ole Miss, they accused the Tuohys of abducting Michael Oher from the streets and bribing him to play left tackle for Ole Miss.

It was not unheard of for boosters to offer gifts to underprivileged players in exchange for their promise to play for their schools, but the Tuohys had given Michael Oher much more. On Page 180 Lewis says, “They’d given Michael more than food, clothing, and shelter. They’d given him a life.” Still, the questions clearly rattled Michael who, for the first time, wondered if the accusations were true. When Joyce Thompson finally left the house, Michael was in tears, demanding to know if the Tuohys would still love him if all he could do was flip burgers.


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On March 30, 2005, Joyce Thompson, assistant director of enforcement at the NCAA called the Tuohy home. Some of the schools whose offers had not been accepted by Michael Oher drew up formal complaints to the NCAA against the Tuohys. Because the Tuohys frequently made donations to Ole Miss, they accused the Tuohys of abducting Michael Oher from the streets and bribing him to play left tackle for Ole Miss.

It was not unheard of for boosters to offer gifts to underprivileged players in exchange for their promise to play for their schools, but the Tuohys had given Michael Oher much more. On Page 180 Lewis says, “They’d given Michael more than food, clothing, and shelter. They’d given him a life.” Still, the questions clearly rattled Michael who, for the first time, wondered if the accusations were true. When Joyce Thompson finally left the house, Michael was in tears, demanding to know if the Tuohys would still love him if all he could do was flip burgers.

Michael’s grades were steadily on the rise, but his final GPA was still not high enough for him to qualify to play NCAA ball. Sean Tuohy searched for a loophole. He discovered an online college that would substitute grades from their classes for high school transcript grades. Better yet, the online grades could be obtained in just 10 days but Michael would have to be diagnosed with a learning disability to qualify.

After taking a simple test with the same teachers that had previously called him “unteachable,” he was diagnosed with an unnamed disability. With a lot of hard work, Michael successfully changed some of his Fs to As, and at the end of the school year, Michael qualified not only for graduation but to officially play NCAA ball. Everyone close to Michael, including Big Tony, came out to support Michael at his graduation. On his graduation day, Michael became the first person in his family to graduate from high school.

Joyce Thompson returned a month later to continue questioning Michael about his relationship with the Tuohys. Sean Tuohy refused to leave the room and refused to stop answering questions on Michael’s behalf. He and Joyce Thompson got into many screaming matches while Michael sat silently at the table. At the end of the fight, however, Joyce Thompson was finally convinced that the Tuohys would have loved and sheltered Michael Oher no matter where his life path took him. The investigation was closed.

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