The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

NFL World Blindsided by Michael Oher Allegations

AP Newsroom
Michael Oher on the field.

Throughout his childhood, Michael Oher had grown up stricken by poverty. However, that changed in the summer before his senior year of high school, when Oher was offered a permanent place to live by the Tuohy family. 

If you don’t know who Michael Oher is, you probably don’t know that he recently filed a lawsuit against the Tuohy family alleging that the Tuohy’s — who took him in as a teenager misled him into believing they were adopting him — and that they instead placed him in a conservatorship, according to a court filing.  

Now, I’m sure many of you have seen the popular film “The Blind Side.” The film depicts Oher’s upbringing and the Touhy family bringing him into their family. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal as Leigh Anne Tuohy, and the movie itself was nominated for several awards, including a best picture nomination. 

If you haven’t seen “The Blind Side,” then you probably wouldn’t know that Oher played for Ed Orgeron at the University of Mississippi, the alma matter of his guardians, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.  

After college, Oher moved on to the NFL where he was selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Oher went on to have an eight-year career in the NFL, playing for the Ravens, Titans, and Panthers along the way.  

Nonetheless, while the “The Blind Side” does have these moments in the film, it leaves out several key elements. One such fact is that Michael Oher was already attending Briarcrest, the high school that the Tuohy children attended, and was already one of the best football players in the state when the Tuohy’s took him in. 

Another major element of the story that is left out of the film is that Michael Oher was never actually legally adopted by the Tuohy family. Instead, Michael Oher signed a conservatorship.  

A conservatorship is a court order that appoints someone to oversee the financial affairs of a minor or a person who is incapacitated.  

In a recent New York Times article, The Tuohy’s said they chose a conservatorship because Oher was 18 at the time and could not be adopted.  

But according to Abby Rubenfeld, a civil rights and family law attorney in Nashville, “adult adoption in Tennessee requires nothing more than the adoptee’s consent and relatively minor paperwork.” 

This means that for whatever reason the Tuohy’s decided not to adopt Oher; him being 18 could not have been one of them.  

This makes us question, what was the real reason that the Tuohy’s decided to choose a conservatorship over an adoption? 

The specific claim that Oher makes in his lawsuit is that the Tuohy’s convinced him to sign documents that agreed to the conservatorship in 2004.  

The 2004 conservatorship filing claims that Oher wanted the Tuohy’s to be his legal guardians up until he became 25 years old — or until the conservatorship was dissolved by a court beforehand. 

Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian that none of Oher’s allegations are true. 

“We didn’t make any money off the money,” Tuohy said.  

Tuohy claims that each of the family members, including Michael, got 14,000 dollars each, or half of the share of profits from the book.  

Now, this he said she said game can be played for a long time and maybe eventually it will play out in front of a judge.  

But clearly the facts are on Ohers side and honestly it makes sense that the Tuohy family would do something like this. 

Sure, the Tuohy family already had money, but this brought them even more money and more importantly this brought them fame and recognition.  

The truth is, Oher would still be well known for his football career with or without the Tuohy’s while the Tuohy’s would not be well known at all if they hadn’t met Oher. Oher deserves at least the benefit of the doubt regarding his claims and ill believe him till we get more information, or at least until this case appears in front of a jury.