"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Feagin told investigators that “when I first started going to (Burke’s) house he had three big jars of weed up in his room. … One day T.J. was talking to me about some illegal stuff. He was under a lot of pressure because of his financial problems.
“I told him that I knew someone who could get him some cocaine. A few days later he asked me if I had talked to the person yet. I called right then and set up a deal.”
Feagin arranged to send $600 to a friend in Florida, whom he identified only as “Tragic.” In exchange, “Tragic” would send an ounce of cocaine to Ann Arbor.
It goes on from there. No cocaine ever showed up, this Burke guy tried to scare/murder Feagin by filling a bottle with gasoline and setting it on fire outside his dorm room, etc, etc, etc. You know, typical college stuff. Except Burke is 26. But whateva, TJ Burke does what he wants, which is apparently spend up to ten years in prison.
Feagin was a last-minute addition to Michigan's first class under Rodriguez when it became clear that Rodriguez wasn't likely to acquire a higher-rated quarterback recruit. He did not work out, obviously. The Freep article dryly notes that Feagin "struggled to learn the playbook" mere paragraphs after describing Feagin's extensive marijuana habit.
The onfield impact of Feagin's departure remains nil; the off-field stuff… well, at least when a Michigan player violates team rules he actually violates them. Woo spin!
But seriously: it's bad. It's also one guy that Michigan apparently didn't run as thorough of a background check on—or possibly any background check on—as they scrambled to reconfigure Rodriguez's first recruiting class. As long as the incident remains isolated, fine. Yes, Kurt Wermers, you get a point, which brings you up to negative four.
- Clayton Richard was traded from the White Sox to the Padres in the Jake Peavy deal (sorry to hear about that Tigers fans). Richard had just come off back-to-back 8 inning gems (again, sorry Tiger fans) with the White Sox allowing just one run in each game. Now with the Padres, he's started 2 games, going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. He also collected his first RBI as a batter this week.
- Also related to that trade, recent graduate Chris Fetter of the Padres minor league system was moved back down from Single A Fort Wayne TinCaps back to the Short Season A-Ball Eugene Emeralds to make room for another one of the pitching prospects from the trade. Fetter is 2-1 in 8 starts and one long relief appearance (a 4-inning save?) with a 2.57 ERA. His 47 Ks in 42 innings is impressive, but his numbers at Eugene definitely weighted the totals down.
- Bobby Korecky of the Diamondback's Reno Rattlers Triple A team had been dominating this year as their closer (13 saves by the all star break), but his season was ended due to Tommy John surgery this last week. The injury caused him to miss the Triple A All Star game.
- Rich Hill also is out for the season with shoulder surgery on his labram. He's expected back for spring training.
- Mike Cervenak (pictured to the right by Joe Gill of Express-Times Photo) continues to do great in Triple A for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the Phillies. Cervenak is hitting .294 with 57 RBIs and a .765 OPS. I'm still surprised he hasn't been traded by the Phillies. He's getting to the age where the Phillies probably won't be able to use him, especially behind Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz in the depth chart. He's a two time Triple A All Star as it is, some other team could use him.
- No new updates on the drafted recruits (previous update here). The last I've heard on each recruit is that they plan on being enrolled at Michigan in the fall. Supposedly, not even batting practice with Evan Longoria could sway Dennis from his commitment. The recruits could leave at any time until the season starts, much like Derek Jeter did back in the day. I'll keep my eye on transaction lists until the season starts.
Current Team/Player News
- Tyler Burgoon is also listed as the 18th best player this summer by Church Of Baseball.
- Michigan backstop Chris Berset has been named a finalist for the Great Britain baseball world cup team. What the hell this means? I have no idea, but it sounds awesome. I'll be investigating this further if he makes the 25 man roster which seems unlikely given the other catchers on the 40-man roster includes minor league guys for the most part.
- Yahoo! college baseball writer Kendall Rogers wrote this last week a report card for the BigTen teams last season. Perhaps it was his opening statement's stupidity (he seems to think the BigTen hasn't had very good success the last five or so years), but his grade of Michigan seemed a little off base.
Season analysis: The Wolverines entered the season with high hopes, but had much trouble establishing consistency in conference play. Michigan compiled a 9-15 conference record and actually still finished the season with an overall record of 30-25. If not for winning overall record, the Wolverines would’ve finished the season with an F. It was a season to forget for coach Rich Maloney and his players.
Michigan lost its top pitcher, top two hitters, and its entire infield over the off season. It lost it's closer and catcher for nearly half of the season. We didn't get our every day right fielder back until a month into the season. We lost our second baseman and on field leader for the last 2 weeks of the season. It's no surprise Michigan wasn't competing for the conference crown. I'm not saying we deserved higher than a C+, but to say the .500 record saved us from an F is a bit over the top.
Summer ball updates after the jump due to length
Gentlemen (and ladies), the 2009 Michigan football season is less than a MONTH away. You have very little time to prepare the gameday menu, to put a new coat of lacquer on the beer pong table, or to spend quality time with your wife before she loses you every Saturday for the next three odd months. You’re also going to need something to wear… and that’s where I come in.
It’s time for the...
That’s right folks—Because all of you demanded it, Brian is now rolling out the MGoBlog apparel in a brand new store. And… wait for it… That’s not all— we’re even going to ask YOU to decide on a shirt or two that will be featured in this 2009 line!
Over the next three weeks I’ll be unveiling a new shirt design every day from Monday to Friday. Each will rejoice in the glory of Michigan football, and by necessity, none will actually say Michigan football. For each shirt design we’ll be asking readers to ‘score’ each shirt on a scale of ***** (5 stars, Chad Henne) to * (1 star, Cobrani Mixon), based on the following criteria:
1. Visual Quality: Regardless of the message or joke, does the shirt look good? Certainly I’ll be doing my part to create aesthetically pleasing and professional designs, but the best design should be something that everyone is happy with.
2. Character/Humor: Assuming the shirt is funny… how funny is it? Does the joke work, or does it miss its mark? If the shirt is NOT meant to be humorous, then what IS it attempting to be? And is it successful in that regard?
3. Michigan Pride: How well does the shirt represent the glory and honor of Michigan football? Our various enemies are always looking for new ways to ridicule the block M and tear us down, and we’re certainly not going to give them any extra ammunition.
4. Mass Appeal: There is an inevitable culture here at MgoBlog, and for many reasons it is why you visit this site and not another random Michigan blog. So that’s great—Tacopants and Muppets are the order of business around here. But what happens when your Uncle Joe, also a loyal M fan, sees the shirt? Or perhaps the blue hair three rows behind you? Will the general UM fan base get the shirt’s message, and does it matter anyway?
5. Marketability: Most importantly, is this shirt something you would wear, or even more appropriately, something you would BUY?? A design can be hilarious or interesting to look at, but if it’s not going to sell it’s really not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for something that all of you will be willing to spend your hard-earned money on and wear with pride on gameday.
Each day for the next three weeks, starting Monday, will see the release of a new t-shirt design by yours truly. We’ll allow the judging of each to last for a limited time and then tabulate the results to see which designs the MgoBlog community has chosen as their favorites. The top selection will then be made available for future purchase during the 2009 season.
2009 MgoShirt Alert is all about celebrating the culture of Michigan Football, and everyone is encouraged to take part. When all is said and done I hope to see everyone wearing the gear we’ve created at MGoBlog. Look for the first design tomorrow. GO BLUE!!
For a long period in which the MGoStore laid fallow because the previous company stopped existing in all ways except accepting orders. This did not go well for people who ordered or my inbox. So I searched about for another company that would not do this to the readership again. I have found one: Underground Printing, an Ann Arbor company you're probably familiar with if you've ever gotten a student t-shirt at Yost with your season tickets. They will not disappear; they will make sweet shirts.
So. There is a store:
As always, you are directed to consume for the good of the nation.
Also! I'm pleased to announce that MGoBlog reader and extremely talented person Six Zero is going to be running an MGoShirt contest before the season starts. He's created around a dozen designs that will battle each other for supremacy; the best-loved shirt (and maybe a couple more if more than one that must be had) will go in the store. That starts Monday. Fight for his love.
When this from UMGoBlog.com hit my feed reader a couple days ago I felt like I'd murdered something beautiful:
You'll notice that this thing has been signed by Anthony Carter, Jim Harbaugh, Red Berenson, and dozens of other Michigan folk from years past. And you'll also notice it doesn't have any wheels: it's been junked.
That's tragic enough. But I have seen this thing before. It had wheels then:
I could have bought the thing for 2500 bucks. Which I didn't want to do because it was supposed to be an ice cream truck and I envisioned something other than a creepy molester van. Also what do you do with such an object once you have it? This was the owner's dilemma. He, or someone down the line, chose poorly. He should have put a sign on it reading "Ransom Demanded" instead of "For Sale."
So. The vehicle is on Eight Mile and Hoover. I don't know what you do with a junked, wheel-less rusting old heap of bolts but if there's anyone out there who can rescue this thing from its ignominious fate, my conscience would be indebted to you.
Your humble blogger had the opportunity for LIVE and IN PERSON interviews with Devin Gardner, Austin White (right), and junior wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett yesterday at the Michigan High School Football Media Day. Austin showed up in his Michigan Elite Camp T-shirt. Devin was an hour late, but rockin' an EA Sports All-American T-shirt with his Michigan gym shorts.
Senior Season... and Beyond
Gardner, previously known as a run-first QB, has worked hard to improve his passing in the offseason. Previously a sidearm thrower with an erratic motion, Gardner's gone a long way towards fixing his delivery via "lots of repetitions, exaggerating having my arm up high, and continuing to throw." Gardner's newly consistent delivery saw him named the best participants at the Elite 11.
Ever humble, though, he didn't want to put himself ahead of any other guy there. When prodded, he did compare himself to Dennis Dixon, with maybe a bit of Terrelle Pryor and Vince Young. "I'm a leader on the field," he said, "and I make sure all my teammates are giving their best, too."
White, one of Gardner's future targets, says his versatility is his most valuable asset—but don't think his pass-catching ability means he'll end up at receiver once he arrives at Michigan. "I'm mainly a running back," he said, "and that's what I'm going to play. I can split out and catch some passes, but running back is what I'm going to be." The Wolverines are getting a player who can come out of the backfield to catch, and come in motion, but not just a receiver.
Since both Gardner and White are committed to the Rich Rodriguez regime, both are expecting Michigan to turn their fortunes around. Both are expecting vast improvement as early as this year. "I'm looking to improvement from last year... and we can keep building on that," White said.
Gardner was even more confident about an immediate improvement. "It's gotta get way better than least year," he said, "I expect them to do well, Tate's a good quarterback, Denard, they're all good - even Nick Sheridan." Neither can wait to get on the field in Michigan Stadium, but Gardner could hardly contain himself: "Cameron Gordon, Teric Jones, man, I can't wait to get up there."
Gardner is probably going to wait a little while longer than he has to. Though both Gardner and White have thought about the possibility of enrolling early—and are making initial preparations to do so—neither plans to do so at the moment. Both would rather focus on their final season of high school ball and the state championship.
These days most high schoolers use social networking websites, and football recruits are no exception. Both Gardner and White communicate with other recruits on Myspace, though they try to avoid being too pushy. "I just talk to them like a regular person, " said Gardner. "I don't put them on a pedestal or anything because I didn't like that." White echoed that sentiment: "I recruit a little bit, but I don't try to pressure them too much, because it's just really what's right for you."
There is one fellow future Wolverine that Gardner won't talk to right now, though. "I haven't been talking to Ricardo [Miller] that much since we play in the first game," he said, "but after the first game we can be cool again."
And though the Michigan coaching staff has come under fire from one specific, angry direction about an alleged lack of focus on instate recruiting, the recruits themselves aren't fooled. "I mean, if you can play, they're gonna recruit you," said Gardner. "If you can't play, get your game up if you want to be recruited by Michigan."
Saginaw wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett is expected to be one of the top 5 players in the state of Michigan for the class of 2011. So what makes him a special player? "I'm very fast," he said, "very elusive, I can escape the jam with ease, I've got great hands, and I can get open whenever."
Arnett already holds offers from Michigan State, Michigan, and Eastern Michigan and claims no favorites.
BONUS video interview with Gardner on the tubes… also horses:
[Editor's note: MGoBlog didn't post that. We would have asked if he had the kittens in the stable.]