The Feagin Reveal Comment Count

Brian August 9th, 2009 at 9:54 PM


Freep FOIA findings:

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.


mad magician

August 9th, 2009 at 9:59 PM ^

The old "fill-a-bottle-with-gasoline-and-light-it-on-fire-outside-someone's-place-of-residence-after-your-prospective-interstate-coke-deal-falls-through" gag. Those were the days


August 9th, 2009 at 10:01 PM ^

he and his staff gacked this one bigtime during recruiting. Unfortunately, this gives all the Sparties and other RR haters all the ammunition they need to call into question all of the guys he's recruited, regardless of how unfair that is. This is where the broad brush comes into play.

I wonder if Feagin has any idea of what he threw away. What a colossal fuckup.


August 9th, 2009 at 10:02 PM ^

Can we use those molotov cocktails in the pregame festivities? You know, maybe to punctuate the bass in some Metallica. It'll also create smoke like a machine.


August 9th, 2009 at 10:16 PM ^

waaaaiiit a second. were those 2 events connected? the arson in west quad and justin feagin being kicked off? i guess it makes sense. the dps report said the fire was intended to scare some student but i thought the report said it was actually in front of the wrong door or something


August 9th, 2009 at 10:07 PM ^

If he was involved with drugs and so on, then good riddance. I'd rather see UM go 0-12 than be turned into some kind of Miami (FL) thuggery-filled nonsense. Reminds me of that one kid - Kellie Baraka? Highly recruited RB, recruited by UM and ND, chose UM then couldn't leave the weed alone.


August 9th, 2009 at 10:08 PM ^

and say that RR takes bad kids etc....

But really, he kicked the bad kid off the team as soon as he found out about the alleged drug deal.

Jim Tressel, on the other hand...fully recruits a kid from Florida who had an alleged drug deal, and he is still on the team.

So lets nip the spinsters in the bud right away with that comparison.


August 9th, 2009 at 10:13 PM ^

If you read the article, you would have seen that Feagin had issues in high school, too. Either Rodriguez didn't do a very thorough background check...or he did do a background check and failed to care about those character issues. Either way, it's not very flattering for him.

This is Rodriguez's program now. As things move forward, blame and credit deserve to be given to him.


August 10th, 2009 at 6:07 AM ^

When I say "background check", I don't mean just his credit score or police record. I mean asking his teachers, family, friends, etc. what kind of person he is and if he's ever been in any trouble. The police might not tell Rodriguez that he's been arrested, but I'm sure other people knew.


August 10th, 2009 at 7:42 AM ^

you think his teachers, family and friends are going to tell all to RR? At the very minimum, they are going to downplay the hell out of any trouble that he has been in. RR can ask all the questions he wants but people don't have to tell him the truth.


August 10th, 2009 at 8:25 AM ^

....but if we take your hypothetical to the extreme, and Coach Rod was lied to by not just people in this situation, but in any situation, I would fully expect that we would never recruit a kid again from the place where teachers would outright lie to the Coach to get a scholarship. There's no need to deal with liars when it's Coach's butt on the line with a $200,000 + scholarship, and there's plenty of other places in the country Coach Rod can recruit to find 24-30 players (including walkons) to play football.


August 10th, 2009 at 9:17 AM ^

a) I'm a teacher, so I'll let you in on a little secret: Not all of us are willing to lie to help a douchebag student get ahead. I've seen situations almost identical to Feagin's, and yes, teachers will tell coaches or potential employers exactly what kind of person a student is/was.

b) If everyone's going to lie for a student, then how would a coach ever find out something negative about a player? Do you think that these coaches are completely clueless about a kid's behavior beyond whether they've been arrested or not? That's pretty naive, don't you think?


August 10th, 2009 at 9:42 AM ^

You are so quick to denigrate RR because he either failed to a backrgound check or he did a really bad one. What I am suggesting is that there is a third alternative, one that he would have no control over. You can ask all of the questions you want to coaches, family, friends and teachers, that doesn't mean they will tell you the truth. I'm glad you wouldn't lie but are you so sure no others would?


August 10th, 2009 at 9:50 AM ^

I'm not sure because it's impossible to determine what choices other people will make. But I have a hard time believing that if they asked the right questions to enough people that someone wouldn't let it leak that he had been in pretty serious trouble a couple times. This isn't the mafia we're talking about.


August 10th, 2009 at 9:56 AM ^

You are able to say this definitively:

Either Rodriguez didn't do a very thorough background check...or he did do a background check and failed to care about those character issues. Either way, it's not very flattering for him.

Yet you have no idea what choices other people make.

I would also point out that the teachers, parents, friends, and coaches may let it leak but they would do so in a a way to downplay the actual incident. The point is you can ask all of the right questions to all of the right people, but that doesn't guarantee an answer.

You are so certain of this but I am not.

Why can't you wait and see if more of the story come out before assuming RR is completely to blame. And if it does come out that RR failed to ask the right questions or just didn't care, then I will be there right behind you that RR shares some of this blame.


August 10th, 2009 at 7:40 PM ^

but this is RR's statement on the issue:

"Once we found out what he did, we dismissed him. The first time he found out what he did, I dismissed him. That was the first time I found out.

"You research your players, and you want to take good guys. Sometimes in recruiting you research and you don't find anything negative, and it winds up later it was a mistake. Trust me, no coach in America is going to take baggage or a guy they think is a bad guy. We certainly won't, and everything in the recruiting process we heard was all positive. Our dealings here were no negatives until that recent thing, and then it was immediate dismissal."


August 9th, 2009 at 10:13 PM ^

Sounds like it is probably time for Reyes to go as well, seeing as though he seems to have colluded in this deal between Feagin and "Tragic."


August 9th, 2009 at 10:26 PM ^

Thus far, I've been very forgiving of RR's tenure, but this is a major, major fuck up. I don't care if he kicked him off the team when he found out, because he should have known about it earlier. Add this to the supposed full team meeting about not going to the bars (see the board), and I do have some concerns about his control of the team. This could blow up ugly and only serves to hurt our recruiting effort this year. I wouldn't want to send my kid to a school where teammates sell cocaine and have Molotov cocktails burning down their dorms.

My concern meter has been dialed up a couple points with this.


August 9th, 2009 at 11:07 PM ^

Let me put it this way. Cocaine is expensive. It's much more likely to be used by rich, bored kids at UM than at State. UM also has a large contingency from New York and other places in the east. Trust me, it's more used at UM than State.

Edit: A sorority at Michigan got shut down, in part for making pledges do a line of cocaine to lose weight. So, yeah.

turbo cool

August 9th, 2009 at 11:14 PM ^

It is a lot bigger at State (smoke green, snort white came from some truth) or Western. Every time I went to E.L. I saw people doing lines. And in a2, I rarely, rarely ever saw people do it. I know we have a lot of people from NYC and LA, but that doesn't really matter. A lot of in-state students come from money too.

I'm just saying, you make it out to be a big problem on campus and I don't think it is, at all. This was an isolated incident ant not by any means reflective of the general student population.