Justin Feagin Dismissed

Submitted by Brian on July 25th, 2009 at 6:47 PM

So I got an email yesterday predicting the departure of a quarterback from Florida and thought to myself "oh God, not Denard Robinson."

Well, it wasn't Denard Robinson. Sophomore-to-be slot receiver Justin Feagin is no more:

"Justin Feagin was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules Thursday evening," head coach Rich Rodriguez said in a statement.

That's ambiguous as to whether the dismissal or the violation came Thursday, but I'm guessing it's the former.

I'm of two minds about the departure. On the one hand, it would be hard to pick out a player on the roster whose departure would be less likely to impact Michigan's performance on-field both this year and going forward. Feagin was a late flier Michigan took on the off chance he might be a viable quarterback. He was not and got bounced to slot receiver, where he wasn't a factor. With the spring emergence of Roy Roundtree and availability of freshmen Terrance Robinson (a redshirt), Jeremy Gallon, and Je'Ron Stokes, he didn't figure to be a factor in the fall. And it's not like slot receiver looks like feagin-signinga thin spot going forward; enough bits have been spilled about Michigan's receiver-mad recruiting class to fill all the tubes of the internets.

On the other hand, Feagin is the first Rodriguez recruit to leave [UPDATE: forgot about Taylor Hill, who left almost before he arrived] and did so in inauspicious circumstances. The email yesterday provided some murky detail on the violation of team rules and it's the sort of thing that is a no-BS immediate seeya type of thing. I'll let the actual journalists ferret out the details, as one anonymous, if prescient email does not a solid story make. I'd be surprised if it didn't end up in the papers eventually.

Though this kind of thing happens at a certain rate to all programs, it's another opportunity for evil bad PR gnomes to stroke their beards and mutter sagely about What Is Going On In Ann Arbor. And I (baselessly) liked the kid. How could you not, given the picture at right?

Also: you can subtract at least one additional point from Michigan's APR, which isn't going to be fatal or anything but it ain't good. Also also: I have Michigan at 20 scholarships for 2010 now, assuming that Cone and Wright don't get fifth years.

Comments

wiscwood

July 25th, 2009 at 11:53 PM ^

I saw no place for Feagin in the Michigan offense. There too many good slot guys. Gallon is going to blow you away. I need to know how RR's play calling is going to be. I NEED FOOTBALL SEASON TO START.

UMxWolverines

July 25th, 2009 at 11:55 PM ^

wait...kevin grady has been arrested like 3 times since hes been here and is still on the team, but feagin gets booted after 1 violation? sounds to me like he wanted to leave

BostonWolverine

July 26th, 2009 at 12:00 AM ^

I'm sorry, but this is a "holy crap, what have we gotten ourselves into?" moment.

The thing about this is, while I don't like the situations surrounding some of the departures (coughWermerscough), even without the rumor of more transfers coming, it makes me wonder if the athletic department realized how drastic a change RR was going to need.

Yeah, it's natural for a program to have some transfers, but at the moment, people seem to be walking out of Michigan more often than Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.

Lane Kiffin looks like a better host than Martha Stewart in comparison to RR.

But seriously folks. I would love a closer look at what's going on. It's getting seriously troubling.

NYWolverine

July 26th, 2009 at 12:09 AM ^

"Those who stay will be champions."

From Wiki: "Bo Schembechler began his tenure as head coach at Michigan with a rallying cry to his players: "Those who stay will be champions!" This slogan foreshadowed the challenges Michigan football players would endure from the dramatic culture change initiated by Schembechler, who emphasized toughness and introduced practices and conditioning far more rigorous than any the players had been exposed to before. His first training camp in 1969 saw around 140 players enter but a mere 75 emerging from the grueling camp and choosing to embrace Schembechler's system."

And the rest is history. Lighten up BostonWolverine; it's going to be OK. On the other hand, the Red Sox suck. Go Yankees!

BostonWolverine

July 26th, 2009 at 2:37 AM ^

I'm a Yankee fan...in Boston.

In response to The Other Brian's comment, I think you misconstrued what I was saying. First, the Kiffin remark was much more lighthearted than you took it. I can't STAND Kiffin, and I actually like RR, and I think once he gets his bearings and his guys, we'll be a force in the Big 10 again. But I think this is becoming a public perception issue. I am not saying that *I* think Feagin's departure was a reflection on RR. I'm saying that outside a UM superfan message board, it doesn't look that good: to potential recruits, to people who don't go as in-depth as this blog, to analysts talking about the tumultuous period at Michigan (which then makes it look worse to potential recruits).

I am saying that this in a string of other transfers LOOKS bad. I am saying that the athletic department may not have thought too much about Carr's holdovers when hiring RR.

I wasn't very clear and I can see why you thought what you did now that I look at it. But the fact of the matter is the qualms were not from my point of view.

I would love to get a closer look at what's going on, because it is troubling to see all these guys going out the door, whether it's through transfer or dismissal. It's also troubling to see people talking about all the trouble in Michigan. It's also troubling because I don't want David Cone to take a single snap.

Fact is, if you take a step back and look at all the people either leaving, dismissed, academically ineligible or dropping Michigan from their lists, it doesn't look so good without your (or my) analytical perspective.

I should have taken a step back as well, been more clear and definitely previewed it before I saved it, but don't push me off a cliff I'm not standing on.

The Other Brian

July 26th, 2009 at 12:32 AM ^

Do us all a favor, and either step back from the cliff, or jump off and be done with it.

Seriously, a backup slot receiver is dismissed from the team, our coach actually shows some teeth by disciplining a player who screws up...and THAT is a "What have we gotten ourselves into" moment? Are you serious?

This is asinine. This isn't another old Carr recruit quitting the team in a fit of tears. This is one kid who screwed up, and he got thrown off the team by the coach. It says absolutely NOTHING about the current state of affairs. Kids make mistakes, and they pay for them. Feagin made a mistake, and the price for that mistake is the privilege to play football at Michigan is taken away.

It's like nothing will ever please anybody. Yeah, it'd be awesome if we got all 4-5 star players who all had 4.0 GPAs and helped old ladies across the street while simultaneously drawing up the cure for cancer. But guess what? That's a fairy tale. See, in the real world, some teenage kids struggle in the classroom once they get to college. Some teenage kids break the rules that have been put in place, and the coach has to do what he has to do.

GTFO with the Lane Kiffin comparison. That's borderline irresponsible to the point that it hints at a deeper agenda. Kiffin is a loudmouthed, nonsense-spewing hypocrite. If it's revealed that RR called William Gholston and told him he'd be pumping gas for the rest of his life if he goes to Michigan State, fine. If he accuses Jim Tressel of cheating at a press conference, fine. But none of that's going to happen, and to imply that RR is somehow below Kiffin because of some bad apples leaving the program and Justin Feagin screwing himself out of a Michigan education...unbelievable.

markusr2007

July 26th, 2009 at 12:42 AM ^

Don't like to see talented players get dismissed from the team like this and lose out on a free UM education.

Michigan will be alright. There's a lot of depth at the slot receiver/wide receiver position right now, and thankfully at quarterback as well. The roster will only get deeper next fall.

All the best to Mr. Feagin going forward.

Slinginsam

July 26th, 2009 at 1:30 AM ^

Since he didn't fail out of school, he must have done something REALLY bad, as in bodily harm against another human. This may have been a threat, a touch, a push, a text, phone call, whatever. But we have all seen instances at other Big Ten schools where athletes have crossed the line, and the school(not just the AD)takes evasive and immediate action. Something like, "we have a great suggestion...the plaintiff over there is willing to drop a criminal(and potential felony)charge against you, providing you quickly pack up your belongings, withdraw from the university, and scram about 1000 miles from here...and BTW, no hard feelings."

Ask Kirk Ferentz. Or whatever happened to IU's QB, who suddenly "stopped" being part of their team? That guy disappeared the same way Justin did.

Slinginsam

July 26th, 2009 at 1:31 AM ^

Since he didn't fail out of school, he must have done something REALLY bad, as in bodily harm against another human. This may have been a threat, a touch, a push, a text, phone call, whatever. But we have all seen instances at other Big Ten schools where athletes have crossed the line, and the school(not just the AD)takes evasive and immediate action. Something like, "we have a great suggestion...the plaintiff over there is willing to drop a criminal(and potential felony)charge against you, providing you quickly pack up your belongings, withdraw from the university, and scram about 1000 miles from here...and BTW, no hard feelings."

Ask Kirk Ferentz. Or whatever happened to IU's QB, who suddenly "stopped" being part of their team? That guy disappeared the same way Justin did.

Slinginsam

July 26th, 2009 at 1:31 AM ^

Since he didn't fail out of school, he must have done something REALLY bad, as in bodily harm against another human. This may have been a threat, a touch, a push, a text, phone call, whatever. But we have all seen instances at other Big Ten schools where athletes have crossed the line, and the school(not just the AD)takes evasive and immediate action. Something like, "we have a great suggestion...the plaintiff over there is willing to drop a criminal(and potential felony)charge against you, providing you quickly pack up your belongings, withdraw from the university, and scram about 1000 miles from here...and BTW, no hard feelings."

Ask Kirk Ferentz. Or whatever happened to IU's QB, who suddenly "stopped" being part of their team? That guy disappeared the same way Justin did.

tomhagan

July 26th, 2009 at 1:37 AM ^

I cant believe some of the comments here that state this is a reflection on Rich Rodriguez.

WTF?:??????

What did I miss here?

For a player to get kicked off the team, he has to have done something seriously wrong (violence, theft, drugs etc.)

It is all speculation at this point, but WTF do some of you (trolls?) think this is a reflection on RR?

If anything, it is a sign of strength.

Does anyone remember Adrian Arrington, Mario Manningham and Carson Butler (among others) who each had some pretty serious charges leveled against them...

and they all stayed on Carr's teams after internal discipline.

This is not an RR problem folks...other than him taking care of it (whatever it is).

BTW, Penn State kicked a WR off their team last week... it happens all the time in every program.

Get over it!

chitownblue2

July 26th, 2009 at 8:46 AM ^

I'm not saying it's justified, but they way this gets turned into a Rich Rod issue is:

Rodriguez, with Gwaltney, Devine, Chris Henry, and Pac-Man Jones has some history in taking bad people on his team (you don't need to tell me about St. Lloyd and his Carson Butler, Larry Harrison, etc. - I'm just saying, this is said more about Rich Rod than Lloyd). We just had a departing player essentially blast the character of Rodriguez's recruits to the press, and now one of his recruits has been dismissed for as of yet undisclosed reasons - which will allow ill-wishers to fill-in-the-blank with the worst offenses imaginable. There is a here-to-for unwarranted meme in opposing team's fanbases that Rodriguez brings in crooks. If what Feagin did is criminal, that gives actual fuel to that meme.

evenyoubrutus

July 26th, 2009 at 11:00 AM ^

with the bad apples you mentioned is that they were recruited for the same reason: desperation. RichRod desperately needed a QB in '08, so he recruited Feagin. He also desperately needed any talent he could come by at WVU, so he recruited Pacman, Henry, etc. Of course the DIFFERENCE is that those players (except maybe Gwaltney) stayed in line while at WVU (thank-you Barwis). Going forward I don't think he will be as desperate for talent as he ever was before, and (hopefully) won't recruit "bad" kids any more. But at the same time, he has shown that he generally can keep kids in line when they misbehave. I'm just hoping (and praying) that Feagin truly did something bad enough to get kicked off, and that there is not a double-standard for kids who are actually talented verses those who are taking up a roster-spot.

Tater

July 26th, 2009 at 6:49 AM ^

Feagin turned out to be a great high school athlete who became "average" on a major college team. He is too short and doesn't have the arm to play QB, and, as Brian has told us a lot, a step slower than his HS forty time suggests.

I am guessing he could have a great nice career at safety for Bethune-Cookman in Daytona, or even FAU, which is in Boca, closer to his home. Hopefully, he goes to class, keeps his nose clean, and gets a degree.

And hopefully, there isn't the obligatory "decline of family values" interview this week.

Magnus

July 26th, 2009 at 2:10 PM ^

So...because he didn't contribute much during his true freshman season, he's now an "average" college player?

Jake Long must be below average. That sucks for him.

Other Chris

July 26th, 2009 at 1:42 PM ^

But I'd say yes. I'll come out and say it -- at that age, I had definitely driven drunk. More than once. After my cousin had been killed by a drunk driver. It's a bad thing, you shouldn't do it, but it has nothing to do with the team and everything with being young, and an idiot, and being sure you're bulletproof.

In my 20s, I worked at a place where someone was stealing. It is a very disruptive event. You feel violated, you feel suspected, you don't know who you can trust. It is a terrible, terrible environment. That has a lot to do with the team.

Don

July 26th, 2009 at 1:45 PM ^

Wermers's comment about bad kids were justified after all, which will in turn lead to a reinvigoration of the family-values-are-going-to-hell theme that will no doubt be trumpeted by media geniuses and internet gurus all over the country again. I just cannot understand why the athletic department has not really gone public with the information about the academic performance of the team last year that was supposedly behind the paywall at Rivals. Absent any open confirmation from the AD, I'm beginning to think that there is much less there than meets the eye.

me

July 26th, 2009 at 2:00 PM ^

If this situation came out and he got a slap on the wrist then I would understand the "Oh, no Wermers was right." Not that that's what you're saying. But the fact that Feagin has been removed from the team shows that RR is serious about team violations and will exact the appropriate discipline.

And to answer your earlier question, if the stealing is from a teammate, it is worse for the team than a DUI. It may not be worse than DUI in real world crimes but from a team morale and team unity perspective, I'm not sure I can imagine anything more divisive.

Captain

July 26th, 2009 at 5:39 PM ^

and one of the (many) differences between a DUI and theft is this:

Theft is a crime involving moral turpitude; a DUI is not.

Consider a witness on the stand claiming the light was red when you plowed into Matt Barkley's new ferrari. That witness was recently arrested for both a DUI and for stealing Plaxico Burress's common sense and a cell phone outside of the Opium Lounge in Columbus, Ohio.

Evidence of the witness's DUI is inadmissible because it is irrelevant. Evidence of the theft, on the other hand, is highly relevant to weigh on the witness's credibility, because as a crime of moral turpitude, the theft is far more probing into the witness's character than is the DUI.

There is something to be said of this distinction, even outside the boundaries of the courtroom.

daveheal

July 26th, 2009 at 6:25 PM ^

I don't think the Rules of Evidence really have a whole lot to tell us about the relative severity of the crimes as they relate to Michigan Football. Or, really, about how non-lawyers should view crime in most cases. The fact that theft and not DUI might be used to impeach a witness's character isn't particularly instructive. People steal for all sorts of reasons.

I do, however, agree with people that if the stealing was from a teammate, as an exclusively internal matter, that's probably much worse for the team than a DUI. And regardless of whether you think DUI should warrant removal or at least a longer suspension than Grady got, stealing from your teammates is poisonous in all the ways that other people have talked about. In my head, when I heard 'stealing' I was imagining Feagin pocketing a Snickers from the Union--and up to a certain point if he's stealing from someone not on the team the calculus is probably the same for whatever he's stolen-- not something like the Kevin Quick situation from last year, which I believe was dealt with appropriately.

blue note

July 26th, 2009 at 11:16 PM ^

Hold up. A DUI inherently doesn't involve "moral turpitude" ? Evidence of past theft immediately shows a lack of morality?

A DUI is by definition reckless behavior, reckless means a conscious aversion to the risks involved. In the case of DUI, the risk is death to any number of innocent bystanders. Period. Conscious means one is making the choice(s) willfully, involving one's reasoning and moral character.

If you are drinking and you get behind the wheel, assuming you are above age 7 and retain the ability to think, you know that your ability to drive is impaired and you could kill or maim someone. So either you make this conscious choice, or, maybe you impair yourself to the point you can't reason at the level of a 7 year old. Nothing possibly involving moral turpitude here? Of course people make mistakes, but the fact that many people make this mistake or that it was once socially misunderstood doesn't make it any better.

Compared to DUI, stealing is totally subjective. Some people steal a candy bar because they are homeless and starving. Other people steal because they enjoy it.

Claiming they are inherently different in the way you described strikes me as absurd, and yes, I think Grady should have been ass.door.out. for his choices. With Feagin, if it really was stealing, I would say it would have to be of the extreme kind to merit a dismissal. Sorry if I come off as extreme, but that's how I see it.

mgovictors23

July 26th, 2009 at 10:59 AM ^

You can look at this two ways. First you can look at it the football way and see Feagin wasn't going to do much anyways because we have really good depth at slot reciever. Or you can look at with what Wermers said about RichRod's style of recruits. I don't agree with what Wermers said at all I think the guys that RichRod is getting are really good guys hence the stories about Michigan players doing alot of community service and having the highest GPA in twenty years. Sadly though their are alot of RichRod haters out there especially in East Lansing that are going to say that he is getting bad recruits. Basically we need some good news soon so the haters out there can quiet down about Michigan.

Magnus

July 26th, 2009 at 2:13 PM ^

I have no idea what the timetable is of the events involving Feagin, but there is a strong possibility that Wermers' ineligibility, departure, and comments took place before this event with Feagin ever took place or without Wermers even knowing about it. Wermers' comments aren't necessarily pointing toward Feagin.

mgovictors23

July 26th, 2009 at 3:26 PM ^

That is true but sadly though the Michigan haters out there aren't going to see it that way. Their going to see Wermer's comments and then see that Feagin got kicked off the team and say RichRod is bringing bad kids to Ann Arbor, which isn't true. While what you say about the timetable is true Michigan haters out there won't care about that and will try to call out the recruits Michigan is getting. Which is only going to continue to annoy all of us.

turbo cool

July 26th, 2009 at 12:04 PM ^

ime, Feagin was a glorified walk-on. He doesn't have a spot on the team and RR made an example out of him. This happens whenever walk-on's screw up. I had a friend who was a preferred walk-on and cared more about skeeps and ricks than he did football and LC booted him from the team to make an example of him.

It may not be fair, but it is what it is. It opened up a scholarship and nobody wants to admit that this may be the case unless Feagin indeed did something extremely bad.

And again, though this sort of news shouldn't be welcomed, a higher rate of attrition is still expected this year compared to most. Year 2 of RR should weed out the rest whomever he feels is surplus to requirements and aren't making smart decisions off the field.

Magnus

July 26th, 2009 at 4:16 PM ^

a) There was a recent discussion about MSU fans treating Austin White that way, which is why I made the reference.

b) Just because every fanbase does it doesn't mean we shouldn't try to curb that mindset. I'd like Michigan to be better than everyone else in all aspects.

turbo cool

July 26th, 2009 at 4:04 PM ^

Well, was he that good? And I didn't mean to sound like a typical state fan.

It's not uncommon for coaches to make examples out of players on their teams who aren't their stars. Again, i'll wait and see to what actually Feagin did before I can come to this conclusion with certainty, but if it wasn't worse than getting a DUI i'm assuming RR made an example of him.

I'm not saying anything along the lines of "he wasn't that good anyways, so who cares". Be it a walk-on or highly recruited player, I hate seeing anyone leave the program. I don't think Feagin was the answer to our QB situation but I also wanted to see him graduate in 3-4 years from now in Ann Arbor.

Magnus

July 26th, 2009 at 4:13 PM ^

I never saw him play anything but change-of-pace QB. I don't know how good he was at slot receiver. But when you call him a "glorified walk-on", that implies that he's not very talented. He played fairly well for what he was asked to do, and he did it as a true freshman. If he was a glorified walk-on, then what do you call Shawn Crable, Ryan Van Bergen, Adam Kraus, etc., all guys who redshirted as freshmen? He was a contributor - albeit on a poor team - as a true freshman. He wasn't a glorified walk-on. He was a scholarship player who had scholarship offers from several other FBS schools.

turbo cool

July 26th, 2009 at 4:30 PM ^

A walk-on is talented. Perhaps we have different views of their abilities but if you're a walk-on, especially a preferred walk-on then you're legit. So, i'm not saying he isn't talented, at all.

But, really that's not the point. But if you want to get into the argument of his other scholarships, they weren't as a QB. And he came here to be a QB. And we already have many other slot guys.

All i'm saying, from what i've seen from the program, (and I admittedly have more knowledge of the LC era) but players who aren't as likely to contribute cannot risk getting into any type of trouble or make the program look bad b/c they are first to go/made an example of.

Magnus

July 26th, 2009 at 4:49 PM ^

You're right. His other offers weren't for QB. They were for WR and DB. He was only playing QB because we were so thin at the position. In other words, you're somehow downgrading his talent based on the fact that he has the ability to play QB, WR, and DB, rather than just WR and DB.

"Preferred walk-ons" don't earn scholarship offers from Miami.