On Feagin and the Ethos of Michigan

Submitted by Big Boutros on August 10th, 2009 at 12:21 AM
Let me begin with some tried-and-true Donald Rumsfeld rhetorical questions regarding Justin Feagin's dismissal and subsequent bombshell:
  • Is this a uniquely awful revelation that casts doubt on the ability of Rich Rodriguez to properly evaluate character? Yes.
  • Will this serve as ammunition for fans of our rival schools to taunt Michigan? Yes.
  • Have crimes of this magnitude been perpetrated by student-athletes at a high-profile university before? Damn straight.
  • Did that unfortunate event prove to be the program's undoing? Not even close.
Listen, my friends. I know what some of you are thinking. I thought it, too, albeit briefly, when the news first broke: An event like this would have never happened under Lloyd Carr's watch. And that's almost certainly true. Lloyd Carr was and is a uniquely gifted and genuine man whose priority has always been the peak mental and emotional acuity of the players under his watch, and I know I am not alone in expressing my gratitude for his immaculate representation of a university that likes to think of itself as superior to all others.

But here's the thing: No matter how true you might think that is, it's still big fat tough titties for you. This could have happened just as easily under Les Miles or Jeff Tedford or literally any other coach in America, save perhaps Lane Kiffin, who would have found a way to sneak a 9-year-old transsexual sweatshop worker into the coke deal.

Even Lloyd, whom we would like to believe incapable of such an oversight, could only sit with folded hands as opposing fanbases across the country laughed at the dismissal of defensive tackle Larry Harrison, who was charged with four counts of sexual delinquency and suspected in 16 more. Harrison endangered fewer people than Feagin, certainly, but the fact remains that Rich Rodriguez does not stand alone among Michigan coaches who have seen a felonious embarassment take place on his watch.

This paragraph originally had a comment concerning the extent of Rich Rodriguez's duties as head coach of Michigan football; the original statement was roughly that Rodriguez's only obligation to the team is to coach them, and that any mentorship or emotional growth that a player might gain from his relationship with Rodriguez would simply be a lucky exception to the rule. That is inaccurate and frankly, pretty cold. What I should have said, and will say now, is that I simply don't know what to expect from Rich Rodriguez's relationship with his players. I formerly insisted that Rodriguez was a saint, beloved by all the pure-hearted cherubim on his roster; now, I can't say that. I don't think anyone can.

I've been trying hard not to compare the young Rodriguez era to the Lloyd Carr era for so many reasons: the small sample size of the current regime, the difference in personality (neither good nor bad, just evident), and the fact that a man deserves to be judged on his own merits.

If you want to claim that the mystique of the Michigan Man is waning, and that Rich Rodriguez has ushered in a new era of filth and depravity where there was once class and dignity, just remember that football will never be anything more than a sport. If you truly feel as though your own reputation is reflected in the record--on and off the field--of Michigan's football team, you are, unfortunately, projecting your own identity onto an inanimate, abstract concept, and you desperately need to reconstruct your priorities.

With that in mind, let us all load up with good defenses for the inevitable bombardment of insults from our peers in East Lansing, Columbus, and South Bend, and prepare ourselves for the upcoming season.

Comments

Slinginsam

August 10th, 2009 at 1:04 AM ^

Didn't Super Mario sit out a game for smoking pot? What about Arrington slapping around his girlfriend? And there were other non-starter offenders of late who got booted as well.

As you point out, these dudes are merely rent-a-tough-guys. We'd all love to play make believe and dream that many of our star players carry 3.8 GPAs, having been accepted to medical school while simultaneously crushing some QB's skull. Nope.

This will blow over in a few days. Onward we march into the season!

MrVociferous

August 10th, 2009 at 10:16 AM ^

I'm sure fans of other teams will take this opportunity to poke fun at Mich, but I think this will all blow over soon. and its not like the MSU, OSU's, etc of the world haven't had the same kind of random bad apples on the team. Things like this (although not necc. attempted coke deals...) happen to every school. Its one of the pratfalls of dealing with 18-20 year olds. Sometime they do stupid things.

Tater

August 10th, 2009 at 1:24 AM ^

...is "innocent," has a great sob story, or both. It's up to the football coach to assess whether or not any kid with red flags will be a criminal when he gets to school. While Feagin had been arrested in HS, he apparently had no convictions, so I'm sure he was easily able to "explain" why "the 'man' was trying to hold me down" or "it wasn't my fault" or "I'm not that person anymore" to the satisfaction of RR and other coaches who recruited him.

RR guessed wrong: big fucking deal. He did the right thing by booting Feagin from the program. Those looking for "wrongdoing" on the part of RR are way off base. As the firemen might have said after putting out Burke's fire:

"Move along; there's nothing to see here."

mejunglechop

August 10th, 2009 at 1:24 AM ^

I haven't been a Michigan fan or followed Michigan football for as long as most people on this blog. Occasionally something comes along where I realize I still don't fully relate to the common culture shared by Michigan fans. This is one of those occasions.

I don't understand why we need to defend this incident, or more to the point, Rodriguez's handling of it. Don't get me wrong, obviously this incident isn't good, but does it signify anything unusual? To me, no. The football team has ~85 young men on scholarship, many of whom come from a much rougher background than your average Michigan student. Although I may be wrong, I don't feel like I run in a particularly sketchy crowd, and yet I've seen plenty of illegal transactions in my time in Ann Arbor. So having one kid of 85 refer someone to a drug dealer for a $600 deal doesn't strike me as anything particularly shocking, especially when a lot of these kids come from rougher backgrounds.

The reasons behind these violations of team rules incidents often become public, but I think it's only reasonable to suspect that having an incident a year of this severity is the rule, not the exception. It seems like a lot of people here are committed to defending U of M as a school that is, in fact, exceptional in regard of character. I have no such delusions.
The one qualm I think is reasonable to have with the handling of this whole affair is that Rodriguez could have done a better job getting references for Feagin's character, but let's be fair- Feagin had never been convicted of anything and Rodriguez HAD to have a dual threat quarterback. sidenote: Doesn't this make you wonder what BJ Daniels' story was? Personally, I think this whole thing is an entirely forgivable offense. But I guess that's also what tells me I still don't fully get it.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 10th, 2009 at 3:29 PM ^

I never went to UM but have been a fan for the past 20 years. I have made my share of mistakes in life as I grew up and yet today, find myself a practicing physician. Most people, like me, need someone to give them that chance or they could easily end up career criminals, I know I could have. RR gave a guy a chance and sadly, the guy blew it. It was handled quickly and the punishment was fitting. I fail to see how this would reflect badly on RR or UM.

fatbastard

August 10th, 2009 at 1:46 AM ^

"Lloyd Carr was and is a uniquely gifted and genuine man whose priority has always been the peak mental and emotional acuity of the players under his watch, and I know I am not alone in expressing my gratitude for his immaculate representation of a university that likes to think of itself as superior to all others.";

but not so much with the idea that RR only duty is to coach a football team. The latest board posts about the possibility of a meeting to ban players from the bars, while a good step if things were out of hand (and it sounds like a few players were/are)adds even more fuel. So does Wemers. So does Boren.

Don't get me wrong, I have made fun of Boren, Wemers, etc, for being giant pussies. And, they deserve it. But, if the "family atmosphere" and "type of players" means that its strictly business with no off field mentoring -- Houston We Have A Problem. I'm not suggesting that's the case. I am emphasizing it's critically important.

The Feagin boot shows that RR understands the necessity to discipline. It was the right move. I hope it came from him before it was suggested from the admin. Either way, I am confident that he will continue to react in a way that disciplines players appropriately.

And, while this has and likely is happening at other schools right now I, for one, am a little concerned that we may have some kids on the team who take for granted the position they have been given. I don't know why, or frankly even if it's true. But, at a minimum, that is the impression.

Feagin came from Fla, with a golden opportunity to play and contribute at a top college football program where he could earn a degree that would benefit him his entire life. Instead, he tries to do someone a "favor" by setting up a cocaine buy. I mean, seriously, did Sherri Acho and her staff leave out the "no drug dealing, shady character hanging around" part of the freshman speech? I don't think so.

And though Adrian Arrington had his problems, Lloyd Carr went out of his way to help the kid. Which, like, you know is how you teach kids to grow up, mature, be a better person, and a better football player, and hence, build a better football program -- or so it would seem, anyway.

I'm not sayin RR isn't willing or able to do that. The poor guy is coming into his second season after presiding over arguably the worst season in Michigan Football history. I'm just sayin' that his job is more than to "merely coach", and that this is more than just a "sport", and that the impression on August 10, 2009 is not a good one.

There's no suggestion by me that any of this Feagin, Boren Wemers, bar banning, etc. compares to the basketball probation, but the last thing that we need is a plethora of Tom Osborne style bullshit in Ann Arbor.

Fortunately I'm relatively confident that if you ask Bill Martin, Mary Sue, any academic advisor, and hopefully RR, they will all confirm that this job is more than about coaching football players. It's about teaching kids, winning games, and continuing the Michigan Tradition. More than simply winning games.

tomhagan

August 10th, 2009 at 5:04 AM ^

Read my post on Brians main post about this related to RR trying to help Feagin get settled last fall. OK blame the guy for recruiting him, but imo you cant blame him for trying to help a kid get settled and acclimated. After that it is on Feagin.

Its not like the kid was all-world talented either... he was a fringe player that RR added for depth at a position that needed it... he tried to work with the kid and when the kid betrayed that trust, he was gone. Simple as that. Lets not overreact on this, unless we see a recurring pattern going on with more players getting in to constant trouble.

Lots of players got in to trouble under Lloyd. Some (Johnny Sears) were kicked off the team for alleged drugs, others (Manningham) stayed on.

Its time we all stepped back and looked at the big picture rather than buying in to sweeping generalizations about either coach and his supposed character.

Only time will tell.

Shit, I can tell you about when Tony Boles went to Michigan in the 80s and friends of mine who had been in HS with him told me "that kid is a drug dealer he carries around a suitcase with cocaine in it"...

well Bo obviously did not know this when he recruited Boles...and after Boles blew his knee, he ended up in prison for drugs....

It happens in all programs...

Big Boutros

August 10th, 2009 at 10:55 AM ^

For me to say that Rich Rodriguez has no business in the cultivation of his players' minds and values is incorrect. You're absolutely right about that. It is part of his job to nurture them and provide guidance outside of football. Perhaps a more accurate statement would have been to say that Rich Rodriguez has not proven himself to be nearly as capable of this task, either in his one year at Michigan or his seven years at West Virginia, as Lloyd Carr. But even if I believe that, which I do, it doesn't change the fact that Rich Rodriguez is Michigan's head coach now. So we either need to change our priorities with regards to the spiritual output of our coach or stop rooting for Michigan. Or, conceivably, continue to root for Michigan begrudgingly as we curse the depleted sanctity of Michigan's legacy, which is what my father does.

Then again, it's not as though this is a prescient look into the entirety of Rodriguez's tenure at Michigan. I feel guilty, in part, for making this diary, as it seems as though I've simply resigned to the idea that coke busts and dorm arsons are going to be SOP at Michigan under Rodriguez. I don't believe that. I believe that he is a more intelligent man than people give him credit for, and I believe that the alumni community is influential enough that he will eventually, of his own volition or with some outside help, figure out what is expected of the head coach of Michigan football.

fatbastard

August 10th, 2009 at 1:05 PM ^

I think you're right. I THINK he does get it. I THINK that he does care. He says it all the time, after he was hired, during the off seaaon, with the program of having groups of players watching out for each other . . .

But, I don't KNOW that he gets it. I KNEW that Lloyd got it. I KNEW that Lloyd did everything he reasonably could. He was also very effective when compared to other programs.

My "issue" with RR, isn't that he doesn't, b/c I don't know if he does or doesn't. I can tell you, though that the constant "news" even of varying degree and veracity, leave an impression that he either doesn't "get it" to the extent Coach Carr "got it", or that he isn't as effective.

BTW, the fact that Feagin was a marginal player, who was taken as an "emergency" type guy to fill a supposed need does not make it sit any better with me. If anything, it indicates the possible propensity to "overlook" somthing just b/c of a need. I hope he didn't "overlook" the arrest record and HS issues with Feagin, but instead knew about them, heard an explanation he and the admin were comfortable with and then took a good faith chance on the kid. We'll see going foward . . .

I also assume that this stuff will improve. There's a lot for him to grasp, and Feagin was his first class here. If it doesn't improve, it won't matter what his record is in 3 years, he'll be out.

Brodie

August 10th, 2009 at 2:36 AM ^

About it casting doubt on RichRod... that doubt was cast in Brian's post after the hiring was made official:

Maybe it's unfair to tar the coach when a couple of guys he got through school turn out to be world-class knuckleheads, but the idea of a Pacman Jones or a Chris Henry at Michigan is unsettling. It's not like Michigan's team is full of Mother Theresa's -- indeed, this year the team racked up arrests at a near-Zookian pace -- but there are some limits. Rodriguez also availed himself of JUCOs and academic risks that might not fly at Michigan. Though he dismissed academic concerns at the press conference by citing uniform NCAA standards, Michigan likes its high graduation rates and excellent APR numbers. If those start to come down he'll catch heat.

If you decided to ignore the possibilities because of optimism, I won't blame you. But to pretend our coach has a spotless record of character evaluation up until now is wrong. I believe in RichRod as much as anyone else here... but he's earned my criticism in this instance.

Big Boutros

August 10th, 2009 at 10:25 AM ^

If you decided to ignore the possibilities because of optimism...

I'm certainly guilty of that. But I have never pretended that his record of character evaluation is spotless. I should have said that Feagin's coke bust casts further, meatier doubt upon his ability to evaluate character.

The King of Belch

August 10th, 2009 at 5:11 AM ^

Feagin is off the team, and that's that. But what does it say about Appy State for taking him in? Will anyone get on their case?

As a coach, all you can do is handle it, and Rodriguez did. I'm one who thinks if you got 85 people in almost any room, there's a few who sniff the coke and smoke the drugs, beat their spouses, abuse their kids and do all kinds of things that we would like to sweep under a rug. If they get sniffed out, you get rid of them.

And college kids who have access to drugs? WHO KNEW?!

jblaze

August 10th, 2009 at 8:01 AM ^

I don't understand the association between 1 guy on the team doing something this dumb and poor character evaluation by RR.

He can't hire a PI to look into every player's background and is probably limited by what he can do (legal liability/ discrimination lawsuits).

The fact that he booted Feagin as soon as he knew about this says more than taking a risky kid.

There are plenty of kids (Cornelius Jones, that kid that Kiffin took) that have made mistakes and are trying to become better people. A guy like Feagin should not undermine them.

Bringitback2a2

August 10th, 2009 at 11:40 AM ^

What we fail to understand is where these kids are coming from. They are 18-22 year old kids. They all make mistakes, just as all kids do. THe only difference is that when these kids mess up, its national news. Feagin messed up, but he's gone now. We should move on. Michigan is not the perfect place and no other college is either. Rich Rodriguez kicked him off the team, which I don't see what else he could have done. Close the case and move on

Tacopants

August 10th, 2009 at 12:58 PM ^

All other things aside, I don't think you can equate drug deal gone bad turning into death threats with general mischief like getting MiPs and having intimate relations with people of dubious attractiveness while not wearing protection, the mistakes most 18 and 19 year old college students are making.

mgovictors23

August 10th, 2009 at 12:23 PM ^

Rich Rodriquez gave him a chance late in the recruiting period. Obviously he didn't take advantage of his oppurtunity and messed up, and is now off the team. Sadly things like this happen at all colleges and we just have to move on.

MichFan1997

August 10th, 2009 at 12:41 PM ^

all the time. RR was...get this...WRONG about this one. HOWEVA, he did still kick the kid off the team. The real problem to me would be if we had a coach that turned his head when kids screw up.

mtzlblk

August 10th, 2009 at 2:15 PM ^

Please to all the chicken littles who think the sky is falling, it is not. Unles this becomes a regular occurrence, I'm not worried about this incident except in the 'raised eyebrow/awareness' sense.

Let's all remember that Pac Man and Chris Henry weren't problems until they left WVU and were held in check by RR and staff while on the team.

Let's be real. Not every recruit has a squeaky clean record and even when talking to people about their background and such, you aren't going to get the full story. Could there been a hint of a problem to RR in doing a background check? Yes. But if you rejected every prospective athlete with a whiff of trouble you would have a VERY limited recruiting pool indeed.

Did RR take a risk on a kid to fill a slot at a position of need late in the recruiting process? Very likely. He also was probably confident that he could manage him much the way he did in the past with other players that presented the potential for these kind of issues.

Would peope have crucified him if he had not taken that risk and we ended up in a situation last year where we needed Feagin and he was not there? Most certainly, and RR would have no way in which to explain to people why he took a pass on the kid and would have to do what he is doing right now, sit there and take a caning by his own fans and the MMM about his character and decision making.

By all indications he was involved and trying to help Feagin make it at the program regardless of talent level. Kudos deserved, none given.

The bottom line right now, the only poor judgement on display is that of Feagin. Feagin was offered an opportunity that he chose not to take advantage of and made decisions that resulted in the loss of that privilege.

RR did exactly what he should have done. He was trying to help a player adjust and make the most of his time at UM. When that player showed some extremely bad judgment, RR dismissed him from the team that day. No cover up, no mitigating, just gone.

I, for one, will applaud RR for his actions in this incident and will wait and see if this should turn out to be pattern.

For all of you out there piling on and jumping to conclusions/judgements, the real truth is that only time will tell and you will simply have to wait to determine if there is a long-term, endemic lack of character in RR and his players. There is a plenty of evidence that a high standard of character is expected, I would simply ask you to consider all that evidence with the same weight and to assess this type of event from a somewhat objective viewpoint before picking up your torches and pitchforks.

Alkaline

August 10th, 2009 at 3:13 PM ^

The chicken little reference makes no sense. In that fable, an acorn hits Chicken Little, who then thinks the sky is falling. Here, we have an apparent drug dealer recruited to play quarterback for Michigan. Doesn't that bother you? This is more than an acorn.

Every time someone leaves the program, we hear excuses--lazy (Boren), racist (Kurt W), we-gave-the-kid-a-try (Feagin), did not fit system (Clemons, Threat, O'Neill), etc. Collectively, the picture is not good. The team is not "The Team" as in Bo's days. It is a incoherent collection that seems desperately assembled and coached.

We paid $4 million just for the right to sign him as a coach. We have a right to expect that the investment will pay off, not just in wins, but in maintaining the pride and prestige of the institution. I do not have a pitchfork in my hand--but I do have my eyes and ears trained on the program.

mtzlblk

August 11th, 2009 at 8:30 PM ^

It does not bother me any more than the 29 arrests/issues under Carr did, or the myriad of issues that other teams players get involved in. Less, in fact, becuase he is not still on the team.

To me this is an acorn, so I think Chicken Little stands as a valid reference.

If this becomes significantly more prevalent than in years past, I will be the first one calling for RR to go, but you have to extend him the same courtesy, objectivity and benefit of the doubt that you afforded Carr.

As for the players that left, some facts for you:
-Mallet, was gone before RR was ever hired, Carr hated him, the players hated him and he was running around campus doing tons of bong hits and getting drunk all the time - you want him to stay?
-Boren - was coddled under Carr and allowed to skip practices to go help with his Dad's plow business, skip workouts, etc., he always wanted to go to OSU (was bribed by his father with a boat to go to UM) and when his unqualified brother didn't get a scholarship off from RR he quit and showed his lack of character in opening his big mouth on his way out. Oh yeah, we need him. He walked out on his teammates.
-Wermers - proven to be a liar and was academicaly gone anyway, whining about how he valued Carr's family environment when he never played/practiced with him as coach. See ya.
-Plenty of lazy players shown the door when they did not want to put the time in.

Some players left b/c they did not fit the spread system, no problem there and they transferred w/o issue and I wish them the best of luck.

Hmmmm...I seem to remember another coach coming to UM to change things who caused a massive amount of attrition, to the point that he put up a sign that read 'Those Who Stay Will be Champions'. His name escapes me though.

Alkaline

August 12th, 2009 at 9:07 PM ^

I was a sophomore when Bo came in, living with many of the players recruited by Bump Elliot. RR is no Bo. The "fat guys" Bo inheirited (e.g., Brandstatter) bought into Bo's message and performed very well. He was able to reach them, using different tactics for different personalities.

As you suggest, I will extend RR the courtesy of this year. But I am very concerned with all the turnover--two more today--which signals to me that he lacks the breadth of personality to motivate the variety of young men in the program. He strikes me as one dimensional, and thus not a Michigan man.

As to your recitation of evidence about the departed--I think it proves the point I suggested. You can try to justify each one of them, but you cannot ignore the team as a whole: the turnover is both significant and corrosive.

Any way, this is better than debating health care. Go Blue!

gmcrew

August 13th, 2009 at 2:31 PM ^

While player incidents occurred on Carr's watch, don't forget that he was coach for 13 (or 14?) seasons. RR has compiled an impressively depressing record of losses (both on/off the field) during his ONE year as head coach. Like Alkaline said -- while Bo was tough, he brought out the best in his players and earned their respect. RR seems to get little out of his players and makes no attempt to adapt his system to their talents (heard of Ryan Mallet?). I agree that RR deserves a chance with his own recruits, but so far, he has done nothing to suggest that he can succeed at UM.

Musket Rebellion

August 13th, 2009 at 3:21 PM ^

I think you seemed to have missed the point. Not of this posting, but of, I don't know, reality.

We, as Michigan fans, have paid attention to Rich Rodriguez for one year. You bring up "on and off the field" losses as a means of bashing a coach you've been paying attention to for one year.

We went 3 - 9 last year. GET -Fucking- OVER IT. You had 38 straight bowl games. Vanderbilt has been to what? 3 all time? Everybody has a down year, just because it hasn't happened to your beloved Wolverines before doesn't mean it wasn't bound to happen.

Re: Ryan Mallet.

Mallet was out the door before RR got here. Yeah, he played the publicity card well. He stuck around to see what was going to happen and then he bailed. Truth is, he was in Carr's doghouse most of the year, only played because Henne's shoulder didn't work, and the other option was the CONER, and was on his way out halfway through the year. If you want to believe internet memes (which you obviously do) then he told people he was transferring midway through the season. RR publicly stated that he made 3 or 4 attempts to talk to Ryan about playing football at Michigan and that his attempts were not reciprocated by Mallet himself. Don't bring him up in a discussion of "players he didn't adapt his system to" because MALLET NEVER PLAYED A GAME FOR OR GAVE RICH RODRIGUEZ A CHANCE. He bailed, plain and simple.

"I agree that RR deserves a chance with his own recruits, but so far, he has done nothing to suggest that he can succeed at UM."

Ignorant. Flat out ignorant. If this is me starting a flame war, then consider it done. Your ignorant idea of what is and isn't acceptable at THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN is outdated and off base. All he has done is brought in a core group of great athletes at the end of Carr's last class. Put together a top ten recruiting class the next year. Real in one of the most talked about recruits in recent Michigan history (Devin Gardner) and try and change the identity of a program from one of stale and boring historically outdated propaganda to one that can win in the future. We all knew this road would be long and hard, but you seem to forget that change rarely occurs overnight, and that it is often a tough road to travel upon.

And don't you dare bring up Bo. If you knew anything, or bothered to read a book or two, you would know that a lot of people left the program when he came on board as well.

jmblue

August 10th, 2009 at 5:12 PM ^

Is this a uniquely awful revelation that casts doubt on the ability of Rich Rodriguez to properly evaluate character? Yes.

It's one player. Lloyd Carr recruited William Peterson, who attended four high schools in four years, and went on to also get busted on drug distribution charges (in addition to multiple other crimes) at U-M. Are you prepared to make the same argument against Lloyd?

I think coaches take a lot more chances on players than any of us are willing to admit. Most of the time, those chances pay off. Occasionally they don't. That's life.

Big Boutros

August 10th, 2009 at 6:29 PM ^

Sorry, let me clarify: A student-athlete's involvement in a felonious crime is not uniquely awful. As you said, it's one player, and there is a precedent for criminal activity amongst Michigan football players. It does strike me as uniquely chilling, though, that Feagin's criminal behavior endangered the lives of hundreds of unsuspecting students in West Quad. This, too, might not be unique in the entire history of college football, but I can't remember anything like this at Michigan. That's all I meant by that.

jmblue

August 10th, 2009 at 7:38 PM ^

So RR's judgment is to be called into question because he recruited a guy who was the target of an arson attempt? I don't quite follow. Feagin may be a total scumbag, but I can't quite blame him for someone else trying to kill him via arson.

But anyway, Michigan players have at times been involved in scary, life-or-death situations. In 1993 or so, Shonte Peoples once fired live ammunition at two police officers, thinking that they were going to break into his car. Around 2000, James Whitley (accompanied by David Terrell) went after someone with a gun at a party (but thankfully didn't kill him). Do these incidents call into question the judgment of the coaches who recruited them?

Big Boutros

August 10th, 2009 at 8:38 PM ^

So RR's judgment is to be called into question because he recruited a guy who was the target of an arson attempt? I don't quite follow. Feagin may be a total scumbag, but I can't quite blame him for someone else trying to kill him via arson.

Yeah, that was a stretch on my part, but the attempted arson would not have taken place if Feagin were not involved in dealing drugs. Feagin is not entirely innocent with regards to what took place in West Quad, and Rodriguez is not entirely innocent in that he overlooked Feagin's high school misbehavior.

In 1993 or so, Shonte Peoples once fired live ammunition at two police officers, thinking that they were going to break into his car. Around 2000, James Whitley (accompanied by David Terrell) went after someone with a gun at a party (but thankfully didn't kill him). Do these incidents call into question the judgment of the coaches who recruited them?

I don't know. I don't know if there is a yes or no answer to that question. On one hand, a college student should be old and mature enough to be accountable for his own actions. On the other hand, a college coach should recognize problematic players and step in before something regrettable happens.

jmblue

August 11th, 2009 at 2:03 PM ^

Speaking of "problematic players" - James Whitley was a senior and team captain* when he went after the guy at the party. He'd been under Carr's tutelage for four years, voted captain by his teammates, and STILL acted like a thug. Sometimes the coach can only do so much.

(*Whitley was booted off the team for this and his captaincy was removed from the record books.)

Sambojangles

August 10th, 2009 at 6:01 PM ^

I guess I can't make fun of OSU fans anymore for Maurice Clarett, and MSU fans for Jeff Smoker, because they can give it right back to me now.

Other than that, not a big deal. RR gave him a shot, he failed, and now he's gone. End of story.

When a kid gets kicked off the team, especially this late in the summer, do they still get to go to school, and get to keep their scholarship? Or does that all go away immediately?

Ernis

August 11th, 2009 at 10:40 PM ^

there is no comparison betwixt Maurice and Feagin. Intent to distribute illicit recreational substances is A HELLUVA LOT different than intending to MURDER someone who is going to testify against you

Jebus did you grow up thinking "Reefer Madness" was a documentary or some shit?

Meeechigan Dan

August 10th, 2009 at 9:15 PM ^

Feagin would get run out of Columbus for being too much of a Boy Scout.

It is not a uniquely awful revelation. RR's record is fine by me so far. And Lloyd was no better as far as you can compare his career to RR's short stint.

gmcrew

August 13th, 2009 at 4:31 PM ^

Some paid attention to RR even before he came to Michigan. I recall watching him flounder in the biggest game of his career -- when he lost at home, to Pittsburgh, a team with a losing record, in a game that would have sent his WV to the national championship. RR's spread mustered 7 pts. RR looked like a deer in the headlights on the sideline. Seemed like a performance deserving of a multi-million dollar contract + $3M buyout + attorneys' fees for the defense of a defenseless litigation. Not.

Say what you like about Mallet -- I'd rather have seen him running RR's famed spread than Threet/Sheridan, neither of whom was comfortable in that role. If RR is such a special coach, he should be able to deal with primadonnas and find roles for nationally ranked players, particularly those who are already on his roster.

And when it comes to Mallet, Threet, and all the rest of the players that have left on RR's watch, RR could have the decency to say "Good kid. Another team will be lucky to have him." How hard is that? Instead, all we get is, "I only talk about guys that play at Michigan."

Give me a break. These kids are 18 years old, and RR is making MILLIONS on their backs. The guy could show a base level of respect. If you think that concept is outdated, you need to get out there on the field and get your bell rung a few times.