image

Just kids having fun, right?

I made it through the police report and it’s pretty sad.  One thing that struck me: when the police plucked Justin Feagin from Schembechler Hall on July 23rd and hauled him to the station, the cops told the sophomore he could leave any time, “did not have to speak” and that he wouldn’t be arrested (at least not then).  Despite this, he went ahead and apparently told them everything.  

I’m not sure whether he knew this was the end of the line or just didn’t understand the gravity of what he was admitting.  Whatever it was, he might have saved Michigan a lot a hassle by coming clean.  Once Rodriguez learned what was said he no doubt summoned Jon Falk to clean out Feagin’s locker.

Feagin claims he was doing another student a solid—trying to help him out of financial trouble by getting him some coke to resell.   Dude, how about collecting some pop cans?  But enough on Feagin who’s obviously got some stuff to work out, I assume will have some legal battles ahead and blew the opportunity at a first class education.  Sad stuff for a young guy.

Beyond the obvious misread on Feagin’s character by those who brought him to Ann Arbor, here’s hoping that this incident inspires a little more self-policing within the team.  A few names of current teammates are mentioned in the report (they’re not involved with the bad stuff) and I’m guessing they knew about what was going on, or at least knew that Feagin was the target of Fire Starter.  Let’s hope that the next time there’s an off-field incident the seniors and Rodriguez know about it before the cops show up at Schembechler Hall asking questions.

8 Comments

  1. I dunno, does the program owe it to players to send along a lawyer in these situations where the police show up to “just talk” to one of the players? If, supposedly, they are “family,” then I would think the staff could be more supportive of them in their time of need, even if they may have broken the law.

    Everyone knows the “I’ve got nothing to hide, so I’ll talk” logic goes awry in our legal system. I think Feagin was let down to a certain extent. Sure, kick him off the team, but help him NOT dig a legal hole for himself he won’t be able to get of.

    Just a thought.

  2. To FRANK, do you really think it would have gone over well if the football program provided an attorney to the player being questioned by police? Two things: 1) Considering that the university can’t give a player a sandwich from Subway, I’m thinking this is probably a violation of some kind; 2) The media would accuse the program of trying to cover this up, and it would be hard to defend against such an accusation.

  3. Florida Buckeye

    The “family” so often spoken of on this blog (and many others) is something akin to a Family of Sharks! “We’re all in it together…one big happy family!” until the first blood is drawn! Then, all bets are off…your sorry, wounded, disgraced carcass will be attacked by your “brothers” and what is left is now fair game for all of your previously adoring Vultures..I mean Fans.
    I really enjoy reading Michigan Blogs because a few of them are well written (especially this one) but many of the other UM blogs I read for the same reason that most folks watch Jerry Springer: my life, in my world, is not so bad…I could be a UM fan after a 3-9 season!

  4. Callahan, I don’t care how it would have “gone over” I’m posing a hypothetical question here of whether a football program has any obligation to help these KIDS with their legal problems: at least to the extent that they keep their mouths shut and don’t incriminate themselves with the police. After all, there is and should be a presumption of innocence here. Someone could have, at least, told him to ask for a public defender to be present (though I don’t really know that one wasn’t present.)

    When players come down with medical conditions, I’m sure the team’s medical staff will offer some input, some guidance. When players have scholastic troubles, the program provides academic help. Why should legal matters be treated any different? Just because of the bad PR? I don’t know that that reason smacks of much integrity.

  5. I cannot believe my eyes:

    “at least to the extent that they keep their mouths shut and don’t incriminate themselves with the police [snip] someone could have, at least, told him to ask for a public defender to be present”

    Uh, yeah, that is one’s Miranda rights and is NOT the responsibility of the University.

    “there is and should be a presumption of innocence here”

    Please tell me where in the police report this presumption was not made? Given what Feagin voluntary confessed to, I think the notion of innocence went right out the window by the time the interview was over.

    Listen, while I think your heart may be in the right place, having the institution look out for its own that is, I immediately think how many other students have access to University-funded legal counsel for free? You mention medical care and tutoring as examples but those are services which can be had by the general student population (albeit sometimes with a fee) and just not via the athletic department. With that said, I fail to see the relevance of your comparisons and your rationale for why the university should provide a legal benefit for just a privileged subset of its population.

    On the other hand, your post is by far the dumbest thing I have read online in a long time. I completely understand the generation raised by the current crop of helicopter parents and receiving a trophy for just showing up doesn’t understand the notion of accountability. But instead of always looking for someone else to blame, here’s a novel idea… DON’T FUCKING DEAL DRUGS! The point of providing legal services kinda becomes moot if one follows that one simple little guideline don’t ya think???

  6. Get a grip, Chris. No need to add insult to disagreement — if such civility is within your grasp. I was raising a hypothetical which shouldn’t get your panties in such a bunch. (My bad.)

    Technically, Feagin didn’t deal drugs, he stole Burke’s money on the pretense of making a drug deal. Also, if Feagin did deal drugs, why hasn’t he been arrested?

    The point is, without legal representation, you are taking the police’s version of what happened. I don’t happen to like giving the police such benefit of the doubt. Our Founding Fathers didn’t either.

    And, yes, ALL students should have such access to legal, medical, and academic guidance.

  7. Talk about getting one’s panties in a bunch there Frank; and you don’t need to lecture this alum and vet on civics. Regarding your question “you are taking the police’s version of what happened”… nope I never mentioned that. What I did say is Feagin had the right to remain silent; it looks like he decided not to. The execution of that personal right is not the responsbility of the University. Go back and carefully read it again if you’re still not sure of my position.

  8. Oh, thanks for the correction too… I guess since Feagin didn’t ACTUALLY deal drugs, he merely conspired to do so, that makes a world of difference — and something we all look for in our Michigan Men and Women.