Police: Feagin admits drug deal

Updated: August 10, 2009, 8:18 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Less than three weeks after Michigan dismissed sophomore slot receiver Justin Feagin for an unspecified violation of team rules, details have surfaced regarding the reasons behind Feagin's ouster.

The Detroit Free Press reported on its Web site Sunday night that Feagin was involved in a failed cocaine deal with a fellow Michigan student that later resulted in the student setting a fire near Feagin's dorm room in March. The student, T.J. Burke, pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony arson and agreed to pay Michigan $14,213. Burke faces up to 10 years in jail.

Police records obtained by the Free Press contain an interview with Feagin in which the former Wolverines player admits to arranging a cocaine deal between Burke and one of his friends in Florida. Feagin said Burke gave him $590, a partial payment for the drugs, which Feagin sent to Florida.

Police interviewed Feagin on July 23, and later that day Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez dismissed him from the program.

Rodriguez said Monday as soon as he found out Feagin was getting into trouble off the field he was dismissed from the team.

The coach also insisted he didn't know about the player's previous run-ins with the law.

Feagin also told police that he used to sell drugs in Florida and had been arrested for battery and trespass but faced no repercussions. Though Feagin said he didn't sell drugs at Michigan, Burke told police it was "common knowledge" that Feagin sold marijuana.

According to the police reports, Burke admitted to setting a fire near Feagin's dorm room after not receiving the drugs from Florida. The fire didn't cause any injuries or major damage.

In a statement Sunday to the Free Press, Rodriguez said, "I dismissed Justin Feagin the moment that I was provided information contrary to our team policies."

ESPN's Joe Schad reported Friday that Feagin had planned to transfer to Appalachian State and could play for the FCS school this season if he's cleared academically. However, an Appalachian State source told Schad that Feagin will not be admitted at the school due to academic concerns and the details of the Free Press' report of Feagin's alleged drug activity.

Feagin came to Michigan as a quarterback and competed briefly for the starting job before being moved to slot receiver last season. He appeared in four games as a reserve quarterback in 2008 and had 11 rushes for 52 yards.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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