Broward News

Feagin's Fall at Michigan Brings Investigation

If you've got world-class athletic talent and a full ride at a top school like the University of Michigan, you probably want to avoid friends from South Florida who answer to the name, "Tragic."

That's the nickname of the drug dealer to whom former Deerfield Beach football star Justin Feagin allegedly sent $600, in exchange for which he and a buddy were to receive an ounce of cocaine, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. When the cocaine didn't materialize, the friend, T.J. Burke, became upset and allegedly started a fire outside Feagin's dorm room.

When Feagin's coach, Rich Rodriguez, learned of the incident, he dismissed Feagin from the team. And today the Free Press is reporting that the school's athletic director is going investigate how Michigan vets the character of its recruits.

Of course, it's tough to do too much background investigation on 18-year-olds, since their juvenile records are sealed. Absent that material, a university would probably give closer scrutiny to the background of a prospective recruit's family, and Feagin would have likely cleared that hurdle, too. It wasn't till late September 2008 -- when he was a freshman -- that police arrested his uncle and football role model Steven Feagin on allegations of raping a woman in Pompano Beach the year before.

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Thomas Francis