BY RYAN KARTJE
Managing Sports Editor
Published August 9, 2009
On July 25, Michigan football player Justin Feagin was quietly dismissed from the team for an undisclosed team rule violation.
Two days later, an arrest was made in the West Quad arson case after four months of investigation. Timothy James Burke claimed his reason for setting the fire was to send a message after a failed drug deal.
According to a special report from the Detroit Free Press, Burke's failed drug deal directly involved Feagin, who had a contact in Florida with cocaine.
“I told him that I knew someone who could get him some cocaine," Feagin told investigators. "A few days later he asked me if I had talked to the person yet. I called right then and set up a deal.”
Burke intended on setting a fire to scare Feagin near his West Quad room in Adams House after repeated threats over the phone and in text messages.
According to the Free Press report, Feagin and his cousin then threatened Burke.
After the four-month investigation, one of Burke's housemates called police to inform them that the arsonist in question was Burke.
Two days later, Feagin was brought in for questioning and described the cocaine deal.
Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez released a statement on Sunday explaining Feagin's dismissal.
“I dismissed Justin Feagin the moment that I was provided information contrary to our team policies,” Rodriguez said.
Burke will be sentenced Sept. 16 and faces up to 10 years in prison.
The report does not mention any criminal charges being brought against Feagin.