Michigan levies penalties for scandal

Nov. 7, 2002 at 4:04 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, calling it a day of great shame for the school, Thursday announced heavy self-imposed sanctions levied against the men's basketball program.

In response to alleges under-the-table moneys given to four former MU athletes by booster Ed Martin, the school forfeited wins from 1992-93 and 1995-99, took down four banners from its basketball home, Crisler Arena, said it would pay back $450,000 to the NCAA, and placed itself on probation.

"There's no excuse. It was wrong," Coleman said. "This is a day of great shame for our university. These sanctions are strong medicine. We have let down all who believe that the University of Michigan should stand for the best in college athletics. We have disappointed our students, our faculty, our alumni and our fans."

Martin claims he gave money to Chris Webber, Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock. Webber, a star forward with the NBA's Sacramento Kings, allegedly was given $280,000.

At a meeting on July 26 between attorneys representing the school and Martin, officials from the NCAA and federal investigators detailed $616,000 in loans made to the four.

According to Athletic Director Bill Martin, the school received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA on Oct. 29, and this was Michigan's response.

The meeting was made possible by a federal indictment of Martin and subsequent plea agreement. Michigan's findings were made possible by the federal government's involvement.

"Despite our best efforts, we were not able to substantiate the allegations of loans to the four players until the federal government got involved," Bill Martin said.

In addition to forfeiting more than 100 wins from the years in question, the school took down banners from a pair of Final Four appearances, a National Invitation Tournament title, and a Big Ten tournament championship.

The school placed itself on one year probation, and banned the team from any postseason appearance in 2003. The $450,000 reimbursement is equivalent to the money collected from two

Final Four appearances.

Coleman said all wins will be removed from media guides and other publications from the 1992-93 and 1995-96 to 1998-99 seasons.

"We will do this because we didn't win these games fairly," Coleman said.

In order to avoid further sanctions, Bill Martin has requested a meeting with the NCAA infractions committee.

Ed Martin met with representatives from the school, NCAA and FBI this summer, providing details of the payments he allegedly made to the four players.

In order to avoid further sanctions, Bill Martin has requested a meeting with the NCAA Infractions Committee.

Martin is accused of distributing or loaning cash from his illegal gambling business to high school or college athletes and their families. Webber, his father, and his aunt are alleged to have concealed cash, checks, clothing, jewelry and other benefits.

In May, Ed Martin, 68, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. He admitted he took gambling money and loaned it to "at least" the four players, three of whom are in the NBA.

This past summer, Webber was indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit for lying to a grand jury regarding his dealings with Martin. He later denied the charges.

"(Martin) was a man "preying on our innocence," Webber said.

Webber's father, Mayce, and his aunt, Charlene Johnson, also were charged in the case. If found guilty of all charges, Chris Webber faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

Webber played two seasons at Michigan and led the Wolverines to championship game appearances in 1992 and '93. He was the first pick of the 1993 NBA draft.

Taylor and Traylor each played three seasons and Bullock four. All three were on the team that won the NIT title in 1997.

Traylor and Bullock led the Wolverines to the conference tournament crown in 1998.

Traylor was the sixth overall pick by the Dallas Mavericks in 1998 and currently plays for the New Orleans Hornets. Taylor was the 14th selection by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1997 and is with the Houston Rockets.

Bullock was taken in the second round by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1999 and now is playing in Spain.

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