NCAA reverses postseason ban
The NCAA has restored the U-M basketball team’s eligibility to
play in tournaments this season, reversing its earlier decision that imposed
an additional one-year ban on postseason competition. In an announcement
today (Sept. 25), the Division I Infractions Appeals Committee said the
extra year added to the University’s self-imposed ban for 2002-03
|(File photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)
Central to the committee’s decision was the manner in which the
University cooperated with the investigation, the NCAA appeals committee
report said. “The institution’s extraordinary efforts transcended
‘cooperation,’ and strongly mitigate against imposition of
the second year of the postseason ban,” the report concluded.
“I am pleased that the NCAA Appeals Committee took our concerns
seriously and gratified that the committee recognized the extraordinary
efforts the University undertook in order to get to the truth,”
President Mary Sue Coleman said.
“Last year I watched Coach Amaker and his team play with heart and
dedication, but with no hope of postseason play even though they were
not involved in any way. It feels good to know the team can go into this
season focused one hundred percent on the potential for future success,”
"This is a tremendously positive day for the University of Michigan
and our basketball program. We are so appreciative of the news we received
today,” said Coach Tommy Amaker. “I am thrilled for the young
men on our team, and I believe they truly deserve this opportunity. We
all remain excited about the upcoming season and truly look forward to
the challenges that lie ahead."
In November 2002, Coleman and Athletic Director Bill Martin announced
a list of sanctions the University had self-imposed in response to a federal
investigation that revealed self-proclaimed sports booster Ed Martin had
loaned $616,000 to former U-M basketball players Chris Webber, Robert
Traylor, Maurice Taylor and Louis Bullock, in violation of NCAA rules.
The University forfeited all games won while the four players were ineligible,
including the 1992 and 1993 Final Fours; re-paid to the NCAA about $450,000
the University received for postseason play; and voluntarily imposed a
one-year ban on postseason tournament play.
In May, the NCAA Committee on Infractions added new sanctions, taking
away one of U-M’s 13 scholarships every season for four years beginning
in 2004-05, and placing the University on probation for a total of four
years, instead of the two years the University had recommended. It also
added another year to the postseason ban. The University accepted all
the new sanctions but the additional year ban, stating it unfairly punished
uninvolved student-athletes. The appeals committee of the NCAA agreed.
The NCAA report issued today said it is unlikely that the identities of
the individuals involved in the Ed Martin matter, and the amount of money
in question, could have been determined without University assistance.
The appeals committee also said that the situation involving Martin and
the players did not reflect a lack of institutional control or academic
fraud. Additionally, the University did not gain competitive advantage
as a result of the rules violations.
"With today's announcement, this long and unpleasant chapter in the
University history has ended once and for all,” Bill Martin said.
“We have learned some hard lessons from this experience, but we
emerged from it with a stronger program and a renewed commitment to the
highest standards of integrity. I'm proud of Coach Amaker and our current
players, who gave their best effort last year despite a ban on the postseason
tournament that was self-imposed by the University. We're looking ahead
now to a terrific season."
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