Tuesday, January 25, 2022

U-M sanctioned by NCAA

Michigan says it plans to appeal 'unfair' ruling

Michigan's basketball team was restricted from the next postseason last Thursday by the NCAA for violations involving former booster Ed Martin paying Wolverine basketball players during the 1990s.

Although the university placed a self-imposed ban on the men's basketball team from appearing in the NCAA Tournament last season, the NCAA infractions committee deemed the penalty "meaningful," but not enough.

Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman called the NCAA's ruling unfair to players currently at Michigan.

"It disproportionately affects young people who didn't have anything to do with this," Coleman said.

Michigan plans to appeal the ban on the NCAA statue, arguing that student-athletes shouldn't be unfairly punished for the transgressions of others.

Athletic Director Bill Martin said a similar restriction from Louisiana State University's 1999 postseason was successfully appealed under this statue. Former Louisiana State players were illegally recruited.

The NCAA defends its decision to add another year of restricting postseason play because of the severity of the crime, and the success Michigan's team obtained as a result of fielding paid players and that violations had occurred until 1999.

The university has already vacated all records of its appearances in NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Tournaments and forfeited wins from any games in which the four paid players - Chris Webber , Robert Traylor , Maurice Taylor and Louis Bullock - appeared in a game.

"We tried to make every one of our self-imposed sanctions similar to what has been handed down in the past by the infractions committee," said Bruce Majbe, Michigan's director of Media Relations.

In addition to Michigan's self-imposed bans and the one year removal from postseason play, the university also has lost one of its 13 scholarships for the next four years, been placed on probation until November 2006 and must show significant headway in disassociating itself from the four students involved with the illegal money.

Head coach Tommy Amaker said everyone on the team was still committed to playing next season.

"We planned on being back," Amaker said. "We talked with all of the players last night. No one has any thoughts of leaving."

These sanctions against Michigan come at a time when scandal is rampant throughout college basketball. The University of Georgia and Fresno State University have been charged by the NCAA with academic fraud and St. Bonaventure University with the use of ineligible players.

With the exception of the one-year ban from postseason play, Coleman said Michigan supports all the NCAA's other sanctions.

"First and foremost we remain committed to the integrity of our athletics program," she said.

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