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March 25, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-25

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 25, 2002 - 5A

hope no
By Jim weber
Daily Sports Writer
The Maize Rage didn't have much
to cheer about last season - but they
didn't care. They earned praise from
players, coaches and the media for
their unflappable support of the
Michigan basketball team from play-
ers, coaches and the media. Despite a
one-win improvement, with a new
coach and a top-notch recruiting
class, at least there was hope to fuel
their excitement.
But the NCAA could soon jeopard-
ize that. With the indictment of boost-
er Ed Martin for paying past players,
Maize Ragersare concerned about
possible sanctions from the NCAA
and a further setback for their basket-
ball team. A setback for the team
could also shrink the Maize Rage
with a decrease in student season tick-
et holders.
"It's terribly frustrating," Maize
Rager Brian Groesser said.
Although unlikely, the NCAA
could possibly place Michigan on
probtionor ban the team from post-
season play
Current "Superfan" Reza Break-
stone hopes this won't happen, and
doesn't think these sanctions would
serve a purpose.
"We are two University presidents,
two athletic directors and two coaches
removed from it," Breakstone said.
"Punishment would have no purpose.
It wouldn't deter anyone that was
Breakstone said today's coaches
and players "didn't have anything to
do with it. Who are paying the conse-
quences? (Chris) Webber, (Robert)
Traylor, (Maurice) Taylor or (Louis)
Bullock? No. It would be (Tommy)
Amaker. It would be (LaVell) Blan-
Michigan could also forfeit the
games won with players that were
paid by Martin.
"There are rumors of taking away
Final Four appearances and taking
away those seasons (that Webber,
Traylor, Taylor and Bullock) played
in, and I would agree to that," Groess-
er said.
Fellow Maize Rager Aaron Ruhlig
hopes that the NCAA will consider

The History of
Ed Martin and Michigan

April 6, 1992
Michigan's "Fab Five" (a group of five stellar freshmen
headlined by Chris Webber and Jalen Rose) lose to
Duke in the NCAA championship game.
The fascination with the "Fab Five" raises the program
to an all-time high in popularity across the nation.
May 5, 1993
After falling just short of a national title for the second
straight year, Webber turns pro.
Unfortunately for Michigan, Webber allegedly received
$280,000 in cash from Ed Martin before he became a
Feb. 17, 1996
The program first comes under the microscope after
Maurice Taylor's Ford Explorer was involved in a rollover
The expensive sport utility vehicle was the first public
sign of possible extra benefits to basketball players.
March 4, 1997
The University's first investigation is hampered because
several players and coaches did not cooperate.
Michigan admits to two minor NCAA violations involv-
ing Ed Martin giving extra benefits to players and their

Former "Fab Fiver" Jalen Rose, now
with the Chicago Bulls.

The Maize Rage has tried to restore a strong fan base at Crisler Arena. How will its
membership and passion be affected by the Ed Martin scandal?

the steps Michigan took to clean its
own basketball program while decid-
ing whether or not to sanction the
The Martin scandal has also result-
ed in mixed emotions for some Maize
Ragers about the "Fab Five" that
many grew to love as children. Maize
Ragers fondly remember the baggy
shorts, attitude and, most importantly,
success that these players brought to
Michigan. But now that image has
been "tarnished" for some because
Chris Webber was paid to play,
according to the indictment.
The "Fab Five" "is not something I
want to erase from my memory
bank," Breakstone said. "(But) it
diminishes their luster. It is not as
magical when you cheat."
Not all Ragers agree. Maize Rager
Zach Drennen does not put blame on
Webber, who was just a high school
freshman when he supposedly started
receiving payments from Martin.
"I think we should remember (Web-

ber) for the player he was and not let
this tarnish his image, because I think
it has more to do with Ed Martin then
the players," Drennen said.
The Maize Ragers condemn all of
these alleged payments. But, at the
same time, they are frustrated that
many other scandals in college bas-
ketball go unpunished.
Said Breakstone: "I feel like we are
the only suckers that got caught."
Breakstone also had some strong
words for Martin.
"If you had this much love and pas-
sion, why don't you go coach some
kids and groom them to come to
Michigan," Breakstone said. "Do
something positive."
"Do you really think you were help-
ing the program? You aren't really a
Michigan man."
And he certainly doesn't have any
sympathy for Martin while he awaits
"You spoiled your own dream. You
deserve whatever you get."

Maurice Taylor on NBA draft day with
emiccinr David Stern_

May 31, 1997 cMMsnerU Mse.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Martin gave money to Webber and Taylor.
The report said that the two were given at least $100,000. Taylor denied the
Oct. 11, 199 7
Two days after a second investigation by an outside law
firm found no major violations, Michigan coach Steve
Fisher is fired.
Seven months had passed since Fisher gave a public
statement of support from then-President Lee Bollinger
and then-Athletic Director Joe Roberson. Assistant coach
Brian Ellerbe takes over the coaching duties,
April*28, 1999
The FBI and IRS raid a number of Detroit area homes
in an effort to halt an illegal gambling ring in the area'sx:.
Ford plants.
Martin, a former Ford employee who led the ring, was Fab ive coach Steve Fisher, no
found to have more than $20,000 cash, a loaded gun
and gambling records in his home.
May 3, 2000
After agreeing to a plea bargain with the U.S. Attorney's office in which he
would have to disclose information about the cash payments to players,
Martin backs out.
Martin told reporters that he would rather take his chance at a trial in which all

Experts predict effect on recruits

By Jos Smith
Daily Sports Editor

Michigan coach Tommy Amaker is considered by
many to have a golden touch when it comes to recruit-
ing the best players.
Several recruiting analysts say that despite the recent
indictment of banned Michigan booster Ed Martin and
its impending consequences on the basketball program,
Amaker's appeal won't lose its luster.
The scandal is "something you have to overcome, but
Michigan has enough of other things going on that are
positive for (the indictment)," said HoopScoop recruit-
ing analyst Clark Francis.
"I still like the position Michigan is in for next couple
years recruiting-wise."
Following his previous recruiting successes as an
assistant at Duke and as head coach at Seton Hall,
Amaker nabbed a top-10 freshmen class for Michigan
next season.
Incoming recruits Lester Abram and Graham Brown
told The Michigan Daily yesterday that they still intend
to don the maize and blue next fall, and that even possi-
ble NCAA sanctions wouldn't hold them back.
Analysts say the same should be expected from the
other three members of the class, including superstar
point guard Daniel Horton - not to mention future
That includes top junior prospect Dion Harris from
Detroit Redford, who lost the Class A state champi-
onship game to Abram's Pontiac Northern team at the
Breslin Center on Saturday.
"If Dion Harris is going to Michigan, he's going to
Michigan anyway," said Francis, who said he believes
Michigan is still in the drivers seat to nab the talented
Mark Mayemura, an editor of Recruiting USA and a
recruiting analyst for ESPN.com, agrees with Francis,
saying that Michigan recruiting will still be in good
"In the mind of the young basketball players, (the
scandal) doesn't matter," said Mayemura.
"Aside from the death penalty, they will be able to
deal with it."
Francis said there are several reasons for this positive
outlook. For example, Michigan still has many positives
to offer, including a young and bright coaching staff,
the ability to offer significant playing time to top big
men right away and academic prowess.
Francis also mentioned that some of the kids Michi-
gan is trying to go after - those with "inner-city tough-
ness" or those with a "chip on his shoulder" - would
have a different view on the scandal.
Francis said those types of recruits often think that
the accused players didn't do anything wrong by trying
to help themselves out of a tough situation.

recruiting tool.
Analysts say that plan won't be affected too much by
the Martin scandal. The crown jewel of the "Fab Five",
Chris Webber, received $280,000 from Martin accord-
ing to the indictment, but Mayemura says the current
Sacramento Kings' forward won't lose many reputation
"I don't think this impacts (Webber) negatively,"
Mayemura said. "He is still one of the most popular
players. By default, Michigan benefits from that."
And Francis said that because its been 10 years since
the "Fab Five" took the college basketball world by
storm, Michigan's current recruits may be too young to
"Most won't remember the "Fab Five" when they
were playing for Michigan," Francis said. "They may
have early memories, but they were like five, six or
seven years old then."
Both analysts said that winning basketball games is
an important factor that will help the recruiting process
improve at Michigan.
Fortunately for Michigan fans, they see good days
ahead for Amaker's program.
"There is no doubt that Amaker will win 20 games,"
Mayemura said. "Michigan has a great coaching staff.
They will earn their big paychecks."
And if the coaches can earn their paychecks, any
future NCAA sanctions will become less significant in
the recruiting process.
"Winning is a lot more important than what the
NCAA does," Francis said. "If they start winning
games, the rest will take care of itself."

w at

evidence confiscated from him and his son could be used.
Aug. 10, 2000
Former Michigan players Louis Bullock and Robert Tray-
lor are alleged to also have taken money from Martin.
Because Bullock played as recently as 1999, this may
render the NCAA's statute of limitations moot, as it
extends beyond the time Martin was banned from the
Later that week the University decides to "let the whole
thing play out" rather than launch its own investigation.
Sept. 19, 2000
Martin's son Carlton, as part of a plea bargain agreement
filed with the U.S. District Court, agrees to tell theo
University about previously unknown dealings surround- play
ing the Michigan basketball team. He is not required to
testify about his father's gambling.
Carlton does not ultimately hold up his end of the plea
bargain, and is imprisoned in a Pennsylvania prison.
Nov. 16, 2000
Former Michigan coaches Steve Fisher, Perry Watson
and Brian Dutcher appear in Federal Court to testify
before a grand jury.
March 21,2002

is Bullock is the most recent Michigan
yer involved with the scandal.


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