6- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, May 30, 2002
THE ED MARTIN SCANDAL
Marti' pleads gailt,
will disclose eveyt ing
Three offour 'U' players
did not pay back Mart
By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
DETROIT - Banned Michigan
basketball booster Ed Martin broke
more than a decade's worth of
silence Tuesday when he admitted
his guilt for the first time in front of
U.S. District Court Judge Robert
Martin, a retired Ford autoworker
who has sper* the last three years
under federal investigation for laun-
dering money from an illegal gam-
bling conspiracy, accepted a plea
bargain and avoided a trial that was
originally scheduled for June 17.
By accepting the plea bargain
negotiated by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Rick Convertino and Martin's
lawyer, William Mitchell, Martin
gave up his constitutional rights and
will be forced to disclose all infor-
mation regarding his illegal gam-
bling conspiracy as well as the depth
of his involvement with former
Michigan basketball players Chris
Webber, Robert Traylor, Maurice
Taylor and Louis Bullock from 1988
"We're happy to resolve this,"
Mitchell said. "It's been a long haul.
A lot has been said that is true, and a
lot has been said that is not true."
Martin confirmed the alleged
totals given to the players -
$280,000 to Webber, $160,000 to
Traylor, $105,000 to Taylor and
$71,000 to Bullock, who was the last
player to receive help from Martin.
As part of the agreement, Martin
will be required to cooperate with
the government, University officials
and could even be subjected to lie
A time has not yet been set for
Martin to meet with officials from
the University, but Convertino said
that Martin would definitely meet
with University officials prior to his
Aug. 29 sentencing date.
The Michigan basketball program,
which has been under the NCAA's
microscope since March 1996, could
receive probation, television and
tournament bans or scholarship
restrictions, depending on how the
NCAA views Martin's testimony.
"We have always been interested in
finding out the truth with the case
surrounding Ed Martin," Athletic
Director Bill Martin said. "(Tues-
day's) plea bargain is a step in that
direction. We hope to have the oppor-
tunity very soon to sit down and
speak with Mr. Martin, so we will be
able to bring this matter to a close."
Mitchell said that a big factor in
his client's decision to plead guilty
- a decision that Martin neglected
to make the last time he was given
the chance in May 2000 - was that
the charges of conspiracy against his
wife would be dropped. Martin, who
was originally charged on eight
counts, including conspiracy to laun-
der money, three counts of launder-
ing money, two counts of using
money for illegal gambling activities
and one count of having an illegal
gambling business, had all counts
dismissed except "conspiracy to
launder monetary investments."
The government decided to allow
Martin to keep his house near the
Detroit Golf Club, but in order to do
so, the 68-year-old must forfeit
approximately $27,000 in cash. He
will remain free on a $10,000 unse-
As part of the plea bargain, Mar-
tin faces a probable sentence of 30 to
37 months, but Cleland made it clear
during the meeting that he has the
ultimate hand in what sentence Mar-
tin will serve. The conspiracy con-
Former Wolverine Robert Traylor celebrates with his teammates after Michigan's
Big Ten Tournament Championship victory in 1998.
By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
DETROIT - The floodgates have
opened wide on the Michigan basket-
Ed Martin, who is known throughout
southeastern Michigan as a "basketball
junkie," confirmed Tuesday that he was
involved in a conspiracy that made
money from an illegal gambling con-
spiracy and laundered it to former
Michigan basketball players Chris Web-
ber, Robert Traylor, Maurice Taylor and
Louis Bullock to conceal substantial
amounts of cash. The loans were kept
secret by the players and their families.
Although Martin admitted the bulk
of the loans were from illegal sources,
Martin did say that some of the money
was legitimately earned.
Attorney Gregory Fisher Lord, who
represented Martin's wife, Hilda, said
that a third party, now deceased, also
gave Ed Martin money to loan the play-
ers. Lord said that the third party had no
affiliation with the University and was
just interested in helping out Ed Martin.
Both Martin and the third party were
expecting the players to pay them back
once they made it to the NBA.
Traylor's attorney, Steven Fishman,
said that his client began to pay Martin
back in increments, but once the federal
investigation began, Fishman advised
Traylor not to pay anymore money back.
"Under the government's theory, we
were aware that Martin's money came
from illegal activity, and (Traylor) could
be viewed as a conspirator to money
laundering," Fishman said.
Fishman added that Bullock, who is
also his client, did not have the money
to pay Martin back until he signed his
pro contract to play in Europe, which
was after the investigation had already
Lord said that just one of the four
players held up his end of the deal,
attempting to pay back the loan, but he
would not disclose which player.
"He put food on (the players') table,
clothing on their backs," Lord said.
"We're going to find out that these kids
turned their back on him. Shame on
them. When he needed food on his
table, three of four turned their back."
"He doesn't have enough money to
buy food through the month of May.
The money from the illegal gambling
business was never used for his bene-
fit," he added.
Martin confirmed the allegation that
from 1988 to 1993, he gave Webber, the
star of the "Fab Five," and his family
approximately $280,000. The 68-year-
old said he paid for Webber's rent while
at the University, hotel rooms, food and
"things along that line." Webber, who
now plays a starring role for the NBA's
Sacramento Kings, told The Sacramen-
to Bee earlier this month that $200,000
was a "crazy"amount.
Martin also admitted that he gave
similar gifts to the other three players
and confirmed the alleged totals given
to the other players - $160,000 to
Traylor, $105,000 to Taylor and
$71,000 to Bullock.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Con-
vertino did not comment on whether or
not the players would have charges filed
When asked if he had a message to
relay to the University, Ed Martin
responded with a simple "Go Blue."
"I love the University of Michigan,
Martin said. "They did nothing wrong."
Lord and Martin's attorney, William
Mitchell, indicated that there are proba-
bly many more kids in the Detroit area
that Martin helped in the same way as
the Michigan players.
"(He may have helped) even thou-
sands," Mitchell said. "If there was a
kid who didn't have shoes, he'd give
them shoes. He'd sacrifice his own fam-
ily for the kids."
viction that Martin agreed to could
have entailed a maximum sentence
of 20 years in prison and a fine of up
to $1.2 million.
Convertino said that Martin's
health may play a factor in the length
of his sentence because Martin told
Cleland that he was taking medica-
tion for high cholesterol and high
Cleland indicated that while the
two sides came up with an accurate
guess of a proper sentence, he would
wait to see how beneficial the infor-
mation Martin reveals is for the
investigation. Once Cleland makes
his decision, both sides are free to
appeal if they are unhappy with the
"I don't know what to expect. We
hope for the best," Mitchell said. "I
believe (Cleland) will be fair."
As Cleland put it, the "rosiest" sit-
uation for Martin would be that his
testimony was so helpful to the gov-
ernment that it would request he be
given just probation and no impris-
In court, Martin said he was con-
vinced that scenario will eventually
play out, insisting, "Yes, sir, it will,"
as Cleland explained to him the pos-
sibility of not receiving jail time.
But Cleland said Martin's response
is only a "hopeful prediction."
Mitchell said his client understood
the possibility of receiving jail time,
but he is remaining optimistic.
"My client knows what he did and
what he didn't do," Mitchell said.
"(Ed and Hilda) have been painted as
Bonnie and Clyde, and that's wrong."
- Daily News Editor Maria Sprow
contributed to this report.
By J. Brady Mc
Daily Sports Edito
will not focus on players or loans
Former Michigan guard Louis Bullock takes it to the hole against the Hoosiers.
It didn't have to be this way...
Banned booster Ed Martin made a bad investment on Michigan's bas-
ketball players. Even though Robert Traylor has repaid some of Martin's
loans, the retired Ford autoworker is broke, according to his wife's°
attorney. Here is a list of better investments on the $616,000 he
allegedly gave the four players.
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker's plan to
rebuild the basketball program could take a major
nosedive before it even gets off the ground.
That is if Ed Martin's upcoming meetings with
the University produce enough information for the
NCAA to act against the program. As part of Mar-
tin's plea bargain agreed upon Tuesday, he must
tell Michigan the truth about his involvement with
former Michigan basketball players Chris Webber,
Robert Traylor, Maurice Taylor and Louis Bul-
lock. The University and Martin have not yet
scheduled an interview, but Assistant U.S. Attor-
ney Rick Convertino said it would occur before
Martin's sentencing date of August 29.
The details of the interviewing process are not
clear yet, but athletic department officials are anx-
ious to hear what Martin has to say.
"We're going to try to determine as best we can
the truth of what happened," University General
Counsel Marvin Krislov said. "At the end of that
period, we'll submit a report to the NCAA. It will
go before a committee before the NCAA that will
decide what steps it's going to take."
"The Martin plea represents an opportunity to
move ahead," he added.
Martin refused to say what he was going to tell
the University when he addressed questions from
the media outside the U.S. District Court in
The NCAA could slap the program with proba-
tion, television and postseason bans or scholarship
reductions, depending on what the University
uncovers in its investigation. The NCAA has a
four-year statute of limitations on infractions but
could reopen the case if certain conditions are
present, even though the majority of Martin's
,loans were given to players more than four years
ago. Bullock, who graduated in 1999, is the only
player who has not been away from the University
for at least four years.
Krislov said that the investigation will be much
more thorough than what was confirmed at the
hearing Tuesday when Martin confirmed he gave
the players an approximate total of $616,000,
made up mostly of money from his illegal gam-
bling conspiracy. He said that the University's
investigation will focus more on its administra-
tion, not the players and the loans Martin gave
"There are a lot of factors not relevant to the
criminal case," Krislov said. "What did the (Uni-
versity officials) know or what did the institution
do about it? We need to ask the questions, and we
will be much more specific about what hap-
Krislov also said that finding out the depth of
the involvement of former Michigan coach Steve
Fisher and his assistants Perry Watson and Brian
Dutcher will be relevant to the University's inves-
There is also a possibility that the University
would impose sanctions upon itself before the
report even reaches the NCAA committee, but
gan basketball program if the N
infractions serious enough.
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NCAA finds the
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Krislov was quick to point out that the University
"is not there yet."
Michigan may face NCAA sanctions as a result
of the Ed Martin scandal. Here's a look at some
of the major infractions in college sports and
the resulting sanctions placed by the NCAA. All
of these penalties could be placed on the Michi-
Martin could have bought more than
125,000 shares of Microsoft, which would
be worth over $100 million today.*
* DOES NOT ACCOUNT FOR INFLATION
* Martin allegedly paid for Maurice Tay-
lor's Ford Explorer that wrecked and
uncovered the scandal. Instead, Martin
could have bought 20 of his own SUVs.
Instead of using these Ed Martin
sunglasses to hide from the media, Martin
could have bought 123,200 Blue Blockers
to block the sun while on vacation.
If Martin didn't pay players, he and his
wife - as well as their descendants -
could have purchased Michigan basketball
season tickets for the next 400 years.
*DmE5 NoT ACCOUNT FOR RAPID INCREASE IN PRICES
FROM RICHES TO RAGS:
THE ED MARTIN SAGA
Former Michigan star Chris
Webber, now with the NBA's
Sacramento Kings In the Western
Conference Finals, was the first
Wolverine to receive loans from Ed
Martin. Webber began taking the
money in his sophomore year of
high school at Birmingham-Detroit
Country Day and continued into his
sophomore season at Michigan.
May 5, 1993
After falling just short
of a national title for
the second straight
turned pro. Unfortu-
nately for Michigan,
received $280,000 in
cash from Ed Martin
before he became a
March 4, 1997
The University's first
investigation is ham-
pered because several
players and coaches
did not cooperate.
Michigan admits to two
minor NCAA violations
involving Ed Martin giv-
ing extra benefits to
players and their fami-
Oct. 11, 1997
Two days after a second
investigation by an out-
side law firm found no
major violations, Michigan
coach Steve Fisher is
Seven months had
passed since Fisher was
given a public statement
of support from then-Pres-
ident Lee Bollinger and
then-Athletic Director Joe
coach Brian Ellerbe takes
over the coaching duties.
May 3, 2000
After agreeing to a plea
bargain with the U.S.
Attorney's Office in
which he would have to
about the cash pay-
ments to players,
Martin backs out.
Martin told reporters
that he would rather
take his chance at a trial
in which all evidence
confiscated from him
and his son could be
Sept. 19, 2000
Martin's son Carlton, as
part of a plea bargain
agreement filed with the
U.S. District Court, agrees
to tell the University about
previously unknown deal-
ings surrounding the
Michigan basketball team.
He is not required to testify
about his father's gam-
Carton does not ultimately
hold up his end of the plea
bargain, and is imprisoned
in a Pennsylvania prison.
March 21, 2002
The axe finally comes down
on Martin and his wife, Hilda,
who are indicted on charges
of illegal gambling,
conspiracy and money laun-
dering. Webber, Taylor, Tray-
lor and Bullock are all
mentioned in the indictment
as beneficiaries of Martin's
The total amount of monetary
gifts adds up to over
600,000, with Webber
receiving $280,000 between
his sophomore year at Detroit
Country Day and his
sophomore year at Michigan.
I I I
April 6, 1992
Michigan's "Fab Five"
(a group of five stel-
lar freshmen head-
lined by Chris
Jalen Rose) lose
Feb. 17, 1996 May 31, 1997
The program first comes
under the microscope
after Maurice Taylor's
Ford Explorer was
involved in a roll-over
The Detroit Free Press
reports that Martin gave
money to Webber and
The report said that the
twn were niven at lnet
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's Ford plants.
Martin a former Ford
Aug. 10, 2000
Former Michigan players
Louis Bullock and
Robert Traylor are
alleged to also have
taken money from Mar-
Nov. 16, 2000
Former Michigan coaches
Steve Fisher, Perry Wat-
son and Brian Dutcher
appear in Federal Court to
testify before a grand jury.