May 9th, 2013 at 10:39 AM ^

He does a nice job of twisting the story around and he almost had me convinced. He acts like the players taking money was ok and what got Michigan in trouble was associating themselves with Martin. That's not how it works.

James Burrill Angell

May 9th, 2013 at 12:48 PM ^

Simple analogy for you. At the home I previously lived at the quickest way from my office to my home was to have to take a four lane road to get to the street I lived on. Right near my house that four lane main road cut the speed limit to 25 mph. It was ridiculous and more often than not there was a cop sitting hidden somewhere in that span who was essentially shooting fish in a barrel. The 25 mph zone was stupid and an obvious speed trap to make the city money. That said, if I wanted to get home the quickest way, I had to take that road and either go fast and run the risk of getting a ticket, or follow the stupid law and drive slow. If I really opposed the stupid speed rule, I could go a different route to get home.

No different for Webber. I don't need to get into an argument over whether or not the fact that he or other premier college athletes get a piece of the action. In many ways I agree. That said, you want to travel that road, you have to follow the rules.

NYC Blue

May 9th, 2013 at 10:44 AM ^

Even if you take his points at face value- that the NCAA penalty on the players was too much- how is it that the University owes the apology and not the NCAA?

Then again, I think he makes a fairly one sided argument anyway.


May 9th, 2013 at 10:48 AM ^

i dont think anybody needs to apologize really. They should just get DB in a room with the fab five, have a big group hug and raise a banner for them. Bring everybody back for the first game i guess (if only the duke game was at crisler). wham bam problem solved


May 9th, 2013 at 1:08 PM ^

been served by all parties. This is the point where you get to move on with your life, as the punishment--and most punishments--are set up. Instead, for some reason, we are continually asked to re-try the crime(s). I fully expect Brandon and Webber's people to quietly work out some public expressions of regret after which the Fab V once again become part of the M community, which is as it should be. Everything else--at this stage--is hot air. 

And--btw--it's quite possible to both feel sorry for Webber and what he went through AS WELL AS to condemn his lying, etcetera. The conversation does not need to be so b & w. 

The Shredder

May 9th, 2013 at 10:48 AM ^

Oh yes the place that gave him a stage to show his talents so down the road he could be selected number 1 in the draft and make millions of dollors over his career and free education should say sorry that Chris made the poor choice to accept money. Makes perfect sense.


May 9th, 2013 at 12:17 PM ^

yeah nobody really thinks that $200,000 for out of state is a lot of money when compared to potential millions a first rounf pick gets but it's a lot of money and being able to graduate college debt free is a big boost. Plus being an athlete at a large school gives a visibility to the individual which allows them to be more marketable and have a base of fans to reach out to. Look at what vincent smith, martavious odoms and scooter vaughn have done with their successful kickstarters. there are benefits that dont translate in to dollars.


May 9th, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

These seems like a devil's advocate argument for arguments sake and I think it will miss with most fans close to this. If you have ever heard Jalen Rose speak about Ed Martin this is tough swallow.


May 9th, 2013 at 10:49 AM ^

Michigan gave Webber and the Fab 5 etc a free education. I have to pay back $100,000+ in loans and he got a free ride and to be on TV playing basketball so he could show off his talents because of Michigan . He also was the number 1 pick in the NBA draft and made millions of dollars.

I don't feel bad for Michigan or Webber or any athlete who makes Millions of dollars in their life time. It's over and done with and we paid our price for it so kiss and make up and move on.

I don't want to see Webber on the shoulders of his teammates on the Big House field at any point in my lifetime though. That is what Ohio does...


May 9th, 2013 at 11:38 AM ^

Exactly, the media's goal is not to report the truth, facts, or even the "news".  They want page views because page views equal money.  Do you think ESPN keeps Stephen A. Smith on because he's a rational, sane human being with intelligent views?  No.  He gets people riled up and says idiotic things to keep you watching.  No one is going to click a news article that says, "New evidence shows that Hitler was a really really bad guy".  However, the media would love to write a story, "New evidence shows Hitler wasn't all that bad" because people are going to click on it.  For all we know Wetzel knows exactly what he's doing and smiles as millions of Americans get red-in-the-face after reading his stories.


May 9th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

Those players and the program went through a significant penalty, the kind of penalty that  you don't really see handed down today. The fact that we made it all the way back says quite a bit about Michigan. I think college athletes should be paid, and with the money the Fab Five players generated, they probably have should have been paid a lot more than  what they actually took. People blame Martin and Webber, but no one even looks at Schembechler or Weidenbach, who were the primary ADs during the era (I think Roberson might have came in once it already was known). They were there, around the team, in the locker room, and ignored it. God forbid anyone spread the blame to the two guys with their names on significant athletic buildings. Accountability goes both ways.

True Blue Grit

May 9th, 2013 at 11:15 AM ^

by the people in charge of the program at the time.  Fisher also should have been more vigilant.  So, there's blame on both sides for sure. 

I did think the article's example using Alfred Taubman was a valid one.  But in that case there was no NCAA equivalent group to tell U-M we had to "disassociate ourselves" with him.  So, we didn't. 


May 9th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

probably at the end of the academic year, so Bo wasn't even AD for the entire year of 1988. Then, in early March 1989, Bo fires Frieder, who was coach when Martin first gained access to the Michigan program. It was well-known at the time that Bo had no use for Frieder, so firing him must have been a satisfying decision for Schembechler. Bo was hardly in a good position to fire Fisher after Michigan won the NC in 1989, and then Bo leaves in early 1990 to join the Tigers. So in other words Bo probably didn't have even two full years on the job as AD. I don't think blame should be laid at his feet for this clusterfuck.


May 9th, 2013 at 10:58 AM ^

Everyone knew about Ed Martin back in the 80s.  Frieder hooked him up with free tix and access to the players in the locker room after games and Fisher didn't stop it when he took charge.  

Fish knew Martin was paying for apartments for Bullock and a couple other guys on the team and made sure the money was paid back, but he didn't even tell his bosses about this.  That's a blatant ignoring of the rules. While we were stuck dealing with Ellerbee, Fisher was taking SDSU to the tournament. 

How about Frieder issue an apology for allowing Martin access to a bunch of players that would flame out in the first weekend of the tournament each year and Fisher apologize for playing the good wholesome coach role, while keeping major violations a secret.  

Then follow up with Tom Goss apologizing for giving us a de facto death penalty by hiring Brian Ellerbee.


May 9th, 2013 at 11:05 AM ^

goes off the rails.  I understand why Webber took the money.  A lot of it came when he was in high school and he was not from a wealthy family.  Many kids do the same thing in the same situation, and even though its against the rules, I get it. 

I'm also generally in favor of compensating NCAA athletes in some reasonable fashion.

That said, I have a big problem with the way Webber handled this whole mess.  His refusal to talk set the investigation, and ultimately the program, back years and only compounded the problem.  Had he come clean in the beginning he would have saved the University years of turmoil and himself a perjury conviction.  So for that, I absolutely think Webber should appologize.

On the other side of the coin, I don't see what Michigan has to apologize for at all.  They did not tell Webber to take the money, they did not tell Webber to lie under oath and cover things up.  They did not set up the NCAA's ridiculous rules of "ametuerism."   

Just because the NCAA system is outdated and hypocritical does not mean that turns every athlete into a victim and every University into a perpetrator. 


May 9th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

"Apparently no one in the NCAA, no one at Michigan saw it for what it also could've been: an old manipulative hustler sweeping up naïve kids before they even knew what hit them"


Ok, so let's assume that's realy what it was...he can still apologize.


"I'm sorry my actions as a naive kid impacted the University of Michigan, causing embarassment to myself, my teammates, alumni and fans."

Boom.  Done.  I want to see Webber back, but even IF (big if) he's the victim, he could still acknowledge the negative impact his actions had.


May 9th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

Here's the part I take issue with:

No one knows for sure, but in the end you have one extremely savvy adult, armed with cash and gifts, with a clear motivation to use these kids. And then you have the kids, in Webber's case just an eighth-grader, in the cross hairs. 

That isn't a fair relationship. That isn't a level playing field. This isn't a consensual situation. It's predatory.

A complete revision of history.  Webber wasn't alone in accepting the money and gifts.  His father, Mayce, was right there with him.  Mayce knew who Martin was... knew where the money was coming from... knew that by accepting "loans" from Martin, he was essientially laundering illegal money.  Michigan did not facilitate the relationship between Chris Webber and Martin, that was already handled by Mayce.  So maybe the actual predator in Chris' case was his own father.  Regardless, Chris only has himself and his family to blame for getting involved with Martin.  Michigan owes no apology to the Webber's. 


May 9th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

"I have a long-standing opposition to the NCAA rulebook (which isn't the point of this column) but like the rules or not, there is little doubt they were violated here." - Dan Wetzel, in this column

Clearly he does, as there is 10.1(c) under "Unethical Conduct", which applies to current or prospective student-athletes which reads:

"Knowing involvement in offering or providing a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete an improper inducement or extra benefit or improper financial aid;"

There's also Section 16, which explicitly defines the acceptance of extra benefits (outside of certain obscure exceptions, none of which are applicable here) as illicit per the rulebook. For example:

" Unitemized Expenses. A student-athlete may not accept money for unspecified or unitemized expenses from any organization or individual."

Does he merely disagree with these sections or is it the existence of rules that bother Wetzel? I sometimes wonder. 


May 9th, 2013 at 9:04 PM ^

the NCAA ALLEDGED Webber took money.   This was NEVER proven.  Webber admitted he took money AFTER he declared for the NBA.

So we/Webber/UM was penalized because Chris did not go to the Registrar's Office and officially withdrawl from classes before he took the money?

If Chris withdrew and then gave an announcement from the Registrar's Office: "Hey everybody, I just withdrew from UM and I am heading over to Bill Martins Crib to collect me a stack full of 50's so I can go to 8-Mile and get me some Hoes"  This would NOT be a violation.

I get so angry when everyone (including people on this board) assume Chris took $280,000. This is bullshit.  This was just a charge laid by a ND Grad.  Are you kidding me?


May 9th, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^

I think Dan Wetzel is a fucking idiot.

But to expound on it more than I probably should, he says Chris Webber had no power to fight off big bad Ed Martin....he was just a kid after all. But what about his parents? You can't tell me they didn't at least know about it (if not an active participant). If your 19 year old kid is running around with hundreds of thousands of dollars and you don't notice it, you're just a bad parent.

And the article he links shows Taylor and Bullock actually, you know, showing some remorse, but I don't see him writing an article to have anyone apologize back to them. That was really the more insightful article....that they seem to at least acknowledge they made a mistake; but no one is wearing "Free Lou Bullock" shirts.  So it's not really what you did wrong (or how much you took) that matters, it's how good you were.


May 9th, 2013 at 12:14 PM ^…

The guy whined throughout his college career (what an awful burden having the fans give a shit about whether or not you return to Michigan) and claimed poverty to justify leaving school early after he had pocketed a ridiculous sum of money and wasn't paying for tuition or basic living expenses. 

"But then, I went to lunch the other day with Shonte Peoples from the football team, and we didn't have enough money for the food. We had to, like, take two pops off, and return this fish sandwich, get a three-piece chicken instead of a five- piece. And you can't help but think, 'If we had some money, like the pros, we wouldn't have to go through this.'

Chris Webber is a disingenuous shitbag.  No one owes him anything.


May 9th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

But it was a drumbeat he pounded for YEARS. The WDFN radio interview where he got pissed off. The Nightline interview.  If he had never take an dime it was a joke because his parents were making far more than mine, he was getting more from the University, and I could afford a fucking 5 piece chicken nugget. Or take a girl out for pizza, like he always complained. (Like every girl on campus wasn't giving him anything he wanted already). The fact that he was pocketing thousands of dollars with it just makes it worse. How can you be so full of shit and still think your shit doesn't smell?


May 9th, 2013 at 11:11 AM ^

I'm looking forward to the fact that in well, like a week these types of articles will be gone forever and everyone can look back at this point in time and say "welp, that sure did suck but lets move on.  Let's bro-hug it out".  <<<----as that is what needs to happen.  Enough of the he said, she said.  Its done. All penalties are paid in full.  Move on.