Michiganís Hoop Scandal
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I am a basketball fan if there ever was one and
anyone that knows anything about anything in basketball knows of the
Michigan Wolverines. If you donít know of the success this club has had,
might as well stop reading right now and donít even think about emailing
Michigan has admitted it paid basketball players
money illegally to participate in basketball games during Michigan's
Fabulous Five reign.
Before we get started, Iím still a Michigan fan.
I donít think that there are two stances on this
issue punishment is just not an option. The only real option in this case
is a real punishment. While I understand that the NCAA will render its
verdict when it gets around to it and that Michigan is just trying to
soften the blow by ďpunishingĒ themselves, I want to be one of the first
people to speak out on what really needs to be done so that the few
hundred people reading this article can affect a few thousand people who
can affect a few hundred thousand people and so on (yes, that was suppose
to be funny). Who knows, this may go all the way to the top and something
will really be done about this issue. But then again, according to an
ESPN poll, Iím not too popular on this stance and Iíll just chalk it up to
my attitude stated under my sources in
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Letís state the obvious. This is not a surprise.
Michigan and all of the teams that played under the NCAA during that time
knew this or something like it was happening and probably engaged in some
type of this practice themselves. It is a fact of life, get over it. The
real issue is now that they have been caught it is time to pay.
Letís start with what we know Michigan is going to do to, again, ďpunishĒ
themselves. Iíll follow that by what really needs to be done and, in some
instances, why there will never be a final solution.
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- Michigan will forfeit the following games '92
Final Four games vs. Cincinnati and Duke, plus entire '92-93, '95-96,
'96-97, '97-98 and '98-99 seasons. As we all know these games were
participated in by one or more of the Fabulous Five. What may not be so
obvious is that they are the games after Ed Martin became involved with
the organization. Forfeiting the games also means taking down the
banners and trophies.
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What type of a ďpunishmentĒ is this? This is like
saying "thanks for the present" using the present for years and then "well,
here's your present back."
What about the 2000 title? I think that some
research needs to be done during that year as well.
How are they going to go back in time and replace of
all the credit and publicity that they have already received? Publicity
like the Fabulous Five (the fact that they have been dubbed the Fabulous
Five is publicity enough) can not but help a school in more ways than
money can measure.
Whoís going to hold the titles and how would we know
who to give the titles too? We all realize the second place teams
shouldnít necessarily get the title because they represent just one side
of the bracket. In any given year one bracket could be stronger than the
other bracket so maybe the teams that lost to Michigan during those
tournaments could have still beat the 2nd place team. I could really go
into depth about this but even more people would stop reading.
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- Repay approximately $450,000 they
received from the NCAA to play in the games listed above.
How are they going to be able to put a value on this
issue? Think of all the money that is in play here. Not only
did they receive that money, they used it and invested it and made their
school richer. Obviously they have money because they are able to give it
back in the first place. Give a community school $100 and try to get
it back; good luck. It takes money to make money.
Whoís going to get the money once they do give it
back? Like I mentioned above, the opposite bracket teams donít
necessarily deserve it but neither does any single team that Michigan beat
in their own bracket. Maybe the opposing bracket teams could have
beaten Michiganís bracket but we canít go on that assumption.
Further, donít even mention going by standings going into the tournament;
seriously, donít even mention it. Ultimately a single team in each year
lost out and weíll never know which teams they were. $450,000 had
better be the tip of the ice-burg.
- For 2003, Michigan will declare their
menís basketball team ineligible for the NCAA tournament and the NIT.
Does this really accomplish anything? Michigan was
11-18 last season and struggled under coach Tommy Amaker's first season
going 5-11 in Big Ten play. This year they have actually recruited
instead of drafted and now those talented players, including some of the
top prospects in the country for this year and next, are going to suffer a
red-shirt type year. This doesnít accomplish anything. The Big Ten wonít
be better for it, I guarantee it. Maybe it is this stupid stipulation
that makes people say that Michigan is being too hard on itself.
- Michigan will place the basketball
program on suspension and the president will supervise the detailed
reports from the NCAA to make sure that Michigan is in compliance.
While I feel this is a necessary step it shouldnít
have to be implemented if the president of old was doing his job in the
first place. This is something that Michigan obviously feels it needs to
teach itself. I agree.
A Real Solution
I think that Michigan needs to feel this hit
financially. Unfortunately, money is the only real way to attack an issue
like this. Make Michigan pay back the NCAA and divide that money evenly
to the schools that were in Michiganís bracket and the teams that lost to
Michigan in the opposing brackets based on the year and the amounts
Let Michigan continue with its next two year prospects. After
the next two years Michigan should voluntarily cut scholarships and
funding to their menís basketball team for at least two years and divert
that money to other sourcesÖlike lowering tuition or paying back some
tuition to alumni and undergraduates from that time period. They should
give the money to something worth while. I wouldnít be opposed to
spending it on the girlsí basketball team either. While this will never
happen and the tuition thing was a joke (though Iím sure it caused the
current Michigan students and alumni to awake from their daze caused by
reading this article) it is the only real deal that could damage the
institution as much as the institution damaged the NCAA. The cut
backs may result in Michigan losing their top prospects. This might not be
fair to current coach but he's free to leave as well.
This is important: During the
years Michigan turns voluntarily poor, Iíd still be a fan.
ESPN and virtually all of the TV/media I could absorb
or find on this fine day. I have followed Michigan for years and while
Iím a huge fan I donít keep track of details like who they beat and by
what point spread and so on. I donít remember my driverís license number
either; thatís why I carry it on me. I do remember my SSN and things that
are important like birthdays and anniversaries. Don't agree with this
ideology if you want to but
article's sources first.
As you may notice in the many articles to come, I absolutely can not
stand people that have an opinion about something they know very little
about or didn't take the time to research before giving their opinion. I
pledge that I will not write a single article about a subject that I don't
know enough about to see several sides of the issue. If you think I am
I'd love to be the first to know about it.
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