Almost 12 weeks to the day after Michigan representatives met with the NCAA infractions committee about allegations stemming from Ed Martin's involvement with the basketball program, a decision on the University's will finally be announced. At noon tomorrow the final chapter in what has become a frustratingly monotonous saga will finally be over.
On November 7, 2002 Michigan imposed sanctions on it's own program after making concessions consistent with the statements given by Ed Martin to the US attorney. Specifically, that former players Chris Webber, Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor, and Louis Bullock directly (or indirectly through family members) received in excess of $616,000.00 in illegal loans. The self imposed sanctions were a 1 year post-season ban, removal of the all commemorative banners which the players were a part of achieving (including the two Final Four banners), forfeiture of all games which the named players participated in, and repayment of $442,000.00 in revenue.
Michigan has been hoping that their sincere contrition and proactive approach to self-imposed punishment would lessen any further action by the NCAA. However, many pundits have deemed that this decision could set precedent, which could lead the governing body of collegiate sports to levy a punishment far more severe than most fans are expecting. Add to that the recent grumbling from the southern region, (where schools like Arkansas and Alabama have been hit with major punishments resulting from NCAA violations), and it becomes apparent that the political aspect of this rendering could call for Michigan to sustain a statement-like level of culpability.
Further punishments could be more post-season ban (which may be the most harmful), scholarship reductions (which could be as severe as the post-season ban depending upon how many scholarships are taken away), more monetary penalties, and probation.
Regardless of what tomorrow holds, the fact that this chapter will finally be behind the Michigan program will be definitely be a silver lining.
The NCAA To Announce Basketball Ruling Tomorrow
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