Tommy Amaker Speaks on the Sanctions

Michigan's head man took time out to answer media questions on Crisler Arena's basketball court.

On What Bernard Robinson had to say to the team:

"He mentioned to our guys in the room there that we've been through this before, we did some good things this past year, and that there were some things that we left on the table. I thought that was just an incredible statement by one of our players and one of our seniors."

On if Bernard could leave this season without having to sit out:

"That is correct. I think given the rules and the way things are structured that he is the one that would have the opportunity to leave and be eligible to play at another institution immediately. That is not his plan. He has mentioned that to myself and to other teammates, so we're very excited. We are very disappointed about what has transpired for this coming season. We understand the significance of the sanctions and the things that happened. But we certainly know that we're looking forward. We aren't here holding our heads down. I'm certainly not. This is a great institution and we're going to survive, as we've shown in the past….most recently this past year. We're going to keep fighting through for the right reasons."

On if the appeal process will just prolong things as opposed to putting it behind them:

"I think that as we heard through the conference call from Commissioner Yeager, this is a thing that normally happens with NCAA cases. We certainly felt that it was right to fight on behalf of our players. I don't know the percentages of appeals…I'm not privy to their likelihood. We're not holding our breath or waiting by the phone. We know what we've been dealt right now. The best way for us is to keep our heads up and keep working and have the kind of youngsters that want to still come here and be here for the right reasons and represent this institution."

On how much the reduction in scholarships will hurt:

"Well, It doesn't help. I think it's obvious that any time you're going into battle without the tools that everyone else is awarded or afforded, it certainly doesn't help your cause to be the best that we can be. But as President Coleman and Bill Martin said, we accept these sanctions. We think that we can deal with these things and we're going to do our best to put the right product out here on the court…whether that's with 12 scholarship players or 13."

On what he felt when he first heard about the post-season ban:

"It is a great disappointment. I think everyone was holding out hope given what we went through last year when we self-imposed. I think it was a normal natural reaction for our coaching staff, our players, and myself. But again, I'm really impressed with the quality and character of the kids that we have. Their main focus is that they're committed to Michigan and I think that speaks volumes about this institution."

On if he thinks the punishment is unfair:

"I certainly don't think it's fair to punish players who had nothing to do with the past. We know that in life everything isn't always fair. We are a very small part of this institution. We may be very visible at times, but in the grand scheme of things, we're not really that important. When we think of those things in that context, we recognize our place. We're certainly on board with the decisions that are made for the betterment of this school."

I left for other interviews at this point in Coach Amaker's Q&A session. However, the complete transcript of the interview can be found here.

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