The University Record, March 25, 2002

Former U-M athletics booster Eddie Martin indicted

By Laurel Thomas Gnagey

Nearly five years after Ed Martin was banned from all University involvement, a federal grand jury has issued an eight-count indictment against the former U-M sports booster, his wife and another man, accusing the three of illegal gambling and money laundering.

The indictment, handed down March 21, alleges that from 1988 to 1999, Martin organized and ran an illegal lottery through his place of employment, Ford Motor Company–River Rouge. Martin is a retired engineer from the plant. He also is accused of running a gambling business, conspiracy to launder money, and two counts of using laundered money to “engage in monetary transactions.” Martin’s wife, Hilda, and Clarence Malvo are named in the indictment as co-conspirators.

A rollover accident in February 1996, involving members of the U-M basketball team, marked the beginning of a lengthy investigation into Martin’s activities. The students involved in the accident were alleged to have been at a function in Detroit linked to Martin. It was later revealed that the former sports booster allegedly had given sizable sums of money and other items, including cars and airline tickets, to several U-M players. Four of the players are identified in the federal indictment.

“I deeply regret that former athletes are alleged to have accepted loans while they were at the University,” says Interim President B. Joseph White. “Nothing is more important to us than to have our athletic programs adhere to the highest levels of integrity.

“A considerable amount of time has passed since the alleged events occurred. During that time, University and Athletic Department leadership have committed themselves to policies, processes and the requisite environment to ensure ethical conduct and compliance with rules in all of our athletic programs,” White says.

Once the University learned of the gifts and Martin’s alleged involvement with members of the basketball team, it launched an immediate internal investigation. The University’s plan of correction met with approval of the NCAA and the Big Ten.

“We have been cooperating with federal agencies, with the NCAA and with the Big Ten for the last five years,” says Marvin Krislov, vice president and general counsel, in a statement issued March 21. “We have conducted multiple investigations, and those investigations have led to a number of corrective actions in order to strengthen our compliance and to ensure that our programs meet the highest standards of integrity.

“The federal government has available to it a number of investigative tools, including the power of the subpoenas and the grand jury, so it is not surprising that a federal investigation would result in more information than what the University was able to obtain through our own voluntary inquiries. As we learn more, we will determine what additional investigation, if any, should be conducted. We will consult with the NCAA and others in making this decision.”

“As far as we are concerned, these matters are in the past, and we will continue to move forward. We are committed to building the Michigan basketball program the right way,” says current Head Coach Tommy Amaker.

White notes that he has “the highest confidence in Bill Martin, our athletic director, Tommy Amaker, our men’s basketball head coach, and the other coaches and staff to whom we entrust our student athletes and the reputation of the University of Michigan. They know and share my expectations about the integrity of Michigan athletics.

“We intend to cooperate fully, as we have in the past, with investigative and oversight processes that may unfold as more information becomes available in the days ahead,” he says.