University officials field media questions about investigation
Q: Why did you choose to wait for this letter of inquiry? Why are we making this announcement today instead of during the summer?
BM: We didn't know what the contents of the letter would be. We didn't know what the charges were going to be until Oct. 29. Is it your understanding that the NCAA will agree with these sanctions?
Coleman: We don't know what the NCAA will do. As you know, we have to go before the Infractions Committee. We certainly hope that they will.
Q: Do you have any reason to believe the NCAA will not accept your sanctions?
BM: You never know. We trust that they will look at our sanctions. We looked at other sanctions across the country and ours are consistent. One thing not seen in the press release is scholarship reductions.
Q: Do you think that is something the NCAA may come back with?
BM: We looked at the scholarship issue but we didn't impose any scholarship reductions on the program, principally because the NCAA looks at a reduction of scholarships when there has been a recruitment infraction. This is not a recruitment infraction, this is an extra benefit situation.
Q: Do you think that what you have done today will be enough for the public and not affect your fundraising and your recruiting?
Coleman: I think we have done a lot of things the right way. We hired one of the very best coaches in the country. I feel very confident that we can move forward. I feel very confident that our alumni will understand. I think they will be relieved, as we are, to get beyond this and to get on to great basketball.
Q: How do you think this will affect your recruiting?
BM: I think it will be positive because we're about to get this entirely behind us. Just look at how Coach [Tommy] Amaker has recruited this year. He's done an exceptional job. I think it is an absolute positive, instead of an unknown. We're going to get this behind us very quickly.
Q: Will the postseason ban include the Big Ten Tournament?
BM: No, because that is part of the regularly scheduled Big 10 Conference season.
Q: Is it fair for a program to have to punish itself so severely when the people who were running the program in the past have gotten away without punishment?
BM: It probably isn't but that's the way the system works. The NCAA does not look at the passage of time.
Q: If you take away the Final Fours, in the record books, what happens to those seasons?
BM: When we delete those wins from the records, we no longer won those games. By default, the other teams won those games.
Q: Were any other players mentioned but these four?
BM: No other players were mentioned in the letter of inquiry or in the report.
MK: We did learn that Mr. Martin provided some benefits to some other Detroit-area high schoolers, who later attended other collegiate institutions.
Q: Can you describe your emotions over this?
BM: Frankly, they are very mixed. ... I'm relieved that we're so close [to this end], but at the same time, I am taking down banners at Crisler Arena and rewriting the record books. That's tough. That's tough for an institution with the traditions and history we've had.
Coleman: As a newcomer, when I realized
what I was going to say today, it's tough. We're embarrassed. It is not
what Michigan is all about now or going into the future. This has been
a big impact.
BM: All we can do is demonstrate to our fans, our alumni and the entire Michigan family our commitment to winning the right way. You win on the court and off the court. I think we regain our credibility by first winning off the courtwith our kids graduating and being good citizens.
Q: You said in March that the Fab 5 had done a wonderful job and Steve Fisher had left a legacy. Why did you say that then and how do you feel about that statement today?
BM: They have left their mark on Michigan. Obviously, the events that have unfolded here today have tainted that history. That's why we're removing them from the record books, why we're taking the banners down.