The University Record, January 14, 1998

NCAA probe of basketball program finds one additional violation

From the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics

The NCAA enforcement staff's review of the University's report of improprieties in its men's basketball program has found three secondary violations, according to a letter received by the University in mid-December.

In its initial report, delivered to the NCAA on March 4, 1997, and in a follow-up report dated Oct. 9, 1997, conducted independently by the Kansas City law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King, the University had found two violations. In filing both reports, the U-M and the law firm said their investigations had been hampered by the unwillingness of key individuals to testify or cooperate with investigators. Nevertheless, the NCAA enforcement staff letter said "The investigation appears to have been thorough."

The three secondary violations found by the NCAA are:

  • Between Sept. 1, 1994, and May 1, 1995, Ed Martin, a representative of the U-M's athletics interests, had an in-person recruiting contact with a then-prospective student-athlete when Martin was present during a home visit by the then-head coach and then-assistant coach.
  • Between Sept. 1, 1994, and May 1, 1996, Martin provided a prospective student-athlete and later a student-athlete and his grandmother several items of food, including pizza and a birthday cake, and also provided transportation to the grandmother on several occasions to high school basketball games and to campus for U-M basketball games.
  • On Feb. 17, 1996, Martin had an in-person recruiting contact with a then-prospective student-athlete during his official paid visit.

    The first two violations were reported by the University. The third violation--which occurred during a trip to Detroit during a recruiting visit that led to an automobile accident involving the recruit and five Michigan players--was added by the enforcement staff.

    The enforcement staff also concluded that Martin was a representative of the U-M's athletics interests. The University had reached this conclusion in its first report, but the law firm's report reached no conclusion in this matter. Martin's status as a representative of the University's athletics interests is a necessary condition for the three violations. Throughout the investigation, Martin has refused to cooperate with the University or the law firm, and has refused all requests for interviews.

    "I am very happy to have this letter from the NCAA enforcement staff," said Athletic Director Tom Goss. "It is good to know that the NCAA enforcement staff feels we conducted a thorough investigation under the conditions that presented themselves, and I am relieved that they found only three secondary violations.

    "We have put in place procedures and practices to prevent violations of this sort in the future. In the world of NCAA Division I men's basketball, where boosters and agents frequently act in ways that are not in the best interests of universities or student-athletes, we must always be on guard. We must make sure our coaches and student-athletes know NCAA regulations and abide by them.

    "Most important, as an athletic department, we must be guided by a set of core values and beliefs that put the welfare of our student-athletes first, and that stress trust, respect and accountability," Goss said.

    President Lee C. Bollinger noted that, "On an earlier occasion I said that reporting only secondary violations should not be an occasion for satisfaction at the University of Michigan. Nevertheless, I am relieved that the NCAA enforcement staff has essentially concurred with the major findings of our reports."

    The University must file a response to the NCAA report by Jan. 31, and its report must "identify any corrective or punitive action the institution has taken or will take regarding this inquiry."

    Goss said the U-M will file a reply as soon as possible. The entire matter will then be brought to the NCAA enforcement committee for a final determination.