U-M Player Comments (9/25/03)
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee announced today (Thursday, Sept. 25) its reversal of the imposed ban on postseason competition against the University of Michigan men's basketball program for the 2003-04 season. U-M had appealed the additional one-year ban as excessive, noting that it had self-imposed a postseason ban for 2002-03.
The 2003-04 postseason ban was among the sanctions announced May 8 by the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Michigan's appeal of the NCAA infractions report was heard by the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee on Aug. 17 in Chicago, and the 2003-04 postseason ban was the only penalty U-M appealed.
In its report, the Appeals Committee noted that Michigan's "unique level of cooperation" in the investigation process was central to its decision. "The institution's extraordinary efforts transcended 'cooperation,' and strongly mitigate against imposition of the second year of the postseason ban," the committee wrote.
A ban from postseason competition for the 2002-03 season was included in Michigan's self-imposed sanctions announced Nov. 7, 2002. The Wolverines played in the 2003 Big Ten Conference Tournament but were not eligible for selection to compete in the NCAA Championship nor the National Invitation Tournament.
Statements Regarding the Appeals Committee's Decision
University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman
"I am pleased that the NCAA Appeals Committee took our concerns seriously and gratified that the committee recognized the extraordinary efforts the University undertook in order to get to the truth. We accepted full responsibility for the wrongdoing that occurred, and we felt that the loss of scholarships, extended probation, and other penalties imposed by the NCAA were an appropriately severe response to the violations. Our appeal was focused on the additional postseason ban, because we believed it fell disproportionately on the current, innocent players and coaches. Last year I watched Coach Amaker and his team play with heart and dedication, but with no hope of postseason play even though they were not involved in any way. It feels good to know the team can go into this season focused one hundred percent on the potential for future success."
U-M Director of Athletics Bill Martin
"With today's announcement, this long and unpleasant chapter in the University history has ended once and for all. We have learned some hard lessons from this experience, but we emerged from it with a stronger program and a renewed commitment to the highest standards of integrity. I'm proud of Coach Amaker and our current players, who gave their best effort last year despite a ban on the postseason tournament that was self-imposed by the University. We're looking ahead now to a terrific season."
U-M Men's Basketball Coach Tommy Amaker
"This is a tremendously positive day for the University of Michigan and our basketball program. We are so appreciative of the news we received today. I am thrilled for the young men on our team, and I believe they truly deserve this opportunity. We all remain excited about the upcoming season and truly look forward to the challenges that lie ahead."
NCAA Release (9/25/03)
NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee Report (PDF)
History of U-M Men's Basketball Infractions Case
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423