Wolverine Stars Accused Of Taking Booster’s Cash
University of Michigan basketball standouts Chris Webber and Maurice Taylor each received more than $100,000 from a school athletic booster while they played for the Wolverines, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.
Citing sources familiar with the dealings, the Free Press reported that the two players accepted the money from Ed Martin, a booster at the center of an NCAA investigation into the program.
One source cited specific dollar figures for each player, but the amounts could not be corroborated, the newspaper reported.
Webber plays for the Washington Bullets. Taylor has one more year of eligibility left at Michigan but announced in April that he would forego it and enter the NBA draft.
The sources also told the newspaper that Webber repaid the money, with interest, after turning pro.
Neither Webber nor Taylor would discuss with the newspaper their relaitonship with Martin. But Webber’s lawyer, L. Fallasha Erwin, denied the allegations.
“Mr. Webber has never received any large sums of money from Mr. Martin, and a report of such would be totally and unequivocally false,” Erwin said. Taylor’s lawyer, Jerome Pesick, said Friday that he could not comment because he had been unable to fully review the reports with the family. He did not immediately return telephone messages Saturday.
Martin, 63, of Detroit, was banned by the university in March from further contact with its sports programs after an investigation showed he was involved in two violations of NCAA rules.
One week after banning Martin, the university hired a Kansas law firm known for helping schools under NCAA scrutiny to conduct a new investigation. Results will be turned over to the NCAA.
MEMO: Cut in the Spokane edition.
Cut in the Spokane edition.