Ann Arbor, Mich. • The University of Michigan’s 10-year dissociation from Chris Webber, Maurice Taylor and Louis Bullock is over.
The former Wolverines can formally reconnect with the school after one of the biggest scandals in NCAA history. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon insisted the door is open.
"I’ve never met any of those guys and I am looking forward to meeting them," Brandon said Tuesday night in an interview with The Associated Press. "If any of those guys are interested in meeting with me that would be great."
The NCAA forced Michigan to dissociate from Webber, Taylor, Bullock and the late Robert Traylor for a decade — until May 8, 2013 — because a federal investigation revealed now-deceased booster Ed Martin gave them more than $600,000 when they were student athletes.
As of Wednesday, Webber, Taylor and Bullock have the option of renewing their relationship with the school — if they choose. Brandon declined to say whether each would have to apologize for what they were accused of doing.
"I wasn’t around when all of this happened," he said. "I’ve never had an opportunity to interact with them to talk about anything and I am hopeful that opportunity will present itself."
Taylor hopes so, too.
"This morning, I felt really good about the dissociation being over and having the opportunity to reunite with the University of Michigan," Taylor told The AP on Wednesday. "I’m excited to talk to Mr. Brandon and coach [John] Beilein. While I had some success in the NBA, there was a void in my life because of the circumstances. I had three of the best years of my life there and I love that school and all that it stands for."
Martin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money, saying he took gambling money and combined it with other funds in loans to Webber, other players and their families.
Martin died in February 2003 on the same day Michigan officials met with the NCAA infractions committee.
"Ed was made out to be something he wasn’t, he wasn’t a booster who steered you to a school or guy who preyed on kids," said Taylor, a retired NBA player, who lives in Houston and works for a private equity business. "He was just a great guy in Detroit, who helped out anybody playing ball of any kind in the city. When each one of us took money or gifts from Ed, long before we were in college, we were looking through innocent eyes. We weren’t trying to hurt Michigan.Next Page >
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