In a fit of self-flagellation to shame Lou Holtz, the University of Michigan cracked down on its men's basketball program last week after discovering that former booster Ed Martin had given a total of $616,000 to former star Chris Webber and three other ex-Wolverines.
Eager to avoid additional NCAA penalties, the school announced that it will expunge Webber and the three other players from its basketball media guide, forfeit 112 regular season and tournament victories and take down the banners for the 1992 and 1993 Final Fours, the 1997 NIT and the 1998 Big Ten Championship that hang at Crisler Arena.
|It took awhile, but Juwan Howard, left, Jalen Rose, center, and Chris Webber finally rewrote history.|
Michigan also will repay the NCAA $450,000 -- the amount the school earned for appearing in the postseason -- and ban itself from the NIT and NCAA tournament this year.
Should those measures fail to satisfy the NCAA, however, Page 2 has learned that the university is prepared to adopt additional self-imposed sanctions, including:
For a period of two seasons, the men's basketball team will compete in uniform shorts that are hemmed midway between the waist and knee, circa 1989. To ensure compliance, Utah Jazz guard John Stockton will be brought in as a special consultant.
University president Mary Sue Coleman will issue a formal apology for funnelling $71,000 worth of booster funds to former guard Louis Bullock, who is now playing in Spain and clearly wasn't worth more than, say, two or three grand.
Photos of Webber used in school promotional materials will be replaced by shots of former center Eric "Eazy-E" Riley and former guard Dugan Fife.
The basketball program will forfeit a total of 1,259 "Awesome, baby's!" and 451 "Diaper dandies!" uttered by Dick Vitale.
|At least Webber won't have the "Dumbest Play in Final Four History" any more.|
The university will buy back all existing copies of sportswriter Mitch Albom's "Fab Five" -- estimated retail value: $347 -- and replace them, free of charge, with "Tuesdays with Morrie" (the book-on-tape version).
Working with the FBI, the Department of Justice and agents from Interpol, school officials will launch a second probe into former forward Juwan Howard's seven-year, $105 million NBA contract.
Webber's late-game timeout call against North Carolina in the 1993 championship will no longer be listed in the official NCAA record book under the heading "Dumbest Play in Final Four History."
In addition to Webber and the other three players who took money from Martin -- Bullock, Robert Traylor and Maurice Taylor -- the university will remove all references to former swingmen Ray Jackson and Jimmy King from its basketball media guide. Which shouldn't be too hard.
The school also will expunge Maceo Baston. Just 'cause.
After turning over his 1989 championship ring to Bill Frieder, former coach Steve Fisher will release a notarized affidavit acknowledging that former guard Jalen Rose "could do almost anything on the floor. Except play point guard."
|The real crime is Howard's seven-year, $105 million contract.|
Michigan will repay the Ann Arbor campus McDonald's $16,298, the approximate value of the 4,012 complimentary Double Quarter Pounders ingested by Traylor.
Current coach Tommy Amaker and his staff will set up a county fairlike dunk tank featuring Taylor across the street from the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. NCAA top cop Bill Saum will be allowed to make the first toss.
Future cash payments from boosters to players will be limited to $5,000 or less, and boosters will be encouraged to give harder-to-trace jewelry and/or luxury sport utility vehicles instead.
Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at email@example.com.