Michigan players accept money

body text – DETROIT (AP) — A detroit man made cash payments, sometimes hundreds of dollars, to current and former University of Michigan basketball players, a published report said Thursday.
The Detroit Free Press quoted two sources closed to the team as saying the payments were provided by Ed Martin, 63, of Detroit. Martin has given money to Wolverines players for years, the sources said.
University officials said that evidence of such violations has not been found.
They said several current players have received money during the season and during summer breaks, but they did not know how many and did not name any current nor former players.
But some players received “hundreds” of dollars, sometimes during meetings with Martin after games and outside the locker room at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, one source said.
Other players received cash in envelopes hidden inside cake boxes that Martin gave them, and he provided money to some players through their girlfriends, that source said.
The Free Press said it could not reach Martin for comment.
Reports published earlier this week in the Free Press and The Detroit News identified Martin as a basketball program booster who allegedly tried to rent an apartment for a player and tried to buy plane tickets for players’ relatives, but was stopped by coach Steve Fisher.
In a report filed last week, the university informed the National Collegiate Athletic Association about two minor violations involving contact between Martin and current players.
The university acknowledged that Fisher and his staff did not report the actions of the booster. But beside noting Fisher’s intervention with apartment rental and ticket purchases, the university told the NCAA it had imposed sanctions upon its basketball program and banned Martin from further contact with its sports teams.
The NCAA is reviewing the university’s internal report and is investigating on its own.
No admissions that any player received money from a booster came out of dozens of interviews based on alleged payments to players, university spokesman Walt Harrison said.
“We are committed to running a program that is above reproach and above suspicion,” Harrison told the Free Press. “We will search out any solvent lead we have. Unless people come forward and allow us to interview them, we cannot investigate.”
Fisher declined to comment.
“Those are the kinds of anonymous allegations that we have heard before, that we looked into in the assembling of the report that we filed with the NCAA on March 4, and to the extent that it has been possible to track down those allegations … we stand by our report to the NCAA that no such activity took place, and no major violation has occurred,” Keith Molin, university senior associate director of athletics, said Thursday.
He noted that none of the allegations involve violations by university coaches or staff.
Earlier Wednesday, Wolverines forward Robert Traylor issued a statement saying neither he nor his aunt had done anything wrong in connection with the lease of a $47,906 vehicle.
The Detroit News reported that Traylor used the custom-built Chevrolet Suburban but did not register the vehicle with athletic department officials, as he would be required to do.
Traylor said the lease was a decision made completely by his aunt, Lydia Johnson of Detroit. She works as a machine operator for a Detroit steel company, the News reported.
“She works two jobs, has great credit and selected the car for both of us to drive,” Traylor said. “It is her money, and she should be able to spend her money as she wishes.”
He did not say what her other job was.
Jerry Bonanno, general manager of the Dearborn dealership where the Suburban was leased, said the lease payments exceed $700 a month without insurance.
Michigan officials said they would investigate.
The Wolverines were hosting Miami of Florida Thursday night in a National Invitation Tournament first-round game.