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Never mind the timeout that was not Chris Webber's to call in the 1993 NCAA championship game. The real firestorm hit the University of Michigan years after Webber departed for a lengthy and productive NBA career.
Along with fellow ex-Wolverines Maurice Taylor, Louis Bullock and the late Robert "Tractor" Traylor, Webber was found to have received large sums of money from noted Michigan booster Ed Martin. The totals are reportedly in the vicinity of $616,000 for those four players alone.
Payments often began well before the players were committed to Michigan. Martin's gifts to Webber began in 1988, when he was a freshman in high school.
Martin's involvement with the Michigan program began in the 1980's, during the tenure of coach Bill Frieder. When Frieder left, Martin provided gifts to new coach Steve Fisher and his family. Martin's tight bond with Fisher led to the coach allowing Martin into the program's inner circle, accompanying Fisher on recruiting visits to young players Martin had befriended, including Traylor.
When Webber and the Fab Five led Michigan to the 1992 Final Four, Fisher made two rooms in the team hotel available to Martin. One of those rooms was given to Chris Webber's father.
Long after the violations occurred, federal indictments were handed down. Webber, for his part, was indicted on five charges, including obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of criminal contempt and was fined $100,000 in addition to 330 hours of community service.
Webber, Taylor, Traylor and Bullock have been whitewashed from the school's record books, in addition to Michigan vacating the 1992-93 season and the entire span from 1995 to 1999. Those vacations included four NCAA tournament trips, including that ill-fated runner-up finish, a Big Ten tournament title and the 1997 NIT championship.
The program was also ordered to disassociate itself from Webber until 2013.
There is one piece of good news for Webber.
In the eyes of the NCAA, that brain fart of a timeout never happened.