Ed Martin’s relationship with the Michigan basketball program really took off in 1991 with the Fab Five, but his involvement with some of the players began long before. Below is a timeline highlighting Martin’s relationship with Michigan basketball.
Martin befriends Perry Watson, the basketball coach at Southwestern High School in Detroit, and provides meals, clothing, money and other benefits to the school’s basketball players. Martin is also present at a visit to a prospect’s home made by former Michigan coach Bill Frieder.
After the prospect enrolls at Michigan, Martin and the prospect’s father begin to attend Michigan games and practices. Martin also accompanies Watson to games and practices, and even gained entrance into the team’s locker room. During this time, Martin develops a relationsip with Frieder.
Martin begins his relationship with Chris Webber after seeing him play in a middle school game. To strengthen his relationship with Webber, Martin attends Webber’s church, where his father serves as a deacon and makes frequent visits to his house. Between 1988 and 1993 Martin gives Webber about $280,000.
Frieder leaves Michigan and Steve Fisher becomes the new head coach. Martin begins to provide gifts to Fisher and his family.
Martin continues to form a tight bond with Fisher. In return, the coaching staff regularly makes tickets to Michigan basketball games available to Martin.
Watson joins Michigan as an assistant coach. Martin begins his relationship with Robert Traylor when he is a freshman in high school. When Fisher travels to Traylor’s home on a recruiting visit, Martin is also present. Between 1994 and 1998, Martin gives Traylor about $160,000.
When Michigan reaches the Final Four, the University receives a limited number of rooms at the team hotel. Fisher makes two of the coveted rooms available to Martin. Martin keeps one room for himeself, and gives the other room to Webber’s father, a violation.
Martin begins his relationship with Maurice Taylor when he is in high school. Between 1995 and 1998 Taylor recieves about $105,000 from Martin.
After signing with Michigan, Louis Bullock is introduced to Martin. While the other three violators are from Detroit, Bullock attends high school in Maryland, and doesn’t receive benefits until he enrolls at Michigan. Bullock receives about $71,000 from Martin through 1999.
Five Michigan basketball team members, including Traylor and Taylor and a recruit, Mateen Cleaves, visit Martin at home. Martin provides money to all the players, including Cleaves. After the meeting, the group is involved in a car accident. The accident raised questions about the car’s ownership and Martin’s involvement with the Michigan program.
Martin attempts to place deposits on apartments for Traylor and Bullock. He also offers airline tickets to Puerto Rico to Bullock’s parents in order to see a tournament. When Fisher becomes aware of infractions, he has Martin retreive the deposits and make sure that the airline tickets are not used. But Fisher does not report these occurances to Michigan’s athletic administration or compliance office, as he is required to do.
Michigan athletic director Joe Roberson learns of the allegations and orders interviews with the basketball coaching staff and players. Michigan learns of the benefits Martin has been providing. Martin speaks with an NCAA enforcement representative and denies any wrongdoing. Later, he refuses to cooperate with both Michigan and the NCAA.
Michigan officially diassociates itself from Martin due to his lack of cooperation.