Following Michigan’s self-imposed postseason ban, the minds of many turned to Michigan’s three captains. There will be no NCAA Tournament or NIT berth for LaVell Blanchard, Gavin Groninger or Rotolu Adebiyi.

“I want to personally apologize to our three basketball players who are graduating seniors,” Athletic Director Bill Martin said. “As a result of these penalties, they will never have the chance to play in a tournament. These students had nothing to do with what happened, and I am sorry that they have to pay the price.”

But the tri-captains do not view the sanctions as the end of the world, or even the end of the season. While the captains won’t disclose the team’s goals, they are prepared to accomplish as much as they can. The first step is to move on and put the sanctions behind them.

“We knew it was definitely a possibility,” Groninger said. “Obviously there was the initial shock, but that lasted for only a minute or two. Then it got down to business. How we are going to handle it, how we are going to conduct ourselves as a team and as a program – that is the most important thing. We have to put all of this behind us now. It is a chance for our program to move forward in a way that we have not been able to do with all of this hanging over us.”

In light of the recent sanctions, some have asked if the seniors regretted coming to Michigan. Blanchard put those rumors to rest before practice on Friday.

“I am a Michigan Man,” Blanchard said. “I have been here my whole life. You cannot run away from your home and this is the home that I have been raised in, the home I have been nurtured in and the home that has really embraced me. All I can do is smile because even though this may be a hard time, I think back to the tradition and the fun that I have had in this program, and I would not trade it for anything else.”

With last week’s announcement, there is finally some sense of closure to a scandal that has spanned a decade. No longer will players and coaches have to wonder what the University will do in response to the Ed Martin scandal.

“It was always looming, but no one ever really knew what was going on,” Adebiyi said. “Now we know what is going on, and it was dealt with, so now we can move on.”

While these seniors are not the ones responsible for the sanctions, they still have nothing bad to say about those who were.

The sanctions have taken away some of the possibilities of the season, but that is not to say some good may come out of Michigan’s decision.

“Things happen for a reason,” Blanchard said. “I think this has brought us together as a team. A lot of our goals can still be met. One of our biggest things right now is to go out there and just try to meet the goals that we can meet. We will see what happens from there.”

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