It looks like Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin has pulled a fast one on everyone – including the revered NCAA.

Paul Wong
Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin is elated at his ruling that Michigan will not face sanctions and has a great shot at the 2003 NCAA Tournament.

Those self-imposed sanctions applied by Martin and University President Mary Sue Coleman just a few months ago?

Martin said its hogwash.

“I was just fuckin’ around with ya’ll,” Martin said with a chuckle. “Yea, right. Like we’re going to sanction ourselves. We’re Michigan. And we’re the next Cinderella team, baby!”

After a dismal 0-6 start, the Michigan basketball team (13-7) has taken the nation by storm, winning 13 of its last 14 games and putting itself atop the Big Ten.

And now, without the sanctions lifted off the Wolverines’ shoulders, they’re now aiming for a national title run.

“When I talk about passion and patience, I always mean to mention the other ‘P’ word – prank,” Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. “We had you going there for a while, didn’t we? Me and the coaches just though this would be a good way to get the players motivated – so they could play without the pressure that accompanies a Big Ten season. It’s working!”

A very much confused, yet excited Bernard Robinson, couldn’t believe the administration had fooled him.

“Damn I feel dumb,” Robinson said with a sigh.

Representatives at the NCAA echoed B-Rob’s confused sentiment.

“We were pleasantly surprised back in November when Michigan sanctioned itself,” NCAA President Miles Brand told the Daily yesterday. “But since they’re playing so well now, we completely sympathize with Athletic Director Martin and the Michigan community. We’ll see the Wolverines in New Orleans at the Final Four.”

Brand added that he was interested in purchasing a Maize and Blue No. 4 jersey. “Cha-ching,” he added with a wide-eyed grin.

For freshman phenom Danny Horton?

“For C-Webb. That kid was a balla.”

But Michigan State coach Tom Izzo wasn’t such a big fan of this breaking development.

“Wait, wait, wait. You’re telling me that those clowns are going to the tourney while we’re staying home,” Izzo said with a gasp. “Man, I’m going to be stuck here crying my eyes out once again – just like after those punks stole Chris Webber away from us.

“Didn’t the Atlanta Hawks want me a while ago?”

Michigan’s national championship runner-up banners have also been given a stay of execution, as they have been taken off MGoBlueAuction’ s website and have been cleaned in preparation for their rehanging at halftime of the Michigan-Iowa on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Former Wolverines standout Chris Webber could not be reached for comment, but University sophomore Jake Feldman, donning a Michigan No. 4 jersey, spoke his behalf.

“Yo, C-Webb was the reason I came here,” Feldman said. “I make my girlfriend give me head while wearing this jersey. I know my boy would be glad to see the banner back up.”

As would numerous Michigan fans who view the 1989 National Championship banner and the women’s basketball appearance banner as the only banners with any significance in Crisler Arena.

The retraction of the sanctions has left Amaker feeling as though he should rethink his pregame clich

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