John Bacon’s Blog is required reading each week & he recently posted a few thoughts on the Fab Five documentary and the legacy of the controversial quintet. Bacon broke the M-14 roll-over story a decade and a half ago (which sparked the investigation) and he ties that story to Fisher’s culpability:
But I had to wonder: If the press could figure all this out in about 24 hours, why couldn’t Steve Fisher connect the dots right under his nose over several years? They say he wasn’t part of the payola plan, and that’s probably true. But you’d have to be willfully blind not to see its effects by 1996.
When Fisher was fired, he said they’d built an elite program, which was true, and they’d “done it the right way,” which wasn’t – and by the time he was fired, he had to know it.
Bacon added this:
To this day, Fisher has never accepted any responsibility for what happened on his watch, and Chris Webber has never apologized for taking over a quarter-million dollars from a booster.
There’s always interesting commentary on his site & Bacon usually joins in to respond. This time Bacs’ post elicited a comment Steve Fishman, the man who represented Webber in the federal criminal investigation:
…there is one thing in the story that still grates on me after all these years, and that is the suggestion that Webber received a quarter of a million dollars ($280,000 in most accounts) from Ed Martin. That figure, which I have always referred to as an urban legend, was unsupported by any evidence. As a result, the federal judge assigned to the Webber case granted my motion to prohibit the government from even mentioning that figure had the case gone to trial. For some reason, and Webber deserves some of the blame for this for failing to discuss the issue in public, everyone has always accepted that number and essentially ignored the facts.
Fishman then delivers to Bacs a condescending compliment (“you appear to be a serious journalist who would probably like to have all the facts..”) but more importantly, he offers a copy of his original motion and the court’s response. That would be good to see but this would be better.
One other thing: A number of people have told me since the showing of the documentary that they were impressed with Mitch Albom’s comments regarding Webber having no money while at U-M. I was impressed with that too – 9 years ago when we were preparing for trial. Unfortunately, Mitch was not quite so forthcoming when I attempted to contact him and put him on my witness list. Instead, I was forced to file a motion to compel him to testify when he (through his lawyer, of course) claimed some type of privilege. That motion, which makes for pretty entertaining reading, is also available if you are interested.
“SEND THAT MOTION! SEND THAT MOTION!”, the crowd chanted as the Send That Motion dancers shook it at midcourt. –> mail [at] mvictors.com
Bacon responded to Fishman’s comment here.
Speaking of lawyers, motions and takes, if you have the means, hook up with former WTKA radio host, NHL’er, lawyer, Michigan asst hockey coach etc., etc., Dave Shand on Facebook. I disagree with 90% of Shand’s political views but brother, the Dems could sure use a real man with some stones as a media voice.