In court bombshell, witness says he paid football players at Michigan, other schools
Former Pittsburgh-based financial adviser Marty Blazer, testifying for the government in the second trial that stems from the federal investigation into college-basketball corruption, offered stunning claims Tuesday that he also paid football players at a number of schools, including Michigan, between 2000-13.
Blazer, a key witness in the federal investigation who has cooperated for years providing evidence of assistant basketball coaches and players who took cash bribes, already has pleaded guilty to five counts related to, among others, securities and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and false statements.
He did not offer specifics in court in New York regarding names of football players at several schools that also include Penn State, Pitt, Notre Dame, Alabama and North Carolina, several news outlets reported Tuesday.
According to a report from Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, Blazer said he would pay college football players from $100 to $3,000 per month, usually in a cash payment and sometimes by Western Union via a player’s friend or family member.
It is unclear which Michigan football players Blazer may have assisted.
A Michigan spokesman said that without documentation regarding specific players from the school who allegedly accepted payments, the athletic department could not comment.
“We just read the reports from today’s trial in New York,” UM spokesman David Ablauf said Tuesday. “As that is all the information we have at this time, we are unable to further comment due to the lack of any specific information contained in those reports.”
Blazer’s testimony continues Wednesday morning.
Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports columnist covering the trial, said Blazer testified he gave the players money to eventually become the players’ financial adviser.