Rumeal Speaks His Mind

Dylan Burkhardt

Mark Snyder has a piece in the Free Press with Rumeal Robinson who is due back in town this weekend for the 1989 reunion. Rumeal gives his 2 cents on Steve Fisher, the Fab Five, Ed Martin, and NCAA violations. His answers will raise some eyebrows to say the least.  Here are a few highlights:

“That got a lot of attention. At the end they got to take down all the accolades they got and worked hard for, but it wasn’t like they were using steroids. Somebody helped out somebody with some money.

Fisher’s firing in 1997, in part, because Martin (a Detroit booster but not an alum) provided money to several Wolverines: “Knowing Steve Fisher, I don’t think he knew anything about any of that. He wouldn’t put himself in that position. Coach Frieder, now he might have. Frieder cared a little bit more than Fisher.

“The NCAA may need to give some money for the players.”

“You got nine pros and none of them left school early? If you’re taking care of players the right way, you understand the process to make it work. Otherwise, a player’s got to go out and look for help, it’s going to happen” like with the Martin scandal.

Robinson did not hesitate when discussing his era in college basketball, but he also was cautious about being specific about himself and his teammates.

“Coaches need to keep their jobs,” he said. “How do you compete against Duke? How do they get those players? Have you been to Durham? Who wants to go there? If you can get them and be successful and your program can go forward, you can do well.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to win, baby; you can’t come in second. C-Webb, Jalen, those guys were great, but you’ve got to win. You can’t go back. It’s not like the pros where you have 15 years and have the opportunity to win. You have four years.”

Those are just a few highlights, the whole article is definitely worth a read.

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  • “You got nine pros and none of them left school early? If you’re taking care of players the right way, you understand the process to make it work. Otherwise, a player’s got to go out and look for help, it’s going to happen”

    I guess I am glad he didn’t elaborate.

    The rafters are going to be empty in Crisler.

  • josh

    Wow is he just asking for more scandal……. JEEZE

  • Aaron

    Is there such a thing as keeping it REALLY real. We’ve just read it.

  • Ky Fox

    I guess I dont understand why we keep bringing up the whole scandal thing. Yes it happened, it was a negative part of our history. Honor the good and forget about all of that crap. What does it have to do with anything?? Lets focus on this year, and how well our guys are performing.

  • josh

    Ky no offense but that may be one of the worst questions ever. These kind of stories make money and at this, time more than ever, thats all newspapers care about. I mean in reality it will never go away, especially with the Detroit News and Free Press only miles away.

  • Ky Fox

    I understand that Josh, but moving forward we cant pay our future recruits to come and play here. As fans we need to move forward. Thats what Im getting at. As a fan who cares about the press, you know JB doesnt care. We just dont need the negativity swirling around the program. As a program trying to heal up after that mess we need to identify the mistakes and move forward. No use crying over spilled milk.

  • Ky Fox

    I just dont believe its healthy talking about and bringing up negative events from the past, especially when our current team is 13 – 4. I mean honestly what more is there to talk about. I guess that is what media does though right! My bad

  • Andrew

    He asked someone who was part of the 1989 team about the fab five team that came in right after he left. This isn’t dredging up the past and has absolutely nothing to do with trying to sell papers. Robinson could have given a stock response (i.e. it was a shame, etc) but instead spoke honestly.

    The interview came from Michigan’s planned celebration of the championship at the OSU game on Saturday.

    It makes no sense to blame the media for this one. I wouldn’t have a problem with them investigating whether the 1989 team had taken money and the 20th anniversary could have inspired such an investigation, but that isn’t what happened here. Would you have rather the Free Press not report on this? The quotes are not ambiguous.

  • Ky Fox

    No I dont care. Bring the 89′ team in for the celebration, honor the team and be done with it. There is nothing better than to move forward and let the past be the past. The media asked the question right? Why not ask questions about the 88′ 89′ season…isnt that what we are exonerating? It makes no difference anyway, its just my opinion in that I like to think of the past as the past while I hope for the future. “Dont let yesterday use up today” Once again, just my opinion.

  • AG2

    Would Steve Fisher even get a positive reaction from the fans if he accepted the invitation? Heck I don’t even think Bill Frieder would.

  • ohmigods

    those who don’t remember the past are bound to repeat it

  • Kenny

    I will welcome Steve Fisher with full heart.

  • Ken in Vegas

    I would also be happy to have Steve Fisher in the house or any of the Fab Five members at that. I followed Chris Webber’s career obsessively, even though he was a big part of our program’s deterioration. I just can’t dwell on an 18 year old kid taking some money that can help his family when he was probably assured that it would never hurt anybody anyway. I don’t see that as any different than my decision to drink underage, which I was arrested for when I was 18. Kids who take money now should be treated a little differently because they know what potential consequences are because they have examples from history, but as far as I know Michigan was really the first team to be made an example of in what was probably a pretty common underground activity in those days.

  • jmblue

    Huh? Players have been taking money under the table for a LONG time. It’s an open secret, for instance, that Wooden’s UCLA program was dirty. Just a couple of years before the Ed Martin scandal, OSU got nailed by the NCAA and its program imploded. Kentucky got busted during the 1980s. SEC football programs get in trouble constantly. Michigan basketball was far from the first or last to experience this fate. Anyway, our real problem wasn’t so much the scandal/investigation as that we made one of the worst coaching hires ever (Brian Ellerbe) after we fired Fisher.

  • jamie mac

    Raw Recruits.

    A great book about hoops recruiting published in 1989/1990 range, penned by Armen Keyteyian and Alexander Wolff.

    A must read.

    One of their assertions was if players at a program stick around all four years its because going to the NBA would be a pay cut.

    Hyperbole, sure…..but doesn’t Rumeal’s comments about 9 pros on the roster not turning pro lend a lot of credence to that theory.

  • Bando Calrissian

    Chris Webber needed that money to help his family?

    You serious, Clark?

  • Ken in Las Vegas

    Well he may not have NEEDED that money to help his family, but I’m sure it helped his family and was a part of why he took it.

  • jg

    Let’s not act like the players and coaches involved are the bad guys. Is what they did wrong? From the ncaa’s standpoint yes. Everybody was cheating under the ncaa standards, but our A.D. decided to take the “high-road” and completely disown all those guys and stripped them of all their great accomplishments while they were on campus. The University could have fought it just like everybody else did if they had wanted to bad enough.