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Sports

Federal witness says he paid college football players from U of M and other schools

A typical student's view inside the Big House.
Andrew Horne
/
wikimedia commons
"The Big House" - Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. This photo was taken in 2010. The scoreboards are bigger now.

A cooperating prosecution witness testified on Tuesday that he paid college football players at seven major football programs, including the University of Michigan. The schools named were Notre Dame, Northwestern, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Alabama, and North Carolina.

According to CBS Sports and others covering the federal trial in Manhattan, the witness, former financial adviser Marty Blazer, did not provide the names of the players during his testimony, and he said he never paid a college coach. But he said he made monthly cash payments of $100 to $3000 to college football players over about 13 years, starting in 2000.

Blazer said his goal was to become the players' financial advisor after they signed with the NFL.

Blazer was testifying at a federal trial in Manhattan arising out of an investigation into college basketball corruption. Blazer has pleaded guilty to five counts involving wire fraud, securities fraud, lying to the SEC, and aggravated identity theft. He is awaiting sentencing.

University of Michigan Athletic Department spokesman David Ablauf said all the department knows is from news reports about the trial, and because of a lack of specific information, he is unable to comment.