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Posted on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

Jalen Rose gets his wish: U.S. gymnastics squad to be called 'Fierce Five,' not 'Fab Five'

By Nick Baumgardner

Jalen Rose won't have to worry about anyone dubbing the United States' women's gymnastics team the "Fab Five" any longer.


Jalen Rose won't have to worry about the U.S. women's gymnastics team using the name 'Fab Five' any longer. The group settled on the nickname 'Fierce Five' on Wednesday. file photo

According to a USA Today report Wednesday, the five gold medal-winning gymnasts have opted to go with the moniker, "Fierce Five."

"I guess (Fab Five) was taken by some basketball team or something," gymnast McKayla Maroney told USA Today.

That basketball team Maroney was referring to, of course, is the Michigan basketball team's famed 1991 recruiting class, featuring Rose, Chris Weber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.

Earlier this week, Rose told 97.1-FM's Jamie Samuelsen he thought any usage of the Fab Five nickname for the U.S. gymnasts was "lazy journalism."

Rose further explained that he was a big fan of the team, but simply had a problem with the media applying the nickname.

The U.S. gymnastics squad will likely see a wave of endorsement deals in the coming weeks and months, and may choose to use "Fierce Five" in ad campaigns.

Any usage of the "Fab Five" name by the gymnasts could have been a problem, as Rose currently owns a merchandising trademark on the phrase.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.


Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

Why does the mention of Jalen Rose bring out the snotty in everyone? I know the story. I just don't understand the self-righteousness that it engenders. I agree with the juried sports criticisms, though. Did you see the girl who did the perfect performance and got phantom deductions? Did you see the girl who won the bronze but didn't get it, until the coach filed a protest and they looked again and raised her score and she got the medal? Admittedly, it's not as bad as in the Soviet era, when England gave us the best possible value to counterbalance the Soviet judge giving us a ridiculously low one, etc., but it's still judged, and doing a great job is not better if the judge chooses not to make it so.

Wally the Wolverine

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 10:56 p.m.

I agree Jalen, we should forget the use and memory of any reference to the fraud (oops, I mean fab) five.


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

No matter what you call them? They are still fab to me. Now I have to change my lingo again. This sucks.

Bob Gross

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

The"Fierce Five" will prove to be more culturally relevant than the "Fab Five," one day they will probably have an ESPN 60 for 60 documentary made about them.

Gary White

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

From the Trademark site, FAB FIVE has been abandoned. Trademark is owned by ROSE, JALEN A. Serial Number 77975648 Word Mark FAB FIVE Status606 - Abandoned - No Statement Of Use Filed Status Date 2011-11-21 Filing Date 2007-07-09


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

No fair peaking: Name the Michigan Fab Five. Name the five Olympic gymnasts. What was your score?


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

Gabby was called the flying squirrel not the flying gerbil. Good grief. But gerbil will work if I see one flying around.

a2 Brute?

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Does flying gerbil count?

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

First of all, "Fab Five" was taken from "Fab Four," so it's not legit to claim originality. Second, instead of changing the nickname for the gymnasts, it would have been more fitting to change the nickname of the basketball players to, "Think-just-a-bit-too-much-of-themselves Five."


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 11:16 a.m.

Well, I hope Rose is happy and can sleep nights.....really, they won nothing and set the basketball program back years.....but according to Rose, they should be held in high esteem for.......let me think......

Amy Toshagod

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 5:15 a.m.

Fast Five would be great if you can bribe producer Neal H. Moritz


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 4:44 a.m.

The difference is that the gymnasts have actually won something important.


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 10:05 p.m.

I actually think basketball is the dirtiest sport around when it comes to throwing games. Donaghy is only the most recent example. I just don't think being awarded a gold medal in gymnastics is "important".


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

I'm not trying to put words in anyone's mouth, which is why I used the word "If" to start my response. I'm looking for clarification, which you've given, to an extent. You still seem bent on belittling the accomplishments of these Olympic athletes. Sure, some take steroids...but testing is much more stringent these days. I on't feel the need to assume Jordyn Wieber, for example, is on the juice. Furthermore, if you're going to raise that question, you might as well extend that to the Fab Five, as well. It's not that I think the Fab Five were guilty of steroid use, but if you're going to question one group, you should question the other. Also, you say "The money did not improve Weber's three-point shot so, by Olympic standards, was he actually 'cheating'?" Well, logically speaking, I see no use in asking what Webber at Michigan by Olympic standards. If that's the case, why not use professional basketball as the standard, so we can just excuse him for any wrongdoing whatsoever. The fact is he and the rest of his teammates were amateur college athletes playing under the rules of the NCAA. They went far outside of those rules, so yes, it's accurate to say they were cheating. You seem inclined to think only sports with judges are prone to rigging the outcomes of the matches. Well, you're obviously familiar with Google...why don't you give ol' Tim Donaghy a shot? Lastly, in regards to your last paragraph, I'd find something better to do with your day. Some people appreciate the athleticism of gymnasts. If you don't, so be it. No one is trying to convince you otherwise.


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

1998, I'm not defending anybody. I'm questioning the use of the word "important" and if a subjectively awarded medal is truly winning. Historically, the Olympics have been the proving grounds for PEDs. Weber took money, not steroids. The money did not improve Weber's three-point shot so, by Olympic standards, was he actually "cheating"? The history of boxing has been rife with steroids and thrown matches. The judging in gymnastics has been questionable. Use google. And before you try to put words in my mouth (again), I am not saying the gymnasts or boxers took PEDs. But I'm also not naive enough to think they didn't. So I'll spend the rest of my day wondering why sixteen year old girls wearing tight fitting outfits captivate adults like yourself. Or would that be putting words in your mouth?


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

i'm not really sure what you're trying to get at, a2. if you're trying to defend cheating basketball players -- who never did win a title and helped bring down an entire basketball program for a decade -- because they were cool at the time, then fine. we'll just agree to disagree. i have infinitely more respect for gymnasts or boxers who compete with integrity. the women's gymnastics team competed AND won with integrity. while i like football and basketball more than gymnastics and boxing, i don't discount the latter two, and the athletes who compete in those sports, because there is the element of judging.


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

It's better only to some sponsors and sheep.


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

It's better than having the bottom score in an objective game like basketball, isn't it? That's most DEFINITELY "losing."


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

"important"? But I guess having the top score in a contest that is subjectively judged is kind of like "winning".


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 4:17 a.m.

Michigan was not the original Fab Five. Go back to the starters on the 1947 and 1948 Kentucky Wildcats. They earned the nickname by winning the NCAA championship and then the 1948 Olympic gold medal.


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.

A. Who cares B. Who Cares C. Weren't they cheaters? D. Did they ever win anything?


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

In order: Jalen Rose Jalen Rose Very much so No


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 3:37 a.m.

tierce five will be better cause they actually won something and did not call a timeout they did not have!!!


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 3:08 a.m.

Rose owns the trademark on "fab five"? That is genius! ...and I'm glad he did it!


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

I think the "fab five" have become the "forgotten five".

Nick Baumgardner

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

I'm going to go out on a limb, drewk, and say that few people have forgotten the Fab Five. Some might not like them, but few have forgotten them.


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

give the banners to Rose, so he can hang them in his house, then maybe he can stop wining.....


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Ihink the recent Kentucky classes could be named the fabfive too

a2 Brute?

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 11:41 p.m.

According to the USAToday article: "We went through a bunch 'F' words and came up with fierce and we thought that was perfect," gymnast Jordyn Wieber said. "We're all so fierce on the competition floor." If the goal was to think of a cute word that began with "f" journalists could have been more creative.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.

I guess the 'Fierce Five' did not want to be associated with the cheaters known as the Fab Five!


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Chris Moore, you're in serious denial if you believe for one second that every single one of those players didn't benefit from the Ed Martin connection, regardless of whether it was directly, or indirectly from Webber. Those five were admittedly inseparable.

Chris Moore

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

OK, let me get this strait. You label the best recruiting class in history "cheaters" because One player took money from a crooked booster while still in high school. I'll bet you are a Miami football fan though huh?


Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

Thank you. And don't forget "whiners." Whining cheating cheaters. Those women/girls are way too good to be associated with that overblown bunch.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

Um, you mention the fab five, but you only list four players from the team. Perhaps you forgot about Juwan Howard?

Nick Baumgardner

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

Yeah, that's a complete error on my part, bbb. Sorry about that, it's been fixed.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 11:17 p.m.

Not very original.