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Posted on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

University of Michigan president opposes putting 'Fab Five' banners back up in 2013

By Nick Baumgardner


In this 2007 file photo, University of Michigan archivist Greg Kinney unrolls the 1993 NCAA basketball tournament finalist banner that has been kept in storage as part of self-imposed sanctions related to the financial scandal involving members of the Fab Five. School president Mary Sue Coleman said Wednesday that she opposes putting them back up.

Associated Press

If Mary Sue Coleman has anything to do with it, the "Fab Five's" Final Four banners will stay in storage for some time.

During a fireside chat with students Wednesday, the University of Michigan president reaffirmed her position on keeping the removed banners out of the Crisler Center rafters.

“What happened was not good, and I don't think they'll ever go back up. I don't,” Coleman said, according to the Michigan Daily. “Some day, I won't be president anymore, and maybe someone else will have a different view. But I think you have to reflect on the larger meaning and that we want to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

After the fallout from the Ed Martin Michigan basketball scandal, the university imposed several sanctions on its men's basketball program in 2002.


Mary Sue Coleman

Among them was the removal of four banners: the 1992 and 1993 Final Four banners, a 1997 NIT championship banner and a 1998 Big Ten Tournament title banner.

In addition, the NCAA forced Michigan to disassociate itself from four players involved in the scandal -- Chris Webber, Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock.

Webber, of course, was part of the school's famed "Fab Five" recruiting class, teaming with Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson and Juwan Howard to lead Michigan to back-to-back national championship game appearances in 1992 and 1993.

Webber's 10-year disassociation period is set to end in 2013, meaning the school could replace the removed Final Four banners.

According to Coleman, that's not likely to happen any time soon.

“From my point of view, taking the banners down was the right thing to do because it was a very difficult time for the university and we were ashamed of what happened because the university has higher standards than that,” Coleman told the Daily. “We're the University of Michigan -- that shouldn't happen.”

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

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Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 6:50 p.m.

Fab (Fib?) Five wins are vacated. The wins leading to the NCAA berth are expunged. That banner should be expunged as well. We do not need a banner with an asterisk! Misdeeds leading to banner removal may be forgiven, but should not be forgotten. They occurred while the students represented the university. It was unacceptable then, and now. Go ahead. List as many examples as you can think of, where someone with a criminal activity may have some type of informal affiliation with the university. Chances are great that said activity occurred well after university attendance, off university ground, and not as part of formal affiliation with, or representation of, the university. Fab Five misdeeds happened on university ground. Ban the banner, and what it stands for.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

Michigan is Michigan. Ban the Fab 5 from ever stepping foot on campus. They never won anything & they took money while doing it. For the money you would think they would have one a national championship or two. Oh wait, Michigan did win a national championship in 1989 legitimately. The Overrated 5 were the worst thing that ever happened to the university of Michigan. Take the banners and burn them. Most of you commenters in support of the Fab 5 watched that stupid ESPN documentary and try to glorify the cheats. Next year hang 2011-12 Big Ten championship banner and torch the Fab 5 banners outside.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

And some of us witnessed it. I'll support a child making a mistake as we all have over an adult hiding who they are ( haters ) behind their money.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

"We're the University of Michigan -- that shouldn't happen" So, did Michigan return all the proceeds of the Fab Five? I'm quite sure MSC was to ashamed to keep the money and the university's standards were to high. The penalty will be served, the other players should now be honored for their accomplishments, unfortunately, they played along side the Fab Five, a group of kids that were hated from the start by a bunch of older alums because the FF were not what they saw as typical. Racial and hate mail to kids, yeah, some high standards, and it's probably the same group saying, "we don't want them back up".


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

Jalen Rose (according to the Detroit News) essentially threatened that he won't come back and will withdraw his scholarship, if the banners stay down. I understand his comments, but he needs to look at the situation through the eyes of the university. Rules were broken by that team--even if it was only one player, it is a team sport. Based on those violations, victories were retrospectively vacated and the team was placed on NCAA probation. Why in the world should MSC put up a banner honoring the team that led to violations? Also, despite how upset he is, Rose is not justified in withdrawing financial support for minority students and the U. Rose benefited plenty from the university, even without the banner. Would he have benefited from another school? Probably, but the fact is, he took from the university--education, tuition, books, food, travel, in exchange for sports. He may not have gotten in without basketball skills (just as art students and music students bring a special skill that help them to get in beyond academics). But he owes it to pay it back. I wish more athletes would follow his example (and Woodson, Desmond, etc).


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

Probably asking Webber and Rose for some donation so that the banners get raised.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

I find it disappointing because there are players who did nothing wrong, worked their hindparts off and accomplished some very positive things to have them ignored b/c of 1 or 2 teammates. Webber's selfishness ruins the Fab 5 era. So not only are the other 4 members ignored, but also the contributions of players such as Eric Riley. Same thing for Traylor, Taylor and Bullocks teammates. I believe the hardwork and dedication of the 30 - 40 or so teammates outweighs the negatives.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

..Fab Five Forever!.. Go Blue! v


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

When is she going to strip the Taubman name from the building on campus? He being convicted and all.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

President Coleman is correct. While I believe that justice was not served in this case, in that the guilty parties (Chris Webber et al) suffered no real consequences for their actions and the University did, in the form of scandal, sanctions, and the two-decade-long devastation of the basketball program, there is no honor in hoisting tainted banners. They were removed for a reason, and the reason remains, whether Webber's "disassociation" period is over or not. Better to raise new banners, earned by great performances ethically achieved, rather than being reminded at every game of shame hanging above the court in the form of the old banners, which have nothing to do with Michigan's proud athletic traditions.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

I agree with President Coleman, no period of time will change what happened. Webber and the others were paid. And to this day, when I see Fisher coaching SDSU., I still wonder how he could claim he nothing about it......incredible.......


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Coleman's right, but what's the point of putting up old banners? Let the new team make its own mark in UM history, if they can.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

If webber were to ever acknowledge wrongdoing and come clean with a true apology, that would go a long way to mending the pain. The last honest word he seemed to say regarding UM was his press conference after the 1993 final game when he talked about the time out. And even then, was he always straight as he talked about how little money he had? I feel bad for the other guys who did not place themselves above the rules. But as long as there are principles in play, I stand behind Coleman and admire her grit on this issue even if it will lead to flak.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Chris Weber was convicted of not telling the truth to the feds. He was not convicted of anything else! I'm still waiting to see & hear real eveidence of what, if anything, the Fab Five did wrong. Please share the facts or get off your high horse. A real issue for U-M is the blatant disregard & active suppresion of any conservative ideas by the ELITES running our ultra (extremist?) liberal school.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

what the heck does this have anything to do with "conservative ideas" and "ELITES running our ultra (extremist?) liberal school."? baskeball players cheated...they got they don't get the rewards from their efforts. I fail to see any ideological angle on this at all.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

Thats ridiculous!! Still to this day when you think of Michigan Basketball you think of the "Fab Five." They made Michigan Basketball and college basketball what it is today. Put the banners back up!!


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

they are also the reason michigan basketball has been wondering in the wilderness for the past 15 years.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

I think of Cazzie Russell, Bill Buntin, Oliver Darden, Larry Tregoning...


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

It is very interesting that she is choosing this issue for a public confrontation with the smart money boys who run the athletic department. Business is business, and business must grow. Given the difficulty Brandon is experiencing selling basketball tickets at premium prices, not hanging the banners will cost money. Does the President of the University have any influence over the athletic department whatsoever, or if this merely is part of her retirement speech? Perhaps she is trying to define her legacy to read: The President stood up to the athletic department over the banners, while the A.D. ran amuck over ticket prices and kicked UM alum, faculty and staff out of Crisler without the President muttering nary a word! In truth, an ironic gap has grown between the University and the athletic department under the President's watch, and the next President inherits a mess of biblical proportions if they are to try to reel in the free wheeling A.D. and bring the athletic department back as a part of the University rather than a separate business entity.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 10:21 a.m.

President Coleman is right. The banners should remain packed away. The conduct which led to the removal of the banners was unacceptable at UM.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 8:56 a.m.

This is another example of blatant racism since all five were black. How she keeps her job and why J$ss$ J$cks$n hasn't invaded Ann Arbor are 2 questions that need answering.

David Vande Bunte

Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

The only color that matters in this story is GREEN. As in, how much GREEN the players took against NCAA rules.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

What kind of coffee grounds are you reading? I am perplexed how racism has anything to do with this never-ending saga.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

Funny, I don't 'notice' all five are black. I see them as young college players at that time... However, if the issue is race, then why doesn't "Scott" see the following players who were also lettermen on the 1992 or 1993 teams?: Jason Bossard, Leon Derricks, Sean Dobbins, Dugan Fife, Rob Pelinka, Eric Riley, Michael Talley and James Voskuil. My point is not that they are black or white or whatever...but that anyone pointing out 'race' in any issue is actually promoting racism by their defining the color of the subjects involved.

Theo's Brother

Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

As a black man, I say the claims that you make are baseless. Black, white, blue, green, purple, or orange, when you are a Michigan student-athlete, you are held to a higher standard. What about Mike Milano? He wasn't black yet he was reprimanded for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson are two black men who are institutions at the University of Michigan. I am a Michigander currently living in Mississippi. Playing baseball at a formerly segregated university, I experienced racism firsthand (within the last 5 years). Rules were broken. The price is being paid. Bottom line.