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Posted on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Michigan unsure if Fab Five banners can be replaced, not opposed to alternate celebration

By Nick Baumgardner

Story was updated at 8:50 a.m.

Jalen Rose wants his banners back, Mary Sue Coleman has no interest in replacing them and Dave Brandon isn't sure Michigan could re-raise them if it wanted to.

The Michigan athletic director said earlier this week that the university is currently spending "zero time" on the topic of the Michigan basketball program's removed banners until the disassociation between the school and former Fab Five member Chris Webber ends in 2013.

And even when it does end, he's not positive he can restore the physical remnants of the famed Fab Five to the Crisler Center rafters.

"We're not even sure that we could put those banners up," Brandon said. "If you vacated wins and forfeited wins and basically cleared the record books of any activity, it's hard to believe we could put back up the banners. We've never even gauged with the NCAA to see if that were possible.

"And, truthfully, if we had to forfeit the wins, it doesn't seem appropriate."


Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon isn't opposed to honoring the Fab Five recruiting class.

Associated Press


Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says he's not sure the school can return removed banners, including this one from 1993, to the Crisler Center rafters after its mandated disassociation with players has ended.

Associated Press

Coleman, Michigan's president, stoked the fire of the long-standing banner debate earlier this month when she addressed the subject during a public forum with students.

The Michigan Daily was on hand to record Coleman's comments at the time, which reaffirmed her stance on never replacing the tarnished banners linking Michigan to the famed Ed Martin basketball scandal.

“What happened was not good, and I don't think they'll ever go back up. I don't,” Coleman said at the time.

After Coleman's comments, Rose -- an former Fab Five guard -- made his frustrations known on Twitter.

"I saw that U of Michigan has no plans to put back up our hoops banners," Rose tweeted at the time. "Should I do like most of its former BBallers & never return?

"Or should I ask for the $250k I donated for my Endowed Scholarship back & move it to another school? Stay tuned."

Following the Martin scandal, Michigan imposed several sanctions on its men's basketball program in 2002 -- including the forfeiture of wins and four banners.

The school removed banners acknowledging the Fab Five's Final Four appearances in 1992 and 1993, as well as the 1997 NIT Championship banner and the 1998 Big Ten Tournament banner.

Additionally, Michigan began a 10-year disassociation between itself and four former players involved -- Webber, Robert Traylor, Louis Bullock and Maurice Taylor.

Webber's disassociation ends in May of 2013.

Though that date is rapidly approaching, Brandon says the school is currently putting no time into figuring out what might happen when it gets here.

"It's a moot point now," he said. "There's a lot of time that'll pass between now and 2013."


Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon isn't opposed to honoring the Fab Five recruiting class.

Associated Press

Brandon's not sure if Michigan can put the banners back up in the Crisler Center, but that doesn't mean he's opposed to honoring the Fab Five for its accomplishments.

"Are there (different) banners we could put up, though? Yeah, there are," he says. "I'd love to celebrate the Fab Five. Are there conditions on which that has to happen? For sure.

"But we've been very open and vocal about that, and there's just nothing new on this subject."

It wouldn't be the first time Michigan has gone outside the box with its honor and celebration practices. Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard was given the distinction as a "Michigan Football Legend" prior to a Michigan football game against Notre Dame last September.

Of course, Howard and the Fab Five are in completely different categories.

Additionally, any type of honor featuring all five members of the legendary recruiting class would likely hinge on an admission of guilt, or apology, from Webber.

Something that obviously hasn't happened.

"There are a lot of things that we admitted where we had made mistakes, could have done things better and we apologized," Brandon said during ESPN's 2011 documentary about the team. "What we're looking for is the same thing from Chris.

"Chris simply needs to acknowledge that he made a mistake, made some mistakes, some errors in judgment as a youth, apologize for those mistakes and I believe it would have an enormous impact on this situation and move forward in a very positive way."

Plenty of hurdles still seem to stand in the way of a full Michigan-Fab Five reunion.

But that doesn't mean it's something Brandon is opposed to.

"I'd love to do it," he said.

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 27, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Sell the banners and give that money to the band to pay for the Texas trip.....


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 8:57 a.m.

I hear people talk about the Fab5 Wrecking a "once great program" and that we are now finally digging ourselves out of that disaster, and I have said that myself, but now that i think about it, When has Michigan basketball ever been Great? I mean weve had a great team or two, but weve never had a dominate decade or any dynasties i can think of.......... Just wonderin i guess. Was ed martin a booster during the 87 season?


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 9:14 p.m.

Jim As an almost 40 year old, I was 4 years old the year Mike McGee first lead Michigan in scoring. in Antoine Joubiert's tenure, Michigan had 2 really good years, but finished unranked his freshmen and senior years. And No, I do not remember basketball players from the 50's era. I know we should all know our History, but i dont spend much time learning about 50's Bball, which is a completely different game thats played today. I just dont see the "once great program" that everybody sees, Unfortunately Michigan is just not a BBall School, never really has been. We play Football........ Go Blue!!!!!!!!!!!


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

Well...Michigan won the national championship the year before the Fake Five got to campus. No vioaltions there. Can you remember the Gary Grant era? Antoine Joubier? Mike McGee? Those teams were great and had no scandle. They didn't destroy a program for over a decade. Quick success doesn't translate into overall program success.

greg, too

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 5:37 a.m.

There are no banners to raise, unless they are covered in dollar bills and suits and the Escalades the players received for going to UMich. Tell Jalen to take his tax deductions, I mean donations, elsewhere if they are tied to raising banners for a team that violated numerous NCAA laws.

Nick Roumel

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

The Fab Five brought tremendous excitement and recognition to the University. They intrigued and excited young men to play basketball like no other era. They started a fashion trend that has changed the sport forever. Their name remains in the national lexicon and will forever. Yes, some of these players got some money they shouldn't have. The University made a ton off their backs, and isn't moving to pay a cent back. Recognize these teenagers for the history they made. Put the banners up. That doesn't mean you condone every single thing they did; it means this is part of our history. On balance, I want them recognized. Please don't whitewash my alma mater's history. Face it, warts and all.

greg, too

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 5:38 a.m.

If the wins were vacated, they are no banners to raise. It's a simple issue, no wins = no titles.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 4:08 a.m.

Your logic escapes me. Putting the banners up isn't facing history - it is denying the fact that the wins associated with them were vacated because they broke the rules. If you really want to face history (warts and all), put a display up in Crisler detailing the whole sordid story of Ed Martin's relationship with UM players and the complicity of UM coaches in turing a blind eye to what was going on.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

I can only shake my head at the folks who criticize the Fab Five. They brought more to the game and to Michigan than any other group in the history of college basketball. Ok, Chris Webber and 3 other players post the Fab Five era received money from someone OUTSIDE of the university. Get over it. They earned those banners, and captivated a country while changing the culture of the game FOREVER. Steve Fisher was a scapegoat after the irrational trigger-happy decision to fire him, and the program has not been the same since. Ellerbe and Amaker were terrible, and Beilein's one-dimensional, close-minded system of relying on the 3 will take us nowhere. The Fab Five will be missed. Go Blue!


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 4:47 a.m.

If Steve Fisher knew what was going on with Ed Martin, he was complicit and deserved to be fired. If he didn't know what was going on, despite warnings about Martin from people who knew him, he was an incompetent steward of the program and deserved to be fired. He was the coach. The buck has to stop somewhere


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

All of this is nonsense...michigan football has recently got in trouble with the NCAA & nothing is said about that. Chris Webber has no one to apologize to! He was young & I bet most of you put in that situation would've done the same thing. The University of Michigan needs to put their big boy pants on & acknowledge that the Fab Five were the best thing to EVER hit UofM athletics. I completely agree with Eep that mentioning Robert Traylor in this article is odd because he is deceased...let him RIP. quit writing about this until it's actually news (when they have made a decision!)


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

I'll take the University's position more seriously if they forfeit and return everything they gained from those players involved with the scandal. This includes the banners, victories, and any NCAA money the program benefited during tournaments. Until then, it's only a hollow gesture with how they are dealing with the banners.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

Talk about chutzpah! They should destroy the banners. I can only think of one reason why a bookie would give more than $600k to college basketball players. That there must have been point shaving going on is the only reasonable conclusion. The players who talked with Martin, let alone took money from him, should be banned for life!


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

Really Mr finally found 2 things you cannot buy. Respect and honor.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

..send Me the banners ..i will proudly display them in my home.. Fab 5 Forever... Go Blue! v


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

I know I am in the minority, but I have a lot of love and sympathy for Chris and the rest of the players involved. These kids are propped up on a pedestal at a very young age, and made to feel like they are gods. The Fab Five generated 100's of millions of dollars in revenue for the athletic department, and the kids get nothing. The kids may have been wrong, and their character may have been flawed, but I can remember when I was 17, 18 years old, and I was no better. Also, by most accounts, Chris was given only pocket change, and "running around" money as they call it, during his two years in AA. It was not until he decided he was going pro that the large amount of money changed hands. Not that it makes it right, but it shows that he wasn't blatantly trying to circumvent the system. All of that said, it would be nice to hear Chris apologize for his part of it. I'm sure there are legal reasons why he is mum on the subject. Anyway, I appreciate what the Fab Five really represented, and most people don't give them credit for the good things they did. Bottom line, if they chose to honor the Fab Five in any way, I will be cheering like mad for them. Whether it be from my sofa, or from a seat within Crisler...


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 4:14 a.m.

"the kids get nothing". No, the kids got full scholarships to the University of Michigan, something worth a couple hundred thousand dollars over four years today. As the parent of two kids in college and another on the way, I would be very happy to get that kind of compensation. There are a lot of other student athletes that weren't taking money on the side during that same period.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

Well, I only cheated a LITTLE bit professor.....I only had a little answer written on my wrist.... Rules are rules. Pocket change or 600K doesn't matter. He complained about the system while flouting the system. He did not have to come to a big time university, get showcased and "exploited", get tuition and books paid for, get full travel expenses, get clothing, get shoes, get press, TV, exposure, etc. Whether the rules are fair or not does not excuse anybody from breaking them, and as far as I am concerned, he has never come close to accepting responsibility. The only responsibility I have ever seen him take is for that time out he called (and he did face the press as a brave man at that point). But as far as UM? He should not be allowed back in as a celebrated figure. He broke rules that put the university on probation for years.

Scott Laux

Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

Burn em!


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

To honor the way those banners were paid for, I suggest the university should raffle them off to a lucky winner, without getting the required paperwork to hold a raffle.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

don't think they'd get much actually


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

Why honor paid college players at such a fine university? You never know what decisions Brandon might make these days...after the 'Band To Texas' debacle.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

On the ESPN documentary that was mentioned in this article, Jalen Rose said that he took a few thousand dollars to use as 'pizza money'. He claims he wasn't prosecuted because he cooperated with the grand jury investigation whereas Chris Webber did not.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

Just to be clear - as far as I know there is no proof that any of the FAB 5 received money until AFTER their final season was played. Did you have evidence to say otherwise ?


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

...Chris who ? who are you


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

Greatest player at Michigan. A2jo who? Who are YOU?

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

To commemorate the end of the 10 year "timeout" maybe they should just hang a picture of Chris Webber calling time out.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

Or hang a picture of one of Beilein's beloved jump-shooters missing a 3 while losing to OHIO... LOL!


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

According to Jalen's website, "Jalen has said that his desire to establish the scholarship fund grew out of an appreciation for a University that set him on a path to succeed and his wish for other students to benefit from that same opportunity." So now on Twitter Rose threatens to pull his scholarship fund if the banners aren't raised. "Or should I ask for the $250k I donated for my Endowed Scholarship back & move it to another school? Stay tuned." Sorry, Jalen, but you sound like the only reason you made the scholarship fund was to buy the banners a spot in the rafters, not to help out a student in need. I agree with Brandon and MSC on this one. I loved the Fab Five back in the day, but the scandal tarnished everything and vacated the records those banners once celebrated. Not to mention it also destroyed a once great program that we are only now finally digging ourselves out of the hole they created and to raise those banners wouldn't be for the right reasons, in my opinion.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

The only reason we are digging out of the hole so slowly is the boneheaded decisions we made hiring coaches. Rick Pintino was availible way back when and we would have been on our way. Instead we hired loser after loser after loser. I hate OSU but look how they handled ncaa. Cheated for years longer than any minor infraction Michigan may of had and got a one year slap on the wrist and made a decent hire. Look at sparty, cleeves took Martin money per grand jury testimony and their banner hangs. If Brandon all that concerned remove 20% of the banner and hang rest. That 20% left off will be Webers. Finally do you even know if Weber knew about the money or was it just his dad. If so per NCAA and Cam Newton thats ok! Whole thing is a sham! Give the middle finger salute to NCAA.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

Perfectly stated Sparky. They never won any championships yet Rose continues to dwell on his "glory days". I think the various books and tv specials have covered the whole thing pretty well lest we forget. I say give the banners to Jalen and he can hang them at home in his M Den.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

"Sorry, Jalen, but you sound like the only reason you made the scholarship fund was to buy the banners a spot in the rafters, not to help out a student in need." I was struggling to put his threat/blackmail into words, but you did it perfectly. He's embarrassingly sounding a bit like a crybaby - picking up his toys and going home.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

"And even when it does end, he's not positive he can restore the physical remnants of the famed Fab Five to the Crisler Center rafters." That sort of sounds like hanging up bodies. Also, this article is a bit inscrutable without at least a sentence or two summarizing what the scandal was.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

I have to agree with Brandon in that putting up the banners would not make sense if all the wins were vacated. IMO it's no loss for Michigan really - the Fab Five didn't actually win any championships. If they were Big Ten or NCAA Title banners I'd probably feel more strongly about it. In any case, it's time for Michigan to move on from that era. There are people who still look at that few years as the "glory days of Michigan basketball". But, the big stain it put on this University and damage to the basketball program that we're only now starting to dig ourselves out of, was not worth it.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 10:50 a.m.

The fact that this article mentions Robert Traylor and his involvement in the scandal - without noting that Traylor is deceased - seems a bit odd. I realize that he isn't the focus of the article, but still.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

It's relevant because the article is about how these players have been disassociated from the program for a 10-year period, and how the dates when these 10-year periods will end are approaching. The possibility of Webber, Bullock, and Maurice Taylor being reassociated with the program is obviously different than the possibility of Robert Traylor being reassociated with the program.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

Why would that be important to the story. Ed Martin is dead too. Should they report that Chris Webber is retired from the NBA as well. The fact that Traylor is dead has ZERO to do with the story.


Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

I'm struggling with why that's germane to the article.