Rose hopes Fab Five can reunite on campus again

Three-fifths of Michigan’s Fab Five – Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and

Ray Jackson – were honored by the school in what was a bittersweet

ceremony for them Sunday at halftime against Gardner-Webb.

The Final Four banners they earned as freshmen and sophomores

have been removed from Crisler Arena and the NCAA still forbids the

school from associating with Chris Webber because of a booster

scandal.

”Michigan has done a lot for us and vice versa,” Rose said.

”It’s only a matter of time until we take a couple small steps.

Before you know it, hopefully all five of us will be standing on

the floor, talking about the opportunity to really be embraced by

Michigan basketball and this community. And hopefully, the banners

will be back up in the rafters one day.”

The NCAA forced the school seven years ago to dissociate from

Webber and three non-Fab Five players until 2013. A federal

investigation revealed that now-deceased booster Ed Martin gave

Webber, Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock more than

$600,000 while they were student-athletes.

E-mails seeking comment about Sunday’s ceremony were sent to

Webber.

Juwan Howard, the fifth member of the Fab Five, plays for the

Miami Heat and said Friday he didn’t know about Sunday’s

ceremony.

”He knew,” Rose said.

The Fab Five’s tangible accomplishments are rolled up, wrapped

in plastic and tucked away in the basement of a library on campus

because of one of the school’s self-imposed sanctions.

Webber has said the Fab Five won’t ever leave the public

consciousness.

”You can’t think of Michigan without thinking of us,” Webber

said in a 2007 interview with The Associated Press.

The Fab Five set trends with fashion and grabbed attention with

a brash style of play not seen before. They captivated younger

generations of fans – and disturbed some older ones – by strutting,

shouting and slamming like they were on a playground, not playing

before thousands in arenas and millions on TV.

Instead of using the Fab Five’s legacy to boost its basketball

program, Michigan has awkwardly avoided the tarnished era that led

to what the school president called a ”day of great shame,” on

Nov. 2, 2002, when self-imposed sanctions were announced.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said eventually, he

hopes, that will change and Webber will be welcomed back.

”I’ve always been hopeful that people learn from their

mistakes, atone from them and life moves on,” Brandon said. ”I’m

one who appreciates and respects the positive results of the Fab

Five, but we’ve got a couple years to go before we can reconnect

with that exciting era of Michigan basketball.”