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.”