I'd have to say my favorite part of this post is the Sparty schadenfreude that comes with the pic of them raising their banner. You can tell they had to cut the "s" off the end of "champions" to make it a legitimate banner at the last second, due to the fact that the "Big Ten" and "2012" are completely uncentered on the thing. Or, they let one of their Art majors design it. Either way, it's classic.
Yes, they are a "champion", among the three. But it's not a one man sport, so their players are "champions". Seems like some self-flagellation there.
between Fab 5ers and Taylor/Traylor/Bullock et al., and not just talent, but as representatives of the school. Not sure it is fair to say that the Fab 5 was responsible for that crew. Despite their warts, the Fab 5 were/are Titans and I, as an alum, am overall proud of them and will defend them. The Taylor/Traylor/Bullock era, er, um, pass.
...how I feel. And the main way I make that distinction is that Martin didn't attach himself to Webber because of the university, but rather his celebrity and NBA potential. It wasn't until the Taylor/Traylor/Bullock era that it became insitutional, IMHO.
Not to mention that the Dom Ingerson era is even more removed from the Fab Five, and stems more from the choice to hire Ellerbe than the lingering sanctions / black cloud.
Right. Brian's post is an oversimplification of 10+ years of Michigan basketball to basically dump it all on the Fab Five. There are legit arguments on both sides of the Fab Five banner discussion, but this post does a disservice to it.
To attack the fab five is to ignore the wash of issues the 80s teams had. Even if none directly related to the court.
I personally would love to see the banners back, they represent my college years too. (same class as fab five).
It seems to me if you weren't bleeding maize-n-blew during those days, you wouldn't understand the appeal, even if they are tarnished. And I can say I was a die hard UM fan for as long as i can remember, but once you start attending the University, it takes it to a whole new level.
So what does it say for those of us who were die-hards during that era (family had season tickets, went to most of those games throughout the 90s, saw most of the Fab Five games at Crisler), and also went to the University, yet who don't want those banners anywhere outside the Bentley Historical Library?
a difference of opinion.
But I'd say we could argue on an even footing because we had similiar experiences. Where Brian may not be as nearly as passionate as us older folk for the times we attended.
Looking at that bracket, I'm not particularly excited about the prospects of facing a goofy, potentially trap-worthy Northwestern team trying to solidify their first-ever tournament bid.
The difference between Brian and Jalen's viewpoints is that Brian wants the banners to stay down because they remind him of a time when something he loves was a bit naughty. The players connected to the scandal hurt something that he loves, and now he feels compelled to hate them forever. That's fine, but Jalen Rose wants those banners back up because they are one of the crowning achievements of his life. Nobody says, "you're Jalen Rose you played for six NBA teams." They say, "You're Jalen Rose, you played for Michigan" and yet there are no records that corroborate that statement. To Jalen those banners represent something significant that he accomplished with four of his best friends, and while I can understand Brian's position, this is only something that he has tenuous ties to. The banners, and what they represent, are part of the essence of Jalen's being that he is told every time he walks into Crisler Arena, never existed. I just think he has more at stake.
As you say, people already remember him as part of the Fab Five, and apparently they didn't forget even when Michigan took the banners down. I assume Jalen himself remembers this as well, with or without the banners. So, aren't the banners, hanging in the home of Michigan basketball, more of a statement about the Michigan program and team, and not the individuals? And doesn't it follow that the program should make the decision about the banners, and that the fans should have a voice in the decision?
I say this as a big admirer of Jalen Rose, both at the time and to this day. In my mind, he did nothing to cause those banners to come down, and I can certainly see why he would be frustrated about being denied the proper recognition for his contributions to Michigan basketball. Unfortunately for him, he played with a teammate who caused the program to surrender all of its accomplishments during the years he played. Maybe the program will decide to re-hang the banners, but I wouldn't give Jalen's vote too much weight in that decision.
This world would be a much better place if everyone understood that simple fact and lived their lives accordingly.
I want to live in a black and white world too.
and you forfeit or vacate games, the results of the games are permanently changed and you cannot tout the results in press guides, banners, or wherever. OSU does not have a Final Four in 1999, either, and can't fly a banner for it. Memphis will have to take down their Final Four banner from 2008 after losing their appeal in 2010 (and I believe they already had to take down 1985, leaving them with just 1973 waving from the rafters). The 2011 OSU football finding from the COI of the NCAA even had specific language whereby the OSU statician had to prove to the NCAA that the official records had been updated properly to vacate all the wins from 2010.
Just because some players can start associating with the university in 2013 does not mean that you can kiss the asterisks goodbye.
So I think next year will finally be the year for the Wolverines. at long last, Michigan will finally win back to back Big 10 Championships........
What a great season. Few more chapters left to write this month too
Go Blue. Big 10 Champs
If you don't want to associate the Fab Five banners with the team running way off the tracks in the mid-'90s Taylor/Traylor/et al. years ... then don't. It's that simple. Jalen Rose and Louis Bullock are compartmentalized in my brain, as are Juwon Howard and Maurice Taylor, Jimmy King and Dom Ingerson, and on and on.
Webber is the only tainted party here, and we are still receiving the rightful punishment for his actions. Once we've finished serving that time, the banners need to go up, and they'll have nothing to do with Maurice Taylor.
Agree completely. The only people who don't remember what a pure delight the Fab Five were during their actual run are those who are too young to remember what a pure delight the Fab Five were. I will always love them -- well, maybe not Webber, but certainly Jalen. The video brought back a lot of good times. Put the banners back up.
Let's not be all "holier than thou" . Ohio has already gotten past it's issues with only a new coach and a great recruiting class. And Brian is still ranting about the FF! Webber was bought years before he played there. Any school he went to was automatically dirty. Are others taking down there banners forever? How about UMass and Memphis, the most recent vacated seasons? Many good people worked hard as part of he program in the FF era, only one bad Webber apple. Put the Banners back up!
If by "getting over its issues" you mean "reinstating a vacated season," OSU has not done that.
"Even as they were playing, I hated them. They invented being Terrelle Pryor. When we talk about how easy it is to root for Michigan's teams these days, the unstated subtext is always thank God they're nothing like Maurice Taylor.
"Yes yes: socioeconomic something something, The Wire, Bomani Jones and Jason Whitlock, etc. Doesn't change the fact that Denard Robinson is a joy and Taylor sulked around the court putting in just enough effort to get a B- while taking a bunch of money from a guy he'd been told to stay away from, then rolled his SUV with Mateen Cleaves in it."
Lemme indulge for a moment (I'll risk a downrate if I have to) and explain why this shit matters. The pressure on young athletes to compromise these days is downright staggering. While Hoke preaches family, other schools are throwing parties and hookers at their recruits -- and mind you, it's going to result in some recruiting losses. Frankly I'm amazed they're doing as well as they have, what with slimeheads like Tressel preaching one thing and doing another, confusing their moral compasses, making "image" a matter of appearances, teaching them to take the easy way out.
I detest it not only because it's unethical. I loathe it because when I was a teenager, I was an idiot. Like any other kid I dreamt of athletic success but in hindsight I'd say it's a good thing I'm a nobody. Seriously! Now that I know better, I shudder to think of how I might've wrecked my life if I had any sort of athletic ability schools were interested in.
So why does all this matter? OK, the selfish angle is that I want to root for a team without wanting to throw up, but no one cares about that. We can get into good feelings & chemistry and blah blah but we all know it's bullshit. Talent wins, and without wins a coach gets fired. So why does it really matter? Two things: Defining moments and magic. To today's sociopathic and materialistic American, these are words used by self-help books and cynical Disney producers because it means nothing to them. Why would it? You can't value a feeling you've never experienced. In contrast, note how many Michigan athletes continue to represent the University long after they leave. They don't do it for fame or money; they have plenty of both. It's because UofM was a part of their lives far more significant than just a career launch pad. If you followed Michigan's journey last year to the Sugar Bowl, or this team's journey to the Big Ten championship, you know what I'm talking about. These men will refer to themselves as "Michigan Men" as long as they live. Not to take credit away from one or the other, but were I a recruit the crap they went through would play just as much a role in bringing back Michigan as anything the coaches did. I want to be a part of a team that has my back when life's in the gutter, not some chimp-style tribe of mercs looking to dominate the pack until they move on to the next thing. I want banners I can point to as a bitter old fart and not croak to a bunch of whippersnappers, "Lemme tell you what they did to get that," in shame, but angrily yap, "Lemme tell you the crap they overcame to EARN that."
Michigan's hard-fought wins this year mean so much more to me than they would've if they did all the things that got schools like Alabama or Ohio State in trouble. . . or Michigan back in the Fab Five days. I don't just root for laundry and my heart can't feel for mercenaries. I don't care if I'm the last American who feels this way and the entire damn world winds up against me; this is the only way I know how to live and why my excitement for Michigan athletics is at an all-time high right now. These Wolverines are famous because they won, but to me they're memorable because of what they are.
So, that's my bit. These sorts of feelings are "naive" or "cheesy" or "stupid" or whatever these days, but I'm gonna enjoy this ride as long as it lasts.
I liked a lot of what the Fab 5 did and sure, they likely would have all gone to Michigan regardless of Ed Martin giving a few of them money, but the whole scandal started them them and it left an unforgiveable black mark on the university. No way they should put the banners back up.
Can someone explain the proposed banner? Are the 0 and 1 large because of Douglass's and Novak's numbers?
Yeah that's why it's drawn that way
It's not often that I sit alone in my office with a sports video on and realize that I have started clapping. But when the video panned from Novak to Beilein, I just could help but smile really big and give them a big round of applause. What a great time to be a Michigan Man!
I'm just confused about how a post about us winning the big ten turned into a rant about the fab five, I mean seriously just be happy. And the fab five invented terelle pryor? You serious? Does UNLV or NC State not mean anything to you? There is a sports history outside of the big ten and the fab five is a major part of basketball history, not something to be swept under the rug and pretend like it never happened. Michigan isn't Michigan because of over achieving nerdy kids its Michigan because of success. It's great that novak and douglass have great stories and I love those guys but my god Brian get off this high horse of Michigan overcoming impossible odds or some shit like that.
There's a whole bunch of 30 for 30 episodes that'll show you programs with even worse problems, far before anyone had even heard of a Fab Five. They were a continuing of the unseemly traditions of college sports.
There was also a joy and wonder in the way that the Fab Five played, in their sheer collective enjoyment of each other's talents and the moment they were making, that seems totally missing in the Tyrel Pryor analogy.
This is the first time I have completely disagreed with you. I am fond of the Fab Five era good, bad and otherwise. I don't really love the result, but being a fan at that time will always be a very good memory for me. I think the banners should be up.
I think that you have to talk about the Fab Five. I also think this is Brian's attempt to place a marker in the ground that we can use to move forward. For a couple decades this program has been living under a curse, and now the curse is lifted. We can breathe the fresh clean air again because our coach is
1. A pretty decent human being.
2. A great coach.
I think that Brian's analysis of Beilein is pretty accurate. He's not flashy and obnoxious. He is exactly what this program needed. Congratulations to the men on this team, they earned that banner with hard work, some blood, and dedication.
As far as the banners go, leave them where they are. Does it suck for those who didn't do anything wrong? Sure. But that is kind of the nature of team sports. You live and die together.
just give Jalen the banners?
While I think it's kind of strange to spend the day after a huge win writing about the Fab Five and Taylor/Traylor/Bullock etc etc., I want to correct a widespread assumption that most UM fans have—that our problems started with the Fab Five. Nothing could be further from the truth.
John Beckett covered UM basketball for the old AA News back over five years in the mid-to-late 80s, with his final season the 89-90 campaign. After Fisher was fired, Beckett wrote a long AA News article on October 12, 1997 about Fisher. Much of the article is a recap of the events in the mid-90s that directly led to Fisher's dismissal, but towards the end of the piece there is this section that's relevant:
"After the 1989-90 season, I had a talk with Fisher. After five seasons covering U-M basketball, I was moving on to other things. Before I did, I told Fisher that one of his players had told me that "golden handshakes" - boosters slipping players money after games - were sometimes happening in the Wolverine locker room.
I didn't have enough on-the-record sources to write about it, but this player was one I trusted, and I thought Fisher should be alerted.
Fisher's reaction was mildly angry disbelief. He would never believe U-M boosters or players would do such things, he told me.
An example of Steve Fisher's naivete? I don't think so. Steve Fisher was not that naive. Steve Fisher is an intelligent man. More likely, I think, was that if Fisher didn't know about such goings-on, he was perfectly content to continue not knowing.
The media - myself included - made a fundamental mistake in covering Steve Fisher from the beginning. We bought into his "nice guy" image immediately and maintained it even when we should have known, or at least suspected, differently.
We should have known, and remembered, that college basketball and/or football coaches can't be that nice and that successful, too. When Fisher almost immediately pushed the media back more than an arm's length, when he closed practices and restricted access to his players, we should have been more suspicious.
We could have paid more attention to the lack-of-control pattern that emerged ever more clearly as the Fisher Era went along.
Of course, the same can be said of the U-M athletic department; of Fisher's bosses.
None of us should be surprised at Fisher's downfall. We all should have known that he was too good to be true."
I've heard from more than one person who followed the UM program closely during the Frieder years who've said that things weren't exactly on the up and up back then. The problems started with him, and Fisher simply allowed it to metastasize.
I'm not trying to whitewash Webber's actions, or those of the players who came after the Fab Five, but the problems did not originate with them.
The only thing that doesn't quite ring true to me about that quote is the part about the athletic department not paying enough attention to what was happening with the basketball program. Hasn't it been said that Bo was getting ready to clean house at Crisler, which prompted Frieder to seek another job? But then the team ended up winning the championship under Fisher, and Bo more or less had to retain Fisher as coach. And then Bo soon after left for the Tigers job.
So, yes, the program started headed down the wrong track under Frieder, and the '89 national title helped keep it on that track.
That all this didn't start with Fisher, either. He was an assistant on the staff before. And really, the 80's weren't squeeky clean and it suddenly deteriorated with the Fab Five. Heck, I think Rumeal has all but admitted he was taking money. (And that probably isn't in the top 5 of bad things he's done in his life). Fur coats, and other questionable nonsense. The whole reason for Bo saying "A Michigan Man will coach Michigan" was he was glad to push a coach out whose program always seemed to have question marks and shadows around it. Then the interim guy won 6 games in a row, and put Bo in a tough spot while simultaneously gettting him caught in the avalanche of good feelings. We knew there were problems. But how can you fire the guy who just won you your only National Title? Bo wanted to get a recommendation from Bobby Knight on who would be good, but do it the right way...and he never got the chance.
If you're going to be anal about the Fab Five and after banners, then one ought to be a proponent of taking down the National Title banner....and the Big Ten title banner we got previous to this one. The only difference between the 80's and 90's is we let someone see us do it (thanks to a federal investigation). One can believe that, for sure....but you can't really believe the program was on the up and up before the Fab Five.
I was in Ann Arbor for the '80's and had little doubt regarding the character of the program under Bill Frieder. Saw and heard things that were signal to a program that was, shall we say, not entirely clean. Bo's dislike and distrust for Freider was also apparent, and I have little doubt that things did get back to Bo while he was AD.
If you recall, when Freider left for Arizona State prior to the NCAA tournament, he called Bobby Knight for advice for his coaching search. When Fisher won game after game, Bo was pressured to remove the "interim" tag from Fisher's title. When the impossible happened and Fisher wins his first 6 games of his coaching career to win the NC, Bo had little choice but to offer the position to him.
Subsequently, I always just thought that Fisher ran the program the way he saw it run under Frieder. I suspect that he did not know of any violations, and while coach he did was totally passive in investigating any potential problems. It worked in the highly successful '80's, why not in the '90's?
That national championship prevented Bo from cleaning house. Without that incredible run in the tournament (Michigan came close to losing a few games there), an outside hire is the likely result. Martin's access to the program becomes in doubt, as well as all the ensuing NCAA violations.
I am too slow. Agree with the quicker responses to Don.
I was unaware of the happenings in the 80's and your post and others above helped shed some light on some of the "unknown" to me. Interesting to say the least.
I wouldn't put the final four banners back up because they are final four banners, not championship banners. Do we really want banners just for making the final 4? That's four games over two weekends. Granted, you are playing some tough teams, and get to cut down the nets, but is that really banner-worthy? I'd rather the place be so full of Championship Banners that there is no room for final 4 banners.
If we make the Final Four this year, a damn banner is going up.
The elephant in the room is the source of the money. Martin was allegedly running a criminal gambling enterprise. While Webber admitted to taking and repaying $38,500, Martin claimed that between 1988 and 1993 he paid Webber $280,000. Martin's relationship with the Michigan basketball program stretched back to 1981.
Referring to Martin as a "booster", side steps the central question of why an alleged gambler would place himself close to a very visible sports program and why he would allegedly give hundreds of thousands of dollars to its players. The question of paying them to manipulate the outcome of the games has to be on the table. That question has never been answered, and for that reason alone those banners should never be hung.
...at Ford or GM (wherever he worked), not gambling on sports. I don't think there's ever been any insinuation that the outcomes of games were in question.
Martin's relationship with the Michigan basketball program stretched back to 1981.
I'm not sure where you got that from, but he was not declared a booster of the program until April 1992.
Martin befriended Perry Watson, coach for Southwestern High School of Detroit, and provided gifts to the team's players. At this time, he began a close friendship with Bill Frieder, Michigan's coach from 1981 to 1989. When Frieder recruited a Southwestern High School prospect, Martin was present. Martin then began attending Michigan games with the prospect's father when the student enrolled. Martin also attended games and practices with Watson. Martin also developed a relationship with George Raveling who regularly recruited from Detroit high schools for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He also received complementary tickets to Iowa games while Raveling was coach. Martin attempted to give gifts and cash to Frieder recruit Terry Mills
Generally I don't rely on wikipedia, but there are cites for these claims. If they are in error, I'll happily admit that I was incorrect and change the original comment.
Where is the citation for the claim that he "began a close relationship with Bill Frieder? "That sounds like it might have been added by a vandal.
The fact of the matter is that in the NCAA's eyes, he became a booster in April 1992. That's in the report, and that's why the first 32 games of the 1991-92 season (which occurred before he became a booster) are not vacated, as well as everything else before then.
Now where they got their information, they don't really make clear.
But that article does not actually say that Martin "began a close relationship with Frieder." It just says that he was present when Frieder visited an (unnamed) recruit. That's not quite the same thing.
Moreover, if memory serves, there was documentation of Terry Mills being offered gifts by Martin and turning them down.
Players on Frieder's teams may have gotten "golden handshakes" from someone, but the NCAA did not find evidence of this.
During this time, Martin develops a relationsip with Frieder.
OK, I missed that one. I was looking in the earlier paragraph. Still, those are slippery words. "Relationship" can mean almost anything.
Personally, I think it's likely that players on the '89 team got some freebies (just like the vast majority of college basketball players probably do) but I doubt it was on the scale of what went down in the mid-'90s, and in any event it's hearsay.
Not that Rumeal is the most trustworthy guy in the world...but he doesn't seem to kill any notions that they had their hands out.
And frankly, the Freep and others printed the numbers, but no one has actually proven how much money exchanged hands. They reported hundreds of thousands of dollars, but even in court Webber never admitted to taking THAT much. So I'm not sure the "handouts" weren't all that comparable.
I mean, Antoine Joubert and his fur coats (and blow, but that's a whole other expense) is almost to the point of meme.