Fab 5 Reunion in the works?

Submitted by JeepinBen on June 26th, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Our favorite really motivational and sometimes secret leaking (see the "YESSSSSSSSSSSS" tweet that was removed just before Mitch McGary's committment went public) assistant basketball coach Bacari Alexander is at it again, tweeting "Stay Tuned. We will reunite soon...... Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose share a Fab Five moment" with a link to the Youtube Video embedded in the first comment.

There's been a lot of speculation already with the rededication of Crisler Arena and the "10 Year Ban" coming off the books in 2013 that the Fab 5 would be recognized in some way. 4 of the 5 (Not CWebb) have already been welcomed back in some form, most notably Jalen's "Rose Garden" section of seats that he buys for children.

I don't want this to turn into another "They cheated, I hate them!" "I love them!" thread, so what would your perfect "Reunion" be? I'd take having all 5 of them back at Crisler, maybe Jalen speaking to the crowd, and a new display case on the Crisler concourse showing the whole history - The baggy shorts, the final 4 banners, the downfall, the scandal, the cultural impact, etc. Lay it all out there. It's history, to be celebrated and scorned and most importantly remembered.

Oh, also, Juwan should do the Cabbage Patch again.



June 26th, 2012 at 5:10 PM ^

I can't get enough of this video.  It makes me so happy to see their love and joy of each other, their rememberance of the roller coaster that we witnessed from the outside, and the real sense of this being a shared championship ring.

I would dig deep into my pockets to be at that reunion, should it happen.  Your suggestion of banners hanging in a display with photos and sense of history is great.  Fully support that idea.

Class of 1817

June 26th, 2012 at 11:44 AM ^

Will not turn this into a "Hate/Love" thread.

But I would not take them coming back with Webber and being honored.

Unless it happened...which I have no control over.

In which case, I would simply hate it.

I'm not sure if you can talk about them doing a reunion without bringing in the Hate/Love issue since the very existence of the reunion would do so.


June 26th, 2012 at 11:48 AM ^

like we've beat that topic to death, especially with the movie threads and everything else. It sounds like your perfect reunion is "none". Which would be a legit answer. But based on Bacari's tweet, it sounds like they're going to do something.



June 26th, 2012 at 11:53 AM ^

how about a reunion that starts with an apology by those who hurt the program?  i'd like to hear them recognize that they were young and selfish and perhaps now with age, perspective and wisdom have brought humility and a desire to undo the wrongs of the past.

too idealistic?


June 26th, 2012 at 11:59 AM ^

CWebb was convicted of a crime re: cash/taxes, so he definitely does have something to apologize for IMO, and while that might be idealistic, who knows? In my "display case" idea that verdict would have to be referenced.

I'd love if the Fab 5 praised last years' team, putting up a B1G banner is pretty sweet.


June 26th, 2012 at 12:06 PM ^

For C-Webb to simpy apologize for the crimes he was convicted of? Or would the haters still be pissed he didnt say anything about the NCAA violations that he felt weren't commited or shouldn't have been an issue since he was taking advantage of?

IME, i would take it.  Something is better than nothing and for me it would be at least a bit of a middle ground.  Maybe in that case the 5 get celebrated as a whole with him, but the promince of a #1 draft pick is understated as well

Bando Calrissian

June 26th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

The moment Chris Webber is allowed anywhere near this program, much less without having to unequivocally apologize and publicly recognize what his actions did to this University and a generation of Michigan basketball players and coaches who had to clean up for his mess (and sit out postseason play), will be the moment I begin permanently watching Michigan Basketball on television.  Not one more penny of ticket money.

Frankly, bringing back Chris Webber, in any capacity, is a zero-character move.  We're at the point now where the program has made it through the storm of Ed Martin, and emerged on the other side with a great coach, a great group of kids, and a bright future.  Trotting him out there is insulting to what these kids and Coach Beilein have done.  They do things the right way.  He didn't.  

Enough is enough, let the Fab Five have their "legacy" on their own time and on their own terms, and anywhere but center court at Crisler.  For them, it's not about Michigan.  It's about their unit within Michigan.  If they want to celebrate that with Chris Webber, let them do it elsewhere.  


June 26th, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

So sayeth someone who wasn't at Michigan during the Fab 5 era...

Look, whatever Chris may have done (and you'll still have to find a drop of evidence that he was taking big cash) was FAR less harmful to the program than the hiring of Brian Ellerbe.  We didn't need to hire a shitty coach and keep him around far too long.  The Ellerbe hiring allowed the growth of the MSU program and stunted our own program.  Look at USC football...they got hit with huge sanctions, but are still able to attract 5* talent.  That wouldn't be the case if they hired a nobody coach.

I was a freshman with the Fab 5.  It was a great era.  That team was (along with Tark's UNLV squad) among the best (or most exciting) ever.  They exploded the Michigan basketball brand.  In the interim, there has been a blank spot on the wall leading to the locker room (probably different since renovation though, haven't been down there) where Webber's picture was omitted.  What calls more attention to the "issue" than a purposeful blank?  Chris hasn't handled all of this perfectly and neither has Michigan, but it's time to move on past the piety.

The Fab 5 pretty much created the brand of basketball that kids now love.  You might not love it, but that doesn't matter.  He's "done his time" and the entire crew needs to be reunited.  The current players will love it, future recruits will love it and the Michigan basketball brand will become much stronger. 

Bando Calrissian

June 26th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

Wasn't there?  Maybe not as a student, but my family had season tickets, and we went to most of the games.  Yes, it was exciting.  No one ever said it wasn't.  But that's not an excuse to rehabilitate Webber because you want to build a "brand."  You build a brand on people and things that are above-board, that bring out the best in the University and represent the best it has to offer.  Webber isn't one of those people.  Thus, the spot on the wall is rightfully blank.

If Chris Webber wanted to have a legacy at Michigan, he would have played by the rules, and wouldn't have spent the last decade cowering away from taking ownership of his actions.  That's not what Michigan is about.  


June 26th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

Clearly, you don't know the folks that you're speaking so poorly about.  Chris is a solid guy who (despite your assumption of what he did or didn't do) is extremely well-spoken and intelligent.  He'd be great to associate with the school.  He doesn't need "rehabilitation".

The spot on the wall was an ongoing slap in the face.  Did the school need to do that?  Did it continue tensions?  Yup.  Did it make your demanded apology more likely?  Nope.

Neither side is an angel in this.  Good thing you can speak for Chris's actions and thought processes though.

And again, you miss a large point...You said that Webber did so much harm to a generation of Michigan bball.  You fail to understand that the harm was done by Ellerbe and the hiring of Ellerbe.  We didn't disappear into oblivion because of Webber.  

Bando Calrissian

June 26th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

Of course, but no one is talking about Brian Ellerbe Day at Crisler.  Hell, I went to Brian Ellerbe's Michigan Basketball Camp twice when I was a teenager.  Listened to him give bloated, self-important speeches about himself (one bum knee away from being Michael Jordan, who he beat playing one-on-one at a high school tournament!) and integrity and all that.  Well-spoken, and a nice guy when you talked to him, but it was all bunk.  He's been rightfully deep-sixed by Michigan.  Because he did things the wrong way.  And got caught.    

And I'm sure Chris Webber is a nice guy, and yes he's well spoken, all that.  But I'm also sure he was well-spoken when he was lying to a federal grand jury about Ed Martin.  

What makes the idea of a Chris Webber rehabilitation so much more attractive than, say, Lou Bullock, Maurice Taylor, or even Brian Ellerbe?  If anything, his case was more egregious, and his behavior toward Michigan in its wake more vitriolic (that morning he called up WDFN to chew out the university comes to mind).  Yet he's the one you all want to forgive and trot out there?  


June 26th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Let's go back to how you began your moment of piety:

...what his actions did to this University and a generation of Michigan basketball players and coaches who had to clean up for his mess...

Now, did Reggie Bush destroy a generation of USC football players and coaches?  Nope, because USC didn't hire Brian Ellerbe and let their facilities fall to shit.  My point is simple, you're dead wrong in blaming Michigan's shitty years on Webber.

No one is talking about Brian Ellerbe Day because Brian Ellerbe performed poorly at Michigan.  Webb made Michigan a beast, and blaming him for the demise after his departure is wrong.  Chris did his "time" for the grand jury matter and has served his NCAA banishment. There should be no, "and now you need to kiss my feet" additional requirement.

p.s.  Lou Bullock and Mo Taylor weren't the leader of an historic bball squad, nor were they #1 picks in the NBA draft.


June 26th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

And apologizing for your mistakes, rather than denying them "kissing someone's feet"?  How exactly was Webber paying any penalty for being "banished"? He's suffered nothing, and while hires like B.E. are far more detrimental to the program than Webber, to act like the threat of sanctions (which hung over the program much longer than the actual sanctions, and were much worse...because no one would talk till the Feds got involved) hurt the program more than the actual NCAA. It's not comparable to USC, because that came out pretty quickly...and really, who knows if they've STOPPED cheating.  Webber denied it, lied about it, and threw accusations deflecting blame that weren't true. He's intelligent, and well spoken, but he also comes off as a spoiled baby. Now saying things like "I'll give up my tickets if he ever steps in the arena again" are equally ridiculous, because there can be forgiveness. But for there to be, you actual have to ask for it.  And admitting you did something wrong for the first time, ever is not prostrating yourself to anyone.  It's called being a grown up and a man.


June 26th, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

If I were Chris, would I handle things differently?  Yeah, I would.  But I think that the treatment he got from the program (which differed from treatment given to others) probably turned him off a bit.  I think he did suffer because he was banished from his school and team, though an apology (even a general "for what happened") wouldn't kill him.

Anyway, I just get annoyed when folks blame the dark years on Webb.  Let's not forget that Ellerbe continued to welcome some big recruits, but he was a terrible coach and eventually (predictably) the program suffered.  Also, the lack of concern for the facilities can't be blamed on Chris either.  We let the program deteriorate and that's not the fault of a former player, no matter what he's alleged to have done.


June 26th, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

And then bad leadership in the University pushed it off the cliff. Ellerbe was cheap, not very good, and really not that nice a guy to root for even in his failure. But that was one of a list of things Goss was incompetent about. Webber didn't hire him. He didn't wait for Pitino to take another job to see if he was interested.  He didn't hire Amaker.  That's why Michigan basketball has sucked.

What Webber did wasn't program destroying; it was program embarrassing.  Which means a lot at Michigan. But it was probably a house of cards waiting to fall, because one of the reasons Bo didn't fight to keep Frieder around is the program felt a bit slimey then. And things were going on.  Then Fisher wins the title....

Webber has probably been treated a little differently. He's acted a bit differently. Guys like Jalen admit they probably took a little on the side. Juwan never called into a radio station lambasting everyone in sight for things he actually did.  Jimmy King wasn't on Nightline claiming he couldn't afford a pizza when he was taking thousands of dollars. Chris acted differently, so he was treated differently. 

I'm not sure how, and I don't think the banners should go back up, but there is probably a way to bring everyone back together. We're basically a nation of forgiveness....  There are plenty of mistakes to go around. There has to be a happy medium somewhere, somehow, of honoring the accomplishments without glorifying the cheating. But I'm pretty sure an apology is the only way we'll ever get close to a start.

Cake Or Death

June 27th, 2012 at 12:47 AM ^

Well I was there, and I agree it was an incredible time.  But you can't simply dismiss the idea that he was a big part of killing Michigan basketball for 20 years.

You're right... he didn't make poor coaching choices, and didn't recruit players that followed.  But he did make choices, and his choices set in motion a lot of things that helped take us over the cliff.

If the Fab 5 consisted of five Juwan Howards, the last two decades would have turned out a lot different.  (and they still could have had all the cultural and off-court impact that they did)


June 26th, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

One thing i never understood - why do we so frequently conflate honoring the Fab Five - whether it be the idea of them as a unit without names or the four minus Webber - with the Final Four banners that were taken down.  Isn't the legacy of the fab Five so much more than those two Final Four appearances?

If Webber was ineligible for those two Final Fours, I very much understand why we wouldn't re-hang the banners?  Why not hang a banner simply honoring the Fab Five? 


June 26th, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

Gives me goosebumps. I hope it works out and everybody can reunite. You guys demanding an apology from C-Webb are morons. So what he took money. So did every top 20 highschool player in the country before him regardless of the sport. Let it go, especially since 99% of us would have done the same thing. C-Webb please come back!!!!


June 26th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

You're right, I shouldnt have gone there. I throw myself at the mercy of the board and will delete the comment immediately. However, do we really want C-Webb to come completely clean or just apologize for getting caught? For those of us completely killing the dude's integrity, if he went in and really told the whole truth we all know we would be on probation until 2045 and the entire Fab 5 and next few classes would share full responsibility. C-Webb DID NOT sell the program out like so many other players at other programs when their backs were up against the wall and I feel people lose sight of that aspect. We all knew the Fab 5 were getting compensated the moment they hit the campus and we cheered our hearts out regardless. That was the way the game was played and still is. The one rule is if you get caught you dont snitch and take your punishment like a man. C-Webb DID NOT implicate other players and Im grateful because we all know the rabbit hole goes waaaay deeper than just him.


June 26th, 2012 at 12:46 PM ^

For your clarification...and I dont want to derail the discussion by taking this down the wrong path.

I don't (only my opinion) need a full account of his "mistakes", but an apology to the University beyond "I'm sorry for getting caught" needs to happen. My biggest problem with him is the lack of consideration for what his actions meant to anyone outside of himself....

Damnitall..I loved those times, and I want a reunion, with ALL of them. They weren't "The Fab Four." but it's tainted...and that is not my fault for caring, nor is it any of the other guy's fault. It's CWebb's fault.

. ((sorry))


June 26th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

i don't think you understand integrity.  integrity is something that can only be compromised by you - no one outside of you can "kill" it.

As long as guys like coach Beilein is running the program with integrity, Michigan doesn't need Chris Webber.  the program is on the upswing and it doesn't need the Fab Five memories to keep moving forward.  Don't fix what has been repaired.


June 26th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

If I call you a liar, I'm bashing your integrity right? Or at least questioning it. My whole point is that C-Webb had the university in mind when he only focused on himself during the investigation instead of completely spilling the beans. C-Webb seems to be getting all of the blame and it's unfair. What about the AD? How about Steve Fisher? Was it a coincidence that Perry Watson was hired after Jalen committed? How about everyone else implicated, like Traylor(RIP), Bullock, Mo Taylor etc,? Even now, all top recruits have a price and in most cases it is money while others involve some other tangible benefits. I remember when a National top 25 recruit lived down the street from my grandma, the whole hood knew and saw the money being thrown his way by these colleges. So much so that his deadbeat pops slid his way back into his life to hop on the gravy train. If any of you were offered 100-200K for your kids commitment and your kid is on board with it, what would you do?


June 26th, 2012 at 1:57 PM ^

I would not give my kid my blessing to take money if it were breaking the law, or rules...I don't believe in being unethical..I do believe in Karma and creating your own future by doing what is right.

I think the disconnect is that there is a subset of people who think "everyone is doing it" or "everyone WOULD do it, if given the opportunity." They think this because it is what THEY would do. I am fairly certain Bo wouldn't do it, or allow his kid to do it. I know I would not do it, and I know my 8 year olds understand their are rules...and they will continue to understand choices and accountability for choices.

What part of cheating, stealing and lying doesn't make sense?

As for the others involved...none of them are part of the Fab 5.


June 26th, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

I admire your morals, but your are definitely in the minority. Sorry, but if you think Big time College athletics are a game of morals then you have your head in the clouds. I'm glad you are certain Bo would never do anything immoral but I would say that Bo was just a man and was just as susceptible to the pressures of winning as any other coach. Ed Martin didn't just pop up around UM after Bo retired and I'm sure his generosity extended to the Football players as well. Hey, obviously stand on two separate sides of the fence, but I believe the only programs that are not cheating in some form or fashion are the ones that do not have the resources.


June 26th, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

If someone is caught, there are consequences. CWebb was caught (fact). His selfish choices caused consequences. Our University is not excused from the consequences.Forgiving him that, and embracing him without any remorse on his part, is not going to happen. If you believe it will, your head its in the clouds.
People cheat..but integrity does matter...and this should apply to people that are hugely gifted too.


June 26th, 2012 at 3:33 PM ^

Means you think everyone else would do it. Don't paint your lack of morals on everyone else. 

It probably happens to some extent everywhere. The difference is, at Michigan, it's the minority, not the majority, and we actually look down on it. We strive to be better. Just because you don't doesn't mean you have to try and drag us down to your level because you like your uniforms or whatever made you a fan of a program that you don't relate to at all.


June 26th, 2012 at 4:06 PM ^

To those who have morals beyond what we can get "caught" doing, not so much.  It's lying. Lying to cover your ass from the law, or lying to cover up the fact you're breaking the contract you agree to when you agree to play college basketball for a University. It's doing wrong, knowingly, denying it, and then not being sorry about it afterwards.   One can send you to real prison, so yes, it's more serious (though really, he got a slap on a wrist from a sympathetic judge), but he's basically in college basketball prison, exiled, so there's not a lot of difference.   You serve the sentence in both cases...but you're also expected to admit guilt. Which he has never done basketball-wise.


June 26th, 2012 at 7:23 PM ^

with my stance, just acknowledge you guys are the minority on this one, and my distinction between the Law and the NCAA was simply to say the NCAA has plenty rules that a typical "Moral" person would disagree with and therefore would not put a whole lot of stock into following them. Maybe Mayce  Webber felt like his son deserved more than what UM was offering and thats why he took the money on top of the scholly for his son. Regardless, I'm sure none of you guys have ever been in trouble and never told a lie in your lives so good on you. The world needs more like you...


June 26th, 2012 at 8:35 PM ^

And don't say you aren't being that, because you are.

It's not the mistake, it's the lack of accountability. when spoiled children are not herald to a high standard, they become spoiled adults, so if Mayce, and others around CWebb let him think he was above the rules, he continued to act that way...shit, he didn't even have to tell the Grand Jury the truth when he was under oath.

I will agree that there are a lot of people who don't think the rules apply to them. And there are clearly alot of people who excuse people because they are gifted. I don't know, or care if I am in the minority. That is unimportant.

At one time the majority of people also thought women shouldn't vote and black people should be slaves.