Mary Sue Coleman against Fab Five banners going up in 2013

Submitted by CaptainBlue on April 11th, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Daily reporting that UM president Mary Sue Coleman is against putting the FF banners back up in Crisler. Take it for what it's worth, but I don't see how the Athletic Dept. would be able to get them up without her agreeing, right?


For the past decade, four banners have lain dormant, wrapped in plastic and placed among the columns of cardboard boxes in the archives of the Bentley Historical Library.

The banners represent one of the pinnacles of the Michigan men's basketball team’s success. Their resting place represents the program’s darkest hours.

And if the decision is left up to University President Mary Sue Coleman, that’s where the banners will remain.

“What happened was not good, and I don't think they'll ever go back up. I don't,” Coleman said in her fireside chat with students on Tuesday.

“Some day, I won't be president anymore, and maybe someone else will have a different view. But I think you have to reflect on the larger meaning and that we want to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”


Mr. Rager

April 12th, 2012 at 10:23 AM ^

I don't get it.  Why?  We had one player on those teams that took money from Martin after his playing days are over?  Or am I naive and you have proof that Webber took money to come to Michigan, then was on the payroll the entire time he was in Ann Arbor?

[I am very serious about this - please enlighten me]

Mr. Rager

April 12th, 2012 at 11:28 AM ^

If you read in the article, you will find that Duderstadt (the dude) abides:

"Coleman’s contrast those made by former University president James Duderstadt, who held that position during the Fab Five’s Final Four runs in 1992 and 1993.

In anticipation of an ESPN documentary featuring the Fab Five released last March, Duderstadt told Yahoo that if he were still the University's president, he would “certainly try to find a way” to put the banners back up.

“The players themselves, I don’t think (they) caused us any harm at all,” Duderstadt said of the Fab Five. “I don’t think it was a good idea to pull down the NCAA banners or try to hide the seasons. I view them as a positive part of the University’s history.”"


April 11th, 2012 at 11:27 PM ^

The pinnacle was winning in 1989, not losing in the finals twice a couple years later.

My suggestion, hang them in the practice facility, it's the best of both worlds.

Section 1

April 11th, 2012 at 11:46 PM ^

I expect that practically everyone who reads it will be wondering what that "pinnacle" was.

But I'll happily credit the team on two consecutive trips to the Final Fours; that is, as long as the same credit goes to Cazzie Russell, Bill Buntin, Oliver Darden and George Pomey who did the same with Coach Dave Strack in 1964 and 1965.  Losing only to John Wooden's then-developing (and possibly tainted) dynasty at UCLA.


April 12th, 2012 at 9:36 AM ^

'89 was the pinnacle

I generally don't like "cute" or "triangulation" or "half-measures", but maybe it's appropriate here.  Hang the banners in the practice facility - they were great ball players. 

I'm still embarrassed by the whole unfortunate episode.  I crave the same type of shame from Ohio, but I'll never get it.

Bando Calrissian

April 11th, 2012 at 11:54 PM ^

You do realize that Chris Webber's eligibility was compromised by his parents receiving a room in the team hotel from Ed Martin, who was given said room by Steve Fisher?  This is not just about Chris Webber.  It's about something far bigger than him, though it has been exacerbated by his total lack of remorse for what his actions did to the University, his teammates, and the Michigan student-athletes who played by the rules, yet had to overcome the sanctions his actions partially created.  

This entire thing, banners and all, has to do with the fact that the University allowed the largest financial scandal in NCAA history (until the last several years) to occur on its watch.  It won games with ineligible players.  There is no way the University can maintain any shred of credibility by putting the fruits of those victories back in the Crisler rafters.  That's the position Mary Sue has taken, which has been echoed by Dave Brandon.  

But, I think we do have to realize  that the two polarities in this debate aren't likely to change their minds.  People (like me) who think the banners should stay where they are probably won't be swayed by anything, nor will the folks who think they should go back up.  That's just the way it is.  These threads keep happening, we keep rehashing the same debates, and it never goes anywhere.  At the end of the day, the University appears to be taking the position that hey will stay where they are.  I think it begins and ends with that.


April 12th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^

to a point...where I really struggle with the issue is, the perception that Martin somehow lured kids to Michigan is half the story...keep in mind Martin worked ALL high profile hoops prospects in the Detroit area...many of which went to places like DUKE, AND IOWA...ET AL. He wasn't a diehard Michigan booster, he was  a guy who provided 'gifts' to these kids with the expecation that he could be their 'friend' and when they made it big to ANY college program and particularly the NBA...he'd get his payback in seats to games and whatever...sadly due to proximity to Ann Arbor, the biggest impact was felt on our campus when it all got rolled up...I also blame Fisher as much as I'd blame Tressel for lack of control and failure to monitor the actions of his players.

It's crap that the other guys will forever pay the price for it all. I'm also not completely sure Mary Sue Coleman cares for the athletics program either.

Bando Calrissian

April 12th, 2012 at 12:46 PM ^

While your point about Martin is true, did any other university give him the level of access Michigan did?  Free tickets.  Hotel rooms.  Access to players and coaches.  And don't forget the privileged position (and vacant spot on the bench held open) for his best friend Perry Watson.

Yes, Ed Martin may have had connections with a lot of guys, but nobody else put out the red carpet for him quite like Michigan did.  And that's why we got slammed for it.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:30 PM ^

I agree with her.  If you want to put your nose in the air about being a Michigan Man and doing things the right way you should feel the same way.  


But some day, you know Dave Brandon is going to run those things to the rafters with giant Pepsi logos on them...


April 11th, 2012 at 11:32 PM ^

Mary Sue adheres to the straight and narrow, no question of that. I tend to agree with her. We took the banners down for a reason. The passing of a couple years doesn't change anything.

Jon Benke

April 11th, 2012 at 11:34 PM ^

Was never really the problem!!!

Yea, we all know about Chris Webber, but the facts show how that went, and the real problem was with the so called FAB FIVE 2, full of busts and well paid college kids .................... lol.

Ugh, well paid and with nice vehicles.


We should all remember the Fab Five, never forget!!


April 11th, 2012 at 11:34 PM ^

You might as well hang Super Bowl championship banners up if you're going to hang those up.  Those games were vacated and for a good reason.    We cheated and we got caught.  It's no different than OSU football hanging up banners/giving out rings from 2010.

Jon Benke

April 11th, 2012 at 11:38 PM ^

...was paid to pick Michigan ?

I know what Chris Webber did was wrong, but that was 20% of the greatness, and to blame Jalen, Juwan, Jimmy, and Ray for what happened before the draft ... lets be serious here, the players that came after the Fab Five were the guys who were paid for their committment.  Remember that.


April 12th, 2012 at 2:19 AM ^

Don't know why you're being downvoted. I personally do not want my alma matter to associate with one of the biggest monetary scandals in college sports in any way whatsoever. I'll personally appreciate the Fab 5, but publically I'm afraid those banners should not even be in the practice facility.

Those who are for those banners going up, do you not see the nationwide positive attention Arkansas is getting by firing Petrino?


April 11th, 2012 at 11:36 PM ^

Jalen also accepted cash, pocket money as he called it, but he still admitted to taking some.  Chris was the offender here, and if chris came clean and admitted everything, when it began and made things right, I could see it.......


They shouldn't go up unless chris took the big money after declaring for the nba....outside of's hard to put it in any light that isn't negative....

Jon Benke

April 11th, 2012 at 11:46 PM ^

That goes on everywhere, always has .. if you don't think that there are people who give a little to these kids, you're crazy.  Now, giving a duffle-bag full of 100,000 dollars like you hear some kids get, back then and now, that's different ..... and Jalen didn't receive that.  He was given money so he could eat, go to a movie, etc ... not so he could buy a car, or anything like that.  I am and will always be a defender of The Fab Five, they were so much of the kind of basketball player I ended up being...  I am righty, but out of desire of wanting to be exactly like Jalen Rose, I shaved my head, I wore black shoes and black socks......and shot and played basketball with my left hand.  This was far from what went on at UNLV, for example, and they weren't paid like the Fab Five 2 was - not even close.  I won't ever forget those guys.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:51 PM ^

We don't know who got what, which is part of the problem. And I highly doubt Jalen just got "pocket money." Michigan generally doesn't let their athletes starve. And if you want pocket money, you can do what Mike Martin did and work for a living. I've never accepted the "poor exploited athlete" defense. And saying everyone everywhere does it is the kind of argument we mock when OSU trots it out. We hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Would I like to see the banners and be reminded of the victories? Yes. But when I think of the Fab Five, the wins aren't what comes to mind. The first thing I think of is the long twilight following their fall. Nothing, no manner of success in a season, is worth what happened to our basketball program. "Never Forget" really must be our mantra, because I never want to see a second decade of darkness.

Jon Benke

April 12th, 2012 at 12:03 AM ^

All we can do is assume, but I didn't see well paid kids when I saw footage on the documentary, and I saw the cars .. didn't see one NEW car or anything, and I don't know how you get - NEVER FORGET - and, because I never want to see a second decade of darkeness.  This implies that I am looking forward to this, which is a stupid assumption.  You can remember the players, and what they did for the game ... and not go through it all again, thank you very much.  Who wants that, huh?



April 12th, 2012 at 11:54 AM ^

Did you realistically think that a documentary produced by Jalen Rose was going to portray him and his classmates as a bunch of cheaters?  If they had nice rides, he wasn't going to put that in.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:49 PM ^

What the hell is wrong with you people?! Mary Sue Coleman did what she had to do at the time and is sticking to her guns because she's offended that Chris Webber won't apologize. Well, good for him. He gets nothing but venom from crazy Michigan alums who I guarantee never had it half as bad financially as the kid did in college before he declared. Y'all can believe what you want, but I think most of the information available points to Chris never getting his "big payout" until he'd already declared for the draft. Once you do that, aren't you already ineligible? If so, cut him some slack! I don't care about $20 here or there to get a pizza or go to a movie. You can say that "all monetary gifts are equally wrong" to the NCAA, but I don't care. This kids did something that a Michigan team has yet to repeat. Hell, has there even been a team that went to the championship two times in a row since then? Florida, maybe? The Fab Five should be remembered with happiness, not bitterness. Blame Fisher all you want for allowing the BIG money to start flowing after the FF left. Oh, that's right, we root for Fisher at SDSU like he had nothing to do with Michigan's dark period. Good Lord. I loved the Fab Five then and I love them now as a memory.

Michigan J. Frog

April 11th, 2012 at 11:53 PM ^

Your personal feelings for the Fab Five are irrelevant. You have to pick your battles. What is gained from putting the banners back up? In my view, nothing. What are the negatives associated with putting them back up as they pertain to the credibility and perceived integrity of the school and athletic department? Well, if you need someone to answer that for you, I’m afraid we will never be in agreement.  


April 11th, 2012 at 11:59 PM ^

Are you suggesting that the Fab Five, not the players/scumbags who came after them, were the ones who forced the banners down? The egregious sins came from those who rode the coattails of the Fab Five. Those banners were earned legitimately. You want to remove what the teams after them did? Fine. I am still of the opinion based on the information available, that the Fab Five were all eligible and rightfully so when they fought their way to the Finals two years in a row.

Bando Calrissian

April 12th, 2012 at 12:03 AM ^

If you absolutely believe Chris Webber was an eligible student-athlete for both of Michigan's Final Four appearances during his time at Michigan, it's clear to me you have no grip of reality, and I would hope you would refrain from acting like you hold any form of valid opinion on this issue.

It's one thing to think the banners should go back up.  It's quite another to completely discredit the central (and universally accepted) facet of this scandal.  Chris Webber ceased being an eligible student-athlete the second his parents accepted a hotel room from Ed Martin.  Period, end of story.


April 12th, 2012 at 12:17 AM ^

I'd love for you to find the section in the NCAA handbook that mentions a booster paying for a parent's hotel room. I just read through the eligibility section and there is nowhere in there that would support your argument for Webber being ineligible. If you find it, point it out to me so that I may become also enlightened.

Bando Calrissian

April 12th, 2012 at 12:25 AM ^

The part where a booster cannot give improper benefits to a player or his family?

That's NCAA 101 right there.  If you don't believe it exists, and if you are under the impression Ed Martin's relationship with Chris Webber magically started after the 2nd Final Four, then it's obvious you're completely out of touch with reality, have never read any of the official reports produced by the NCAA investigation, and did not follow the years of press this story received. 

I'm done arguing with you, because it's fundamentally clear you are not just someone who wants the banners back up, but additionally someone who is incredibly poorly informed and/or living in a fantasy world.


April 12th, 2012 at 12:37 AM ^

Ok, someone's a little grumpy over the whole thing. First off, I did follow what was going on, I've read the book on the Fab Five by Albom, etc. I still was under the impression that the money that ultimately got him hammered most likely happened AFTER the 2nd Final Four appearance. I know that Martin was there since high school, so I'm not saying he never got anything at all. Anyway, it seems I've upset you, so I'll stop. I know it was the start of a dark time, and many people are very strongly opinionated on this issue, so I'll just leave it at that. I think the banners were earned without competitive advantage and, maybe you're right, maybe that's delusional.


April 12th, 2012 at 11:58 AM ^

Out of curiosity, are you willing to give guys like Reggie Bush and the OSU players the same kind of benefit of the doubt you're giving Webber here? 

Anyway, it doesn't really make sense.  Once Webber declared for the NBA draft, he didn't need to take money from a sleazebag like Martin.  He could sign all the endorsement contracts he wanted.  Why would he forego Martin's money for two years and then suddenly take it when he had no need?


April 12th, 2012 at 12:05 AM ^

Chris Webber went to a private high school. He had his tuition, housing, and dining hall food completely paid for. He knew he was going to be making millions of dollars in just a few years. Oh man, how much it would suck to be in that financial situation...


Being a college student paying his own way through every part of college I have absolutely no sympathy for these "broke athletes." Its not like they couldn't afford to take loans like the rest of us when they knew they were going to be able to pay them back no problem when that million dollar NBA contract rolled in.