Question about Chris Webber

Submitted by RollDamnTide on February 22nd, 2012 at 9:13 PM

From an outsider, I was curious what the general feeling about Chris Webber was. After the ban imposed by the NCAA, will you as the Michigan fans welcome him back with open arms? Or will you require an explanation and an apology from him before you are ready to make nice? I ask solely about Webber, because it seems the rest of the group have embraced being accepted back by the Michigan family a great deal more than Webber. 

As a basketball fan, I loved the Fab 5, regardless of what happened afterwards, they changed the game. Sorry if this has been talked about ad nauseum, but being an outsider, I was very curious. 



February 22nd, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

Chocolate, Vanilla or Stawberry?  Which ice cream flavor is best?  All a matter of opinion but ALL of them are fantastic.  I happen to favor C-Webb but take NOTHING away from Cazzie, Glen.  Heck one could make a pretty compelling arguement in favor of Phil, Gary or even Jalen and I wouldn't object.  I just happen to like Chris.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

I don't know how you can forgive him unless or until he apologizes. The guy took a huge amount of dirty money. He knew he was breaking the rules (and therefore knew he was jeopardizing the program and his teammates). He didn't come from poverty. Gimme a break, Homer.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:34 PM ^

If this has been said before, my apologies, but does anyone know if the U plays on putting the banners back up after the 20 year ban is over?


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:46 PM ^

they could?  Wasn't part of the ESPN documentary about how the banners were in storage until they could be displayed again, at the end of the dissociation period?  And didn't they talk to Dave Brandon about how he would love to put them back up and couldn't wait to do it?  I could easily be completely wrong, I'm certainly no NCAA rules expert, but I got the impression that next year everything is back in play.

Picktown GoBlue

February 23rd, 2012 at 1:02 AM ^

I don't know - in the recent osu football findings, the punishment included specification of how osu had to demonstrate to the NCAA that they had properly updated all their statistics to account for the vacated wins.  There was no mention about a time limit on the vacation.  I don't see how the banners ever go back up.

Not sure if others receive the various trivia questions from U of M (from 51234), but at least 4 of the most recent trivia questions could only be answered correctly by ignoring all the vacated wins, tourney appearances, B1G tourney wins, etc.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:37 PM ^

Cheater, who ruined the basketball program for over a decade.  The fraud 5 never won a single championship, not even a Big Ten title.  What more do ya need to know?


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:37 PM ^

1.  Officially, the program probably wants an apology/admission before he's welcomed back

2.   For the UM fans/alumni, the people who loved him, will still Love him (the majority of Fans IMHO) and the people who hated him will still hate (The Fab Five documentary illustrates that there was a small number of fans/alumni didn't like the Fab Five because of their image, histrionics and/or race)

As someone born in Detroit and an UM alumni, I love him, though I wish he had just said whatever did happen and be done with it


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:38 PM ^

chris webber will always be my favorite michigan basketball player and i as a michigan fan will welcome him back with open arms.

people have to understand that this is NOT all webbers fault and he was NOT the only player that took money there are 3 others that we know of. but chris gets all of the blame because he was the best out of all of them. steve fisher and his coaching staff get a pass from a lot of fans for whatever reasons, someone had to know what was going on. if chris doesn't want to talk and doesn't want to apologize that is his choice... i think that no matter what michigan should reach out to him next year.

also people need to move on it happened 20 years ago... lets just be glad that there were only 4 players named in the whole thing and not more...


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:41 PM ^

LOVE LOVE LOVE him as a all player. He was phenomenal. Rare talent. But he didn't handle the scandal very well. And I'm not talking about the actual violation. But perjury is a big deal. And he has never seemed to feel sorry for what he did. But I'd welcome him back if he reached out to reconcile.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:48 PM ^

I heard a rumor that he can't apologize because he's not allowed any mention of Michigan at all and doesn't want to cause more trouble for anyone.  Anyone know anything about it or just some BS people claim to feel better about the situation?

Section 1

February 22nd, 2012 at 10:05 PM ^

Who told you that?

With no active criminal investigation pending, with every federal statute of limitations havein long since passed, with Webber not having supplied grand jury testimony (or any other testimony under oath) for more than three years, and with the general 3-year federal statute of limitations having gone about 1.5 lifetimes ago... NO.  Chris Webber faces no possible perjury jeopardy.  And no, falsely proclaiming your innocence does not warrant further federal punishment unless as a sentence enhancement under the sentencing guidelines or other really special circumstances.  (Maybe Scooter Libby.) 

Even when Webber got caught lying before, he pled guilty to criminal contempt (a lesser charge) not perjury.  So there's that little double jeopardy thing too.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:48 PM ^

David Brandon loves marketing..... let's remember that.  I think he understands how valuable a Fab 5 reunion can be to the popularity of UM Basketball and I think he'll do everything he can to bring Chris back in somehow.  

Also, I know that the banners can't be hung up in the arena, but what if they were hung up in the practice arena or player lounge.  I think that would be a great unofficial gesture to recognize that UM actually did play in those 2 national finals without actually hanging them in the arena.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:48 PM ^

The Fab 5, and especially Webber, were incredible. We will (probably) never experience something like them again. I love the current team, and I love John Beilein, and I think the level of coaching is better than with the Fab Five. Having said that, watching Webber, and Jalen, and Howard (even Jackson and King) was just jaw dropping, exciting, FUN! There is something lost in the current style of play. The Fab Five, really, in some ways, were the last group like that, because they came right at the time when 4 years at a school ended, and 1 and done began.

When I think of Michigan's relationship with Webber, all I can say is, it's complicated. I think that race and class and judgementalism are tied up in this, in a way that isn't real easy to sort out.

Along with some of the other posters, I also regret that Webber never won a championship, not with Michigan, nor in the NBA.

In a less popular view, I also don't hate Steve Fisher. In my mind, he has been partially vindicated by the performance of the Aztecs out in San Diego.

Final piece of trivia:  Juwan Howard, in 2012, is STILL in the NBA, playing (rather, sitting on the bench largely) for the Miami Heat. If he lasts the season, and the Heat should win the NBA championship, Howard would be the only member of the Fab Five to win such an honor. It is incredible that he is still playing, more than 20 years after the Fab Five era.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

The timing for the opening of the new Crisler Center (next year) and the end of the Fab Five ban is fascinating. What a coincidence (or was it planned that way?  Hmmm.)  It would be such an over the top cool marketing thing to have the Fab Five back at Crisler for the grand opening next year. I would absolutely LOVE to see that happen.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:50 PM ^

to Michigan.

The record of those teams does not outweigh the damage they caused  the basketball program. We wondered about the "attidude" that he exhibited which was sort of  under the surface and became evidenced in what later came to light. Had Webber handled it differently in the aftermath, then maybe, OK. But the arrogance and lying, the federal suit, the is not something any amount of wins or Final Fours can erase.

Webber was all about Webber from start to finish, otherwise he would have handled it differently. Michigan is about Michigan and the team; not the individual. Fisher forgot that. Webber never learned.

I would be very surprised and extremely disappointed if he was welcomed back. I just cannot see how what Michigan has had to deal with even to this day, can be offset by a couple Final Fours and an unprecedented arrogance. How was that guy at all like a guy like Denard? Not even close.

When I came to Michigan, Cazzie was practicing in the IM Building. After every practice he would shoot foul shots until he made 100 in a row. If he missed, he started over. Webber complained about not having money for a pizza when he was being paid thousands. Sorry, when he was being "loaned" thousands. He never paid back the "loans." He never paid back his scholarship or otherwise contributed to the University that made him famous.

Talented, yes. Selfish; beyond question, and in every way. Not made of the stuff of Michigan, without question. I'm glad the banners were taken down as painful as that was. They were tainted. Michigan is not and should never be "tainted."




February 22nd, 2012 at 9:51 PM ^

so am I.  There are things that a person has to just man up to.  Personally, I don't need any detail, just regret for what he did and the effect it had on the University.  I think that will come out after he is allowed to associate with M again.  Until then, it's really not necessary.  Waiting till then will add to the drama and strengthen the story of the Fab Five.  I do think that he has to man up.  If he can't tell me that he loves the University of Michigan so much that regrets what he did, then I think the part I couldn't forgive would be not being a true Michigan Man. 


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:52 PM ^

And just because there is no better plasce to put this....

I subscribe tot he Jalen Rose theory of what happened, iin that Webber was not really getting anything pizza money while at UM, and at some point after he finished playing, but before he actually got drafted, Ed Martin gave him some big sum of money expecting to be taken care of later on...and that's when Ed Martin decided he could do this with more players and got his hooks in to Bullock, Taylor and Maurice Taylor and WAS giving them something more than pizza money while they were inside information, but putting together the interviews/articles, etc I've seen and read, and it makes the most sense to me 

btw, what ever happened to Bullock?


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:58 PM ^

Seeing as though I was born after his reign of A2...I love Chris Webber, but to be honest I could not even tell you the specifics of the scandal..I'm interested though.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:04 PM ^

I never got the priveledge of seeing him live. I didn't even know about the entire scandal until the documentary came out just because I've never been big into basketball in general. Interesting fact, I was born the day of the Carolina loss and my parents watched that game while we were at the hospital (cool starry bra).

I know for a fact that he played his ass off for the university and loved Michigan until he felt like he got thrown under the bus. He was the face of a revolution in college basketball, and I don't blame him for taking money based on the limited information I know about the situation. So no, I don't hate him.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

Webber always struck me as a bit of a confused kid - he acted "street" but he came from a relatively stable family, played HS ball at an elite prep school, and despite having some well-publicized issues with end-of-game situations (the timeout, his play against the Lakers with the Kings), he made millions of dollars and lives a good life.  His animosity toward the university seems to be based on a perception that the school did not defend him more during the investigation and has made tacit statements implicating Chris as the main culprit in the Ed Martin scandal.

Personally, I'm happy he played at UM and think he helped legitimize UM basketball in a sense, but he isn't my favorite Wolverine by any stretch.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:24 PM ^

that guy but if you call yourself a U of M fan and one of the sports you follow is basketball I cant fathom the fact you dont know the whole story of the scandal. I dont care if your 15 years old or 55 years old you should do some research and at least watch the 30 for 30 that came out last season on ESPN. I mean it is part of our history even though it is bad and was a black mark. So do yourselves a favor and watch the 30 for 30 documentary and learn about what set our program back at least 10 years.


February 23rd, 2012 at 7:55 AM ^

To be fair the 30 for 30 while being great and I love it is fairly one sided. Wich is to be expected it was produced by 4 members of the fab 5 they are not going to show themselves in a bad light. If someone needs to find out the whole story that is a place to start but they would need to do some other research to get the whole story.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:26 PM ^

... would you forgive him if he was involved in the scandal, never repented, and... was a benchwarmer who never had a decent game?  My guess is no.  Separating his performance from his sins, I don't forvige him.  

Side note: I new him as an aquantance in high school and college... funny guy, but let's just say that his behavior at school and since then don't surprise me.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:29 PM ^

Think about how ridiculous it is for others to want him to apologize. What are you 6? So, he just needs to apologize, regardless if he actually means it, just say it to appease other people? If that makes you feel better you should probably move to a place where you're not around people, affecting them with your child-like rationale. 

"Okay, he said he was sorry, guys. Now, let's actually acknowledge his contributions to the University. Now I can sleep at night. I don't know about you." 

Let's grow up. He paid the price. The University paid the price, but also gained a ton of money and recognition. It's over. Get over it. 

"Not everybody's the perfect person in the world. I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance, and I've always looked up to Chris Webber, and I always will."

Hardware Sushi

February 22nd, 2012 at 10:40 PM ^

I'm OK with him. I was 7 when he was a freshman, so I just thought the Fab 5 were awesome.

It sucks that he was part of what made this program suck for 10-15ish years but he was also a main component of one of the biggest college basketball stories ever and was just so siiiiiiiiick.

Plus, it isn't like all the blame lay with him - Martin was paying a lot of Detroit basketball players at that time.

I'm over it (I don't know if I really had anything to get over). Winning lately makes it easier regardless.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:49 PM ^

Since I became a Michigan fan during the national championship game against North Carolina, probably after Webber's failed timeout, I could never hate the guy.  That was literally my first memory of watching anything Michigan.  My mom even bought me a little Michigan hoodie prior to me becoming a fan, and I didn't even realize what the heck "Michigan Wolverines" meant. I probably just loved the little bear looking thing on the hoodie, and that's probably the only reason I wore it prior to that day (I was about 8 at the time.. give a guy a break).

Anyway.. Chris Webber's jersey was the first Michigan jersey I ever wore.  I love the guy.  And I will be forever grateful for him being a part of the reason why I am now literally obsessed with Michigan (and mgoblog). So yeah... I'd give the guy a hug given the opportunity and let him know he's still loved.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:46 PM ^

Sorry, but if Webber never sets foot in Ann Arbor again, I'd be be fine with that.

If you disgrace the university as severely as he did and set the program back 20 years, and never so much as acknowledge it...... Sorry. To hell with him.


February 22nd, 2012 at 11:28 PM ^

Yeah, there's a bit of a misunderstanding among a lot of fans where they seem to think that the Ed Martin scandal was what caused the program to stink for a decade.  The sanctions were not all that bad.  We just plain mismanaged the program for a long time, making two bad hires and skimping on facilities.  Those things were not Webber's fault.




Mr. Robot

February 22nd, 2012 at 11:32 PM ^

I honestly don't think he took anything significant until after his sophomore season when he knew he was going to the NBA.

Regardless though, you can draw a very straight line between his actions and the complete destruction of the basketball program that it is only now finally recovering from. For that reason, I believe he definitely needs to apologize in some way. Beyond that though, that's all I want. Like I said, I don't think he was taking large sums, if anything at all, before he knew he was going pro. There have been too many people who knew him who all say he didn't live anything like a guy sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Naked Bootlegger

February 22nd, 2012 at 11:39 PM ^

I arrived at UM the year after the '89 championship.   I endured heartbreak in '90 with a still-loaded UM squad that lost to a Loyola Marymount squad rolling on their amazing Hank Gathers-inspired run.  I soldiered on as a loyal supporter in the seats of Crisler during the mediocre year before the Fab 5, cheering on the likes of McIver, Mitchell, Tolbert, Calip, Riley, Talley, etc.   I admittedly hated that my junior status did me nothing when the student ticket demand skyrocketed after the Fab 5's arrival and I was forced to camp out for hours before the Duke game, only to get trampled by a mad rush through the doors.  I did not have a good seat for that game...did I mention that I cheered on McIver and Mitchell every game the previous year?!   Nonetheless, I swallowed the bitter pill and cheered my guts out.  The crowd and atmosphere was so electric for that game.   A truly amazing fan experience.  The tourney runs in '92 and '93 were surreal as a UM student fan.   The cult status of the Fab 5 was unlike anything modern college basketball had witnessed. 

In the aftermath of the Ed Martin scandal, I felt like my heart was torn out.   We cheated.   We got caught.   I felt filthy as a fan and UM alum.   All of our players agreed to play by the rules when they signed the dotted line on the scholarship papers, and I still feel a twinge of shame when Webber's name (or Mo Taylor or Louis Bullock) is brought up.   I may be able to forgive in time, but I will never forget the institutional suffering and basketball malaise brought on by their actions.    This is Michigan, fergodsakes.   We don't cheat (or maybe my view of major college athletics at our institution was and still is shrouded in naivete).   All of our recent OSU-bashing for Tressel, Pryor, et al.'s misdeeds rings slightly hollow if we so flippantly say "welcome back" to those who tarnished our university.  

I ultimately hope these wounds are healed.   But I honestly don't know what Webber, Taylor, and Bullock can do or say to completely erase the scars. "I'm sorry" would be a first good step.


February 22nd, 2012 at 11:52 PM ^

I am a little too young to have followed those Michigan teams so I have no strong feelings of connection to them but I obviously love our teams now. Michigan basketball was nothing for two decades because of Weber and everyone else in the scandal. We were the Mecca of colege ball with the fab-five, which was really the first modern team and then we were nothing. Yeah a great run but winning that way is not the same as winning like we are now.
I cannot forgive those who ruined two decades of Michigan basketball no matter how high they took the program.
With all the talk on this blog about being a Michigan Man and the character of the seniors for both football and basketball I honestly don't understand how anyone can support those that hurt our school like Webber did.


February 23rd, 2012 at 12:04 AM ^

Makes me feel old to say that was during my time in HS....there were a few unbelievable athletes that came out of Michigan during that same time, Webber in basketball, Tyrone Wheatley in football and Derrick Jeter in baseball were the big names at the time I graduated.  

Which now makes me realize it has been 20yrs....damn.



February 23rd, 2012 at 12:10 AM ^

Most Michigan fans are pretty forgiving, especially after almost 20 years. I think our Athletic Department will recognize it will be good to have someone like him who is heavily involved with NBATV and NBAonTNT involved with the program once again. He made mistakes, and the program paid the penalty. We are finally at the point now where that whole situation is in the rear view, I say bring them all back for some kind of Fab Five reunion game. Unlike so many other schools, we really did pay the ultimate price short of the death penalty for our mistakes - so I think we deserve the opportunity to celebrate what was accomplished on the court.