Up for Debate: Banners

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan will raise a Big Ten Championship banner this fall but the Fab Five’s four banners remain stuffed away in the Bentley Historical Library and are today’s hot topic. Mary Sue Coleman reiterated that she has no plans to bring the banners out of storage and Jalen Rose took to Twitter with his retaliation.

Mary Sue Coleman:

“What happened was not good, and I don’t think they’ll ever go back up. I don’t. 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.”

Jalen Rose:

I saw that U of Michigan has no plans to put back up our hoops banners. Should I do like most of its former BBallers & never return? or should I ask for the $250k I donated for my Endowed Scholarship back & move it to another school? Stay Tuned.

Let’s hear what you think. Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

View Results

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  • the truth

    At the end of the day, Mary Sue refuses to practice what she’s preaching. If she’s adamant that this was wrong (which obviously, it was) and the team doesn’t deserve a banner, then she needs to have the university give back the profits from the bball tickets, TV deals, apparel, etc. during that era. until then, her words are completely hypocritical. 

    • sane1

      Give it back to Nike or the people who bought the merchandise? You can’t give it back. Michigan did have to give back what it received for its NCAA appearances. What’s the university’s reputation worth? What is putting the basketball program on probation for the first time in school history and setting it back to mediocrity for 10 years worth? In the end the cost was much greater than the few million the university received from jerseys and t-shirts.

      • longhorn_wolverine

        The school set itself back to mediocrity by choice.  It wasn’t the scandal that caused them to hire Ellerbe.  It was a misguided AD who had the program in the red.  Had they hired a decent coach at that time, and had the university not moved to neglect the program, we wouldn’t have gone into the dark ages.

        For a counter-example look at Kentucky basketball which had a significantly worst scandal with enormous penalties, yet they went out of their way to hire Rick Pitino and they were in the Final Four soon thereafter.  I guarantee you that had the scandal taken place in the Football program, we would’ve gone out and hired a top-end coach and would’ve never let the program deteriorate for a decade.

      • the truth

        at least donate some of it to a scholarship fund or make some sort of jesture that acknowledges the University’s undeserved benefits from the situation that Mary Sue feels so strongly about (banner doesn’t count in this regard). personally i don’t care that much either way although i do feel bad for players who weren’t involved. I don’t necessarily believe banners should go up, but Mary Sue is in over her head and her strong stance on the matter is a facade, she had no problem taking the money. the whole situation is pathetic

  • Bbuck5

    i watched them boys get them banners and how hard they worked to get them.whats done is done,give them there pride back.maybe webber needs to step up and show he is a michigan man.GO BLUE!!!!!!!!

  • The championships don’t exist because they were achieved with ineligible players. This is the same situation as Ohio State faces with their forfeited wins, Reggie Bush’s ex-Heisman, etc. Don’t hang the banners. Win some new ones.

  • Jake

    I wonder if the school is aware that the scholarship Jalen funds has conditions? Either give the scholarship out of the kindness of your heart or don’t, but don’t have expectations that your money erases what was done. Typical that people with money think they can buy away mistakes.

  • Craig Barker

    I’m all for a compromise, essentially a section in the Crisler Center’s new atriums and lobby areas that have the banners in a display case along with a history of the Fab Five, warts and all.  Putting the banners in a box doesn’t serve to explain why they were put there, but hanging them back up honors a violation of the rules which Michigan has apologized for and served a penalty.  You cannot flaunt the past misdeeds if you are truly sorry they happened.

    • Mbee1

      I agree. The fab five era needs to be recognized, not honored. A banner doesn’t tell the whole story. Their impact expanded beyond wins, losses, and banners.

  • Halmikepern

    Hey Mary Sue- Why don’t you return all of the $$$ that the Fab Five made for UM as a show of your commitment to doing what you think is right!  Remember all of the people that packed Chrysler for those big games against Duke and Indiana and OSU?  Remember all of the revenues from the tickets, TV, food and Fab Five gear?   Lets add those $ up and give those to a worthy cause, but not to the athletic department that is not willing to recognize who earned the $ (Dirty) money. 

    Further, please request that the networks (ESPN, CBS, etc….) give the TV profits to a worthy cause, instead of fattening their executives wallets and adding to their stock values.  Oh Yeah, don’t forget the profits that the NCAA minted with those two final fours (Duke vs Cinci doesn’t quite have the appeal) , lets give those $  to a worthy cause too.  

    Your gesture of holiness is hollow when all up can come up with is not hanging up banners, but keeping the $.  It’s been ten years!  Let it go.  Either hang the banners, or give the money back; Here’s and idea….build a beautiful PUBLIC basketball complex in Detroit with the proceeds from the Fab Five era. 

    Don’t whine and claim to be morally superior.  It is disingenuous and mean spirited!

    • MichiganMan23

      Agree! I hate when people in power try to act like they are better than other people and act so like they are better then other people. 

    • jemblue

      Actually, Michigan returned all of its NCAA revenue from those years back in 2003.  

      • Meagain

        Wo did they return it to? The NCAA?

  • AG2

    The Fab Five Scandal did not set our program back 10 years, giving the keys to Brian Ellerbe did.

    As far as Rose’s money, that’s about the only thing Mary Sue understands.  She is a fundraiser masquerading as a school president.

    • sane1

      She did the right thing. Michigan fans have gone after Gordon Gee, rightly, for the way he let Tressel and Smith run the show. Is that what you want? Isn’t this Michigan, for God’s sake? The Ed Martin scandal and the involvement of four of our star players was a major deal – every bit as bad as tattoo-gate, probably worse given the sums of cash doled out. The president of the university is supposed to have some principles. 

      If Jalen really wants his endowment back, I’d give it back. But I think that’s just a rhetorical question on his part. He’s the one guy I feel for in all of this. But putting the banners up just isn’t going to happen.

    • Kenny

      I would not call it Fab Five scandal, it should be called Ed Martin scandal, only two of the 5 ever took money from Martin, whom they knew way before they ever set their foot on campus. What is most damaging, IMO, is that Fisher brought Martin close to the program and Taylor, Traylor and Bullock took money from him years latter. 

    • a2sk

      Believe it or not, fundraising is one of the primary roles of a university president.  Mary Sue is very good at it.  Another primary responsibility is enhancing the reputation of the university, which is exactly why she said what she did.

  • Wayman Britt

    I am in favor of displaying the banners, but it is too soon.  More time needs to pass from when the ban is up.  UM doesn’t want to rush posting them.

  • JB

    It’s not really an issue about money, to me. Putting banners up doesn’t earn the U any more money than they already make. But the wins aren’t acknowledged in the school or conference record books, so why should we have banners commemorating them?

    I second the idea by Craig though – have a shrine to the Fab 5 in the concourse and rename one of the gates or weight rooms after Jalen. If they ever erect statues or something a la Comerica Park for former Michigan greats, then Jalen can get his due.

  • sane1

    The games that got us the banners have been vacated, along with a lot of other games. It makes no sense to put them back up as if nothing happened. If a team hung a Big 10 championship banner and later had the championship taken away due to NCAA rules violations, is it right to keep the banner up in the rafters? It would be pathetic. The whole banners issue is nonsensical, IMO.

  • Jalen213

    These guys put Michigan basketball on the map and heavily influenced the history of the game.  I think they deserve some kind of banner, statue or memorial in Crisler.

    And let’s get some perspective here – the University made a killing off these guys and continues to feed off these kids in this pathetic system called the NCAA.  Anyone who thinks this amateur nonsense is a good idea has not critically thought it through.  I hope we’re moving in a direction where the kids can participate in the loot they are creating for the fat cat administrators.  It truly is a form of modern day slavery, but look around at our economy and world – we all have owners and they’re called the FED.

    • sane1

      Cazzie, Campy, Phil, Gary and Glen put Michigan basketball on the map long before the Fab Five set foot in Ann Arbor. Webber, Taylor, Traylor and Bullock put us on probation. I wish there was way to recognize the guys who didn’t get paid by Ed Martin, but putting up banners for honors that were vacated for NCAA violations is not the way.

      • Chris

        Gary, Glen, Rumeal, etc, etc… Do you think Ed Martin wasn’t around in the 80’s?  Do you think college basketball was clean back then?  Players got money, it didn’t just start with the Fab Five.  You would have to be absolutely naive to think that.  This is not a Michigan thing, this is a college basketball thing and the Fab Five seem to be the never ending scapegoat.  

        • Carcajous

          They way you clean it up is to punish offenders when caught…. not ignore it by saying “everyone does it…”  We did it…. we got caught… we’re paying the price.   The rest is bluster.

        • sane1

          At Michigan, we don’t make excuses when we’ve violated the rules. Even when it hurts. The Fab 5 is unjustly criticized for what only one of them did. I agree with that, but Webber is the person who Jalen should be annoyed with, not MSC or Brandon. I don’t know what perks our players might have received over the years, but no one prior to Webber was receiving tens of thousands of dollars as part of a money laundering scheme uncovered by an FBI investigation. Finally, why are the banners so important to some fans?

    • a2sk

      I don’t buy the slavery argument.  As a parent with two kids in college and another on the way, I know exactly how much a college education costs – and I would be very happy for any of them to have an athletic scholarship.

      If you really think the system is unfair, then work to separate college and big time sports completely.  Let the NBA and NFL create their own farm teams, take away the athletic scholarships, TV contracts, and all the other big budget trappings of college athletics and return to the idea that sports are an extramural activity for well-rounded students rather than a big-budget industry that actually has very little to do with higher education.

    • ForeverBlue

      Yeah, let’s get some perspective.  If the kids don’t like it they are free to create another venue where they will find the exposure and fan base that college ball provides.  Slavery is when you don’t have a choice.

    • Mistermagickal

      The Fab Five did NOT “put Michigan basketball on the map”. 

      Your comment about slavery is ridiculous and overblown. 

  • M2go4blue

    How can they not go up? And how can Mary sit there and make those statements with a straight face? The Fab Five is the biggest thing to happen in college basketball. Outside of football it IS Michigan sports history to the general public. Sad.

    • sane1

      Your knowledge of Michigan sports history is pretty limited. We on a national championship in 1989. The Fab 5 were a phenomenon, one of whose members embarrassed the university and ruined it for the others. If they are truly memorable and as important as you say, they won’t need a couple of banners in Crisler to be remembered.

  • a2sk

    I was a very big fan of the Fab Five.  But, by NCAA rules, Weber was ineligible.  I think Fisher was culpable as well by turning a blind eye to what was going on.  The wins that got them the banners have been vacated.  They broke the rule and this is part of the price.  The reputation of the the program and the University was severely damaged.  People look back on that time with rose-colored glasses (no pun intended), but the reality is that is was the beginning of a very dark time for Michigan athletics.  Win new banners – but leave the tainted ones where they are.

  • Rsbillin

    I have a very simplistic view about the situation as it stands. By all means the university has the right to decide not to raise the banner as it reflects the image of the school and the memory of the scandal. But the school and basketball program have suffered and were properly punished.

    The banners should be about the basketball legacy of the fab five. Let’s face it, part of the appeal to any player, coach, and fans is because of the fab five. People that visit crisler will remember the fab five regardless of of any banner waiving. Recognize and celebrate (and make money) on what happened on the court and a remember the impact on basketball as we know it that was made .

  • elreymateo

    I’m surprised we’re still talking about this. It’s simple: we played an ineligible to get to the Final Four. Therefore, we have no right put up a banner for being in the Final Four those years. 1000 years could go by and that wouldn’t change.    

  • DMitchell

    If I remember correctly, only the championship game against Duke and the following season was Chris Webber considered ineligible.  The easy way to handle this is put up a final four banner for their first year only in Crisler’s rafters.  Anything else can be displayed in the PDC for recruits.  The Fab 5 are a big part of Michigan basketball history, even MSC can’t deny that or it wouldn’t always come up.  I can’t hate on J. Rose because he doesn’t want what he did to not be forgotten and stored in a library.  Yes it was his boy C. Webb’s fault, but no one wants something they worked hard to build just disregarded as nothing. 

  • CO Blue

    While I understand the sentiment, I do not understand the logic behind displaying these banners. As I understand it, the wins have been vacated because a member (or members) of those teams played while ineligible by NCAA standards in a game and tournament overseen by the NCAA. While I appreciate the points of view of those who do not value amateurism and who dislike the NCAA, the bottom line is we did not win within the rules of play.

    Also, and of greater concern to me, there was apparent lack of integrity on the part of people representing Michigan. I would rather not ignore this and would prefer we move forward with dignity as an institution, owning up to our mistakes without excuses. If we do display the banners in some fashion, I agree with the other posters who suggest we display them as a reminder of the great players on those teams as well as the mistakes that were made.   

  • snoopblue

    Jalen needs to shut up. This ESPN gig is getting to his head and he needs to be return to being the calm, cool cat we are all used to. What he needs to realize is that Mary Sue Coleman is 68 years old. She won’t be the president at Michigan for much longer. I’d give it 2-5 years. Then, she’ll be off to Johnson & Johnson or who knows maybe this strong stance against the banners is a ploy a play to replace Mark Emmert’s dumbass at the NCAA.

    And I’m not sure the banners should actually be re-hung in the rafters, but they should at least be displayed somewhere in Crisler Center (especially after the renovation) instead of being locked up at Bentley. It was a bad thing that happened, but it’s still a part of the programs history that shouldn’t be completely ignored.

  • Sven187

    Doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. Banners are unimportant. 

    • Quaint06

      They might be if the players or achievements were to be forgotten. But they are, as a group, tough to forget. Jalen’s documentary helped with that, and I expect the memory to live on. If the NCAA wants to be the way it is, that’s their problem, which they commemorate with a pretty bare rafter.

      • Sven187

         People who experienced the Fab 5 will never forget them. Banners aren’t going to make of bit of difference to those who didn’t experience them

        • Quaint06

          Yeah, I’m agreeing with you.

  • MichiganMan23

    Fab Five, was great and young players love the Fab Five….So it will help with recruiting. Put them back up, why wouldnt you?  They served their time for their wrongs now respect them for what they did for college basketball as a whole and put it up.  Its not only about the 5 starters, its also about the 10 other players on the team that played during those years and gave up so much to represent the school

  • John

    I think the banners should be put up.  They some of the  most revolutionary bball players of their day.

  • FLiPCiTyBLuE

    I’m with Jalen here. 

  • Mattski

    Were the games that led to those banners forfeited? If so, I’m not sure I see HOW you legitimately put them up.

    I want to see these guys back in the fold, and a justice SYSTEM is predicated not just on punishment but penalties that, once paid, allow everyone to begin anew. But if the games were forfeited then the banners were not earned.

    Maybe the banners could go in display cases in the new rotunda.

    Also, I’m a big Jalen fan, but threatening to walk away with your quarter mil–pocket change where the big donors are concerned–comes across as both weak and extortionist. 

    • Giebz

      Putting them on display, like a history exhibit, is a good idea.  They could make a whole fab five display that includes the banners.  But they can’t hang from the rafters.

  • Carcajous

    The games were vacated.  Not suspended… not shelved pending a Chris Weber apology…. vacated.  The banners are not going back up.  It is a fun debate and might make us feel better to scream “PUT THEM BACK UP!” but it is just bluster.  

    • MusketRebellion

      In the Fab Five 30 for 30 Dave Brandon says that an apology from Chris Webber would go a long way towards the process of reconciliation. If he is willing to say that in a 30 for 30 then I’m willing to bet that if Webber apologized then the banners would go back up. With that being said, I don’t see Chris apologizing for anything. 

      • Carcajous

        The banners will not go back up.  All the bluster to the contrary doesn’t change the fact that the wins have been forever vacated, and putting up the banners would be in direct violation of the sanctions.  It would also clearly be a big F-YOU to the NCAA and Michigan is not going to do that.  Ever.  

  • longhorn_wolverine

    I say put them back up.  If freaking Duderstadt, who hated UM sports (or at least hated how important sports were for the university), thinks it’s ok to put them back up, I’m ok with it.  I think a decade with the banners locked up is enough punishment. 

    • Guest

      It’s not about “enough punishment”. Our TEAM broke the rules. There is no statute of limitations on doing the right thing. We cheated. The banners are a symbol of the cheating. Why would anyone want to see them and be reminded of what happened?

  • MichiganMan23

    There are 15 players on a team.  That means 13 players were penalized for the
    actions of 2 players on the team…..That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not okay
    to do that.  The banners have not been up
    for 20 years isn’t that punishment enough? 
    A team is only as good as its weakest player.

    When a potential player comes into an arena and sees
    championship banner and final four banner in the arena it makes them feel like
    they are part of something bigger.  Its
    impressive and shows the players that the program has a long history of winning.  Put them back up just for the sake of
    history.  Fab Five is huge part of Michigan
    Basketball History, they changed the game as a whole.  The Fab Five is credited for how college
    basketball looks now a days, which kids now a days can relate to.  This will def help with recruiting……..so use
    it to Michigan advantage. 

    • Mattski

      For me the fact that the wins are vacated settles it–putting the banners up would simply be a lie. We didn’t win those games or those titles; they were taken away. 

      I am willing to give Chris Webber a lot more slack than many people–after all, he was a kid when this happened. But putting the banners up is the wrong place to focus efforts on reconciliation. That conversation should be shut down and others opened up. 

      • sane1

        Agree. Way too much focus on the banners. BTW, we also took down the 1998 BTT champs banner and 1997 NIT champs banner. 

      • Quaint06

        What games? What titles? Who is this Webber you speak of?

    • Giebz

      You said it yourself, ”
      A team is only as good as its weakest player.”  At least one player on that team was ineligible so the banner was not earned.  We should take our punishment like a man and move on.

  • Danguilm

    I think Jalen assumed that after the 10yrs of disassociation from Webber that ends next year, that the banners would go up.  Being able to associate with someone doesn’t allow for the wins to be recognized.  If the wins can’t be recognized, they effectively didn’t occur.  Would be nice to find a way to recognize the acheivements of the rest of the team, while still maintaining some integrity by not forgetting about the disgrace brought by the scandal.  How you do that is over my head.


  • Tmurckya

    Dylan, what’s your opinion?

  • Jimmy

    I don’t know whether we should put our banners back up, but it’s a complete joke that Kentucky gets to celebrate a national title while we continue to chasten ourselves. 

    • Guest

       That’s why they are Kentucky and we are Michigan. Like President Coleman said, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Do you think Michigan would ever hire Calipari?

    • jemblue

      If the NCAA finds evidence that Kentucky cheated, they’ll stop celebrating it.  

  • MusketRebellion

    Revisionist history isn’t history at all. The Fab Five existed, plain and simple, and pretending that they didn’t is a disservice to those once young men and, whether MSC wants to believe it or not, the university. Put the banners back up.

    • CRISP_Angell_Hall


      History is not written solely on banners. It never will be.
      You honestly think that by Michigan not hanging the Fab Five banners in Crisler
      automatically erases the Fab Five’s history? The Fab Five will always be a part
      of basketball history. With or without their banners hanging in Crisler.

      • MusketRebellion

        That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is that the school is pretending that the Fab Five never existed by hiding the banners. By not displaying the banners we are running from a period of our past. It is this failure to acknowledge the good that the Fab Five did for the university, and focusing solely on the negative that I disagree with. I’m well aware that history is not written solely on banners, but displaying them, proudly, shows that we have learned from the mistakes of the past and are willing to accept our entire history, rather than the part of our history that makes us warm and fuzzy inside.

        • Swinawer

          Displaying them proudly? How would that show that we learned from our mistakes?  There’s a lot of middle ground between pretending the fab five never existed and putting up banners for forfeited wins.

          • MusketRebellion

            I think if you put the banners up you put them up with pride. You don’t hang something in the rafters half-heartedly, so in that regard I don’t see there being a middle ground. The point I’m trying to make is that we’ve learned from our transgressions, we hired Amaker (who prior to his tenure here was considered squeaky clean) and Beilein (who is the epitome of clean) and have run our program correctly since the fallout of the Ed Martin scandal. All we are doing by continuing to look at the Fab Five era solely as a black mark is not allowing the healing to finish.

        • Carcajous

          …the school is pretending that the Fab Five scandal never existed by hanging the banners. By displaying the banners we are running from a period of our past. It is this failure to acknowledge the harm that the Fab Five did for the university, and focusing solely on the positive that I disagree with. I’m well aware that history is not written solely on banners, but displaying them, proudly, shows that we have learned nothing from the mistakes of the past and are willing to sugarcoat our entire history, especially the part of our history that makes us ashamed.[Fixed]

          • MusketRebellion

            If you are ashamed of, and think that the university’s reputation was ruined, because a 19 year old made a poor decision to take money from someone he had known since he was a 14 year old then we should simply end this conversation now because you are never going to allow yourself to move past it. Did the Fab Five era leave a sour taste in the mouths of fans and alumni? Yes. Does that taste always have to be sour? No. 

        • CRISP_Angell_Hall

           “What I’m saying is that the school is pretending that the
          Fab Five never existed by hiding the banners.” For me, not hanging the Fab Five
          banners in Crisler doesn’t necessarily mean that the school is pretending that
          the Fab Five never existed. All I see is that Mary Sue Coleman, given the circumstances
          around the Fab Five, doesn’t think it is appropriate to hang their banners in
          Crisler. Thinking what is appropriate or what is not appropriate is a giant
          leap to pretending that the Fab Five never existed.

      • Umeuph

        Yeah, we’re stuck with the memory of the violations and the smoking crater they left here. Those banners should never be put up, period. If we’re going to hold ourselves to a higher standard, the banners don’t go up ever.

  • Giebz

    I am shocked that 2/3 of the people reading this column think that the banners should be put back up.  We should be embarrassed of trying to claim final four appearances that have been forfeited.  This university has more integrity and enough success that it doesn’t have to make excuses.  The fab five should be remembered in a display in Crisler that contains the banners, but they should never be hung from the rafters.  

  • GoBlue!

    can I vote to have msc also removed, placed in a box in the Bentley never to return?

  • A2JD

    I wonder why they kept the banners if they never planned on putting them back up.  I really don’t care either way.  I can see both sides but pretending those games never happened in the first place is silly.  It’s a weak symbolic gesture, in my opinion.

    I also don’t really know why they hung non-championship banners in the first place.  Yes, those were great seasons but usually banners come when you win your conference or you win it all.

    We also don’t know when Chris Webber took money from Ed Martin.  For all we know, he could’ve taken the money after the ’93 Final, in between the time he stopped playing college ball and started making endorsement money and NBA money.  I do wish he’d finally address that.  Even Pete Rose came clean and that was for a much worse offense.  It’s not like Webber threw games or shaved points.

  • maxwell’s demon

    I say we forget about those banners and replace them with a giant one that says “We Gonna Shock the World”

  • ChocoJoe

    I hate the idea of “taking away” wins. When a team wins, they win. I would say the same thing if we were talking about Ohio State. Why should we pretend the wins didn’t happen? There are penalties in place already for teams that break the rules. But they still won playing within the rules of the actual game. For someone that loves record books of any kind, I just don’t like it when pieces are missing. 

    • Dave

      I agree.  Rewriting history is fundamentally dishonest.  

  • Mistermagickal

    I think we should either put up an elaborate display to commemorate those teams but leave out all evidence that Chris Webber was a part of those teams or this University.  I would even love to see a statue somewhere in the Crisler Center or Jalen, Juwan, Jimmy, and Ray with no Chris.  I also think if the University went this route they should create a policy of not referring to those teams as the Fab Five but rather Mens Basketball 91-92, 92-93 both in any type of commemoration efforts or in the media until Chris Webber apologizes and takes ownership of his behaviors and their long lasting negative influence. 

     Chris Webber is a grade A POS

    • DutchWolverine


    • jemblue

      Hold on.  A *statue*?  The 1989 team actually won the national championship and they don’t have a statue.  Cazzie Russell is the main reason Crisler even exists and he doesn’t have a statue.  The Fab Five were fun to watch but let’s not act like they were the only basketball history we’ve ever had.  

  • P-nickel

    They should be hanged, is she also not going to asociate the university with Chris Webber either when he is eligible?

    • ParkKH

      Yes. Even Ohio does not associate with Maurice Clarrett, and neither will they with Terrelle Pryor.

  • P-nickel


  • Sood

    How about we put the banners up but sew a little bit of extra velvety material onto the ends that says “but we cheated a  little bit.”?

    • ParkKH

      Except it was the biggest monetary scandal in sports, as the rest of the nation will remind us every day haha

      • Dave

        Actually, nobody knows how much money changed hands.

        • ParkKH

          Yeah but we know roughly how much, and it ain’t pretty.

        • Carcajous

          Nobody knows exactly how many people Gacy killed…. so I guess he isn’t guilty, huh?

  • Mzorstar

    I would really like to see how the voting breaks down by age…my suspicion is that respondents > 35 would be more inclined to NOT put up the banner (I also suspect we are outnumbered on this site).  I graduated in 1992, fell in love with the Glen Rice/Rumeal and Fab Five teams.  Like many folks, I feel intensely nostalgic about that period of time.   That said, as much of a die hard hoops fan I am, I cannot justify raising those banners.  I went to Michigan on a swimming scholarship, but my main reason for going there was academic.  I am proud of my school for not raising the banners when the team cheated by paying their athletes.  I dont’ at all fault the Fab Five and give them much love for what they gave to Michigan, but their Final Four banners were not legitimate in my mind.  I don’t know if I would have had that perspective in my 20s, but I see it more clearly now.  Good for you Mary Sue Coleman.  There are two kinds of pride (1) foolish nationalism and allegiance to country or institution, whether right or wrong (2) pride in morality, dignity, and virtue.  I opt for the latter. 

    • Quaint06

      The team DID NOT PAY ITS ATHLETES. Ed Martin is not and was not affiliated with the basketball team and the NCAA never said he was.

      • Carcajous

        He was a booster by NCAA definition.

        • Dave

          Yes, and it is proven fact that the NCAA rulebook is essentially handed down from God – like the Ten Commandments.

          • Carcajous

            Not sure what your point is.  Martin was associated with Michigan basketball.  He was given free tickets to games, was given access to the program, and had a relationship with both Perry Watson and Fisher.  To say otherwise is head in the sand stuff.

          • Mzorstar

            This is the only question that needs to be asked: Would C Webb (and Tractor Traylor, etc) have gone to Michigan if Martin did not pay them to do so?  If you have any doubt, then you recognize Michigan had an unfair advantage in recruiting this kid.  We got to the final four with our best player having been recruited with an illegal advantage.  

        • Quaint06

          I was not aware of any free tickets or a relationship with Fisher. I’m going to research that, but until then I’ll take your word for it. However, what I was going by was the fact that Martin had known Webber and Rose long before they were recruited by Michigan. He was known to hang around athletes and hand out gifts, etc. throughout Detroit, in a way that had nothing to do with U-M, involving kids who went to a wide variety of universities. Martin was not part of some conspiracy in which U-M put him up to befriending Webber and Rose when they were ten and bribing them into going to the university. Let’s not be ridiculous.

          • Carcajous

            Thanks…. I don’t think I’m being ridiculous, but thanks for the little jab at the end.  All I did was point out that Martin’s involvement with the team went well beyond some money when the players were in HS.  He gave gifts to FIsher, Watson, and was a guest at games.  He was allowed access and was a booster.

  • Dave

    I agree with hanging the banners back up.  As others have pointed out, to do otherwise would be pretending that certain history never occurred.  This is revisionist history.  It’s fundamentally dishonest and wrong.  It mimics the behavior of certain governments that revise or distort history to suit their agenda.

    As a larger matter, I’m also not in favor of vacating wins after some sort of off-the-field/court impropriety is unearthed.  That’s also revising or distorting history.  Adding an asterisk might be appropriate but erasing history is never appropriate.

    One could also point out that such actions also punish those who were uninvolved in improprieties.

    I would also add that there is no proof that “cheating” ever occurred.  A definition of “cheating” – Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination: “she cheats at cards”.  There are no proven or alleged activities that gave Michigan “an advantage” in a basketball game.

    Webber’s actions were dishonest and violated an agreement with the University and the NCAA.  These actions can be viewed as immoral but they were not illegal.  And there is the larger question of whether the NCAA’s monopoly unfairly coerces student-athletes into certain agreements.

    As for the NCAA’s punitive actions against the University, a case can be made that they were grossly inappropriate and fundamentally immoral.  The NCAA punished the University although there was no direct wrongdoing by the University and also punished people who had absolutely nothing to do with the alleged wrongdoing.  Who’s the bigger villain here?  Webber and other players who legally took gifts or the NCAA which uses its monopoly to coerce student-athletes into certain agreements and then punishes the wrong people?

    • jemblue

      Hanging a banner *honors* what happened.  You don’t raise banners for bad seasons.  We can’t honor a season that was vacated because our player was ineligible.  That’s just common sense.  All schools that have had to vacate seasons take away all trophies and such.  It’s not like Michigan is doing something extraordinary here.
      And I say this as someone who grew up idolizing the Fab Five.  I’m not happy that we had to take the banners down, but it was the appropriate thing to do.  
      A lot of people are voting with their heart and not their head.  

      • Dave

        It was not a “bad” season.  Michigan won a lot of games fairly and within the rules.

        Again, I don’t believe “vacating” seasons is appropriate – it punishes the many for the actions of a few (actions that I might reiterate are perfectly legal and violate only a contract entered under coercion).

        I would also question why MSC has the only vote in this manner.  She is one individual, one who’s prior behavior (in my humble opinion) has been far more unethical than Webber’s alleged behavior.

        I do understand your larger point but it assumes that the NCAA’s rule book is the supreme standard of morality – when it clearly is not.

        • jemblue

          We fielded an ineligible player.  Chris Webber was not eligible to play basketball for most of that time.  From the time Ed Martin was officially ruled a booster, every time game Webber played (and every time Taylor, Traylor and Bulllock played), it was cheating, just as it was cheating when an ineligible Terrelle Pryor played for the Buckeyes.  Those wins were not legitimate.  I wish they were; I loved those teams.  But they weren’t.  

          Jalen Rose, quite frankly, is coming off as a guy insecure about his legacy.  It’s like he’s afraid that people will forget about his college days if those banners aren’t raised again.  I don’t think any of us who followed those teams will forget them.  It’s just not right to HONOR them. And again – we are not doing anything out of the ordinary. All schools that have to vacate wins do this.

          • Dave

            Please see the definition of “cheating” in my post again.

            Jalen Rose is coming off as a guy who is legitimately upset about being unfairly punished for the off-the-court “misdeeds” of another person.

            What if your career accomplishments were being unfairly tarnished by somebody else’s misdeeds?  Wouldn’t you justly be upset?

            The fact that the NCAA’s and University’s policies in this case are “typical” or “customary” does not make them right.

    • ParkKH

      What part of playing an ineligible player do you not understand? Having Webber played ineligible is technically no different from inviting Tom Brady back and having him play and win games.

      • Dave

        Did you even try to understand my post?  Webber’s supposed “ineligiblity” is irrelevant.  The games were played and either won or lost. They were played fairly without any “cheating.”  His eligibility wasn’t in doubt at the time.  Therefore, the accomplishments should be recognized and honored.  Period.

        Your “inviting Brady back” analogy is ridiculous.  In that case, Michigan would be knowingly violating the rules.  And besides, the NCAA would immediately block such a stunt from occurring.  But now that you have brought up the issue, even the NCAA rules limiting athletic eligibility to four years aren’t above questioning either.  What’s so magical about 4 years?  Aren’t students allowed to take courses for more than 4 years?  Of course they are.  And isn’t the whole “amateur status” deal just a big sham?  College athletes ARE being compensated but the NCAA uses its monopoly to arbitrarily place a ceiling on their compensation.

        Try thinking independently “outside the box” for a change.

        • ParkKH

          The very fact that an ineligible player played is, in fact cheating. Or breaking the rules. Do you want to say ‘not knowing’ is an excuse? Ah so we can invite Brady back because someone conveniently did ‘not know’. Anyone can pay any athlete and claim ignorance.

          Try taking your argument outside of Michigan where people don’t have an emotional investment with the fab 5. You’d be laughed out of town just like the die hard Tressell backers are being laughed at by everyone else.

          Stretching rules and logic isn’t thinking ‘outside the box’ unfortunately. It’s homerism. 

          • Dave

            How can it be “cheating” if Fisher had no knowledge the player may not have been eligible?  In fact, nobody knows exactly when he took the money – so he may have been eligible.  Then again, there’s the whole bizarre nature and questionable morality of trying to ban perfectly legal off-the-court behavior.  And then punishing everybody who had absolutely nothing to do with it.  It’s ridiculous.

            It’s not homerism – I would apply the same logic to other programs.  In a free society, it’s impossible to police player behavior 24/7 and applying the rules strictly would probably result in vacating the last 20 mythical national championships.  Again, it’s ridiculous.

          • Observernba

            So, let’s put it in such a way that you might understand. Let’s say you’re renting out an apartment. Some guy comes by and agrees to pay you 1K per month. You check him out, get references, and determine he’s a good tenant. 2 years go by and the police come by to arrest the tenant because he was a serial killer in another state. Guess what buddy, you were harbouring a fugitive and are going to prison! Does that sound fair? You’d be the first one to hire a lawyer and say “I didn’t know he was a criminal, why should I be punished”.

            Oh, suddenly “ignorance” is OK isn’t it?

          • Quaint06

            This really isn’t very hard. After the fact he was ruled to be “ineligible.” Therefore, we have to retroactively vacate the games. Therefore, as many are pointing out, it seems strange to place the banners up.
            Where the confusion is coming in as that a lot of people on this board have a very hard time distinguishing between having been found to have been in violation of NCAA rules and “cheating.” Ed Martin cheated, not the university, *unless* it knew what was going on.
            What people are trying to say is that while we understand (and not everyone does) that technically we have to vacate those games, it’s another thing for us to have the team accused of “cheating.” For Al to say that people are guilty of “homerism” for not accepting his reasoning of 1) person X was not aware of something therefore 2) person X should’ve done something about it just isn’t going to fly, not with me. It’s a matter of simple logic.
            That doesn’t mean we know what Fisher knew and did not know. But there has never been conclusive proof he knew what was going on, and he did not play a player who was ineligible at the time. One cannot do that.

        • ParkKH

          Doesn’t matter if Fisher knew or not. An Ohio booster could pay millions to each recruit, and Urban could claim ignorance. 

          And yes, it’s impossible to watch everyone 24 7 to see if they are breaking the rules. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. It’s impossible to prevent shoplifting completely, but that shouldn’t mean we should let a shoplifter go free.

          • Dave

            NCAA policies are equivalent to letting the shoplifter go free but jailing all the other innocent shoppers and banning the shoplifter’s family from shopping at the store.

            It’s even worse than that.  It’s equivalent to telling the alleged shoplifter/athlete that because they signed a contract with the NCAA they have less rights than other people.  Even if they legally buy something, it can be called shoplifting.  The rules are so crazy that they often don’t know what items are forbidden.  And if they’re starving and somebody gives then a few bucks in high school for food or shelter, they’re guilty of shoplifting (you remember the insane case of Jamal Crawford don’t you?).  Again, it’s ridiculous.

    • Umeuph

      Hanging banners has nothing to do with acknowledging or disavowing history. Hanging a banner for an event is honoring that event. There is absolutely no argument for honoring that time in our program’s history. Acknowledge it, learn from it, fine. We shouldn’t be honoring it.

      Also, whether or not you agree with the rules, WE BROKE THEM. Can’t argue that one. If you don’t give a crap about breaking rules, that’s fine, but most of us do.

      Weber getting paid is the textbook definition of cheating. Who knows what school he’s going to if EM doesn’t steer him here. Every win with him on the court is fruit from the poinsonous tree.

      Make the case about the NCAA being harsh all you want. It doesn’t change anything about the realities of the last 20 years. I don’t see how anyone who followed the team through the lean years can be in favor of any positive mention of the fab 5.

  • ParkKH

    If Memphis puts up its own Final Four banner when the entire nation knew Derrick Rose cheated on his SAT’s and was thus ineligible, we’d laugh at that shameless school. Same thing with Michigan. Wins do NOT trump integrity especially at Michigan and even at Arkansas. Keep the banners down and locked away.

    • ChocoJoe

      Why can’t they put the banner up? They still won those basketball games. He may have cheated on a test, but the game of basketball was still played within the rules. That’s my opinion anyway.

  • Merlin50

    I favor what others have posted- a display in the concourse  that honors the fab five and points up the good and the not so good.  In the display can be the banners and the story of the team.

  • Observernba

    The fab 5 achieved what they did based on skill and hard work, not because they got paid. Kobe Bryant raped a woman while he was a Laker. Do you take away all of the Laker championship banners because of what Kobe did off the court? 

    During the fab 5 era, what happened on the court was great basketball. What happened off the court is up for debate. But, one has nothing to do with the other.

    Priests molest children on a regular basis. Do we all stop going to church because of one priest is sick? Are we all no longer allowed to wear a crucifix?

    If somebody commits a crime and is put in prison, when they get out have they not paid their debt to society? Are they never allowed to work again? Are they never allowed to do anything in public again? Hardly.
    The NCAA sanctioned UM for a period of time, not forever. Now that the sactions are over, the basketball team has paid its debt to scociety. What they accomplished on the court should be held up high and proud and not swept under the rug.

    • ParkKH

      Placing a banner up high is lauding it for good or worse. And from an outside point of view, it symbolizes that Michigan doesn’t care about the scandal.

      What they accomplished cannot be separated from the scandal, unfortunately, and should not be lauded. 

      • Dave

        I, for one, don’t care about the scandal.

        Their accomplishments CAN be separated from the scandal and should be lauded.  They worked hard and played great team basketball.  They broke no laws (err… except for the beer theft of course).

        • ParkKH

          Sure YOU don’t care, but the rest of college sports does. When Tressell fans claim the coverup CAN be separated from his wins, Petrino fans claim his wins CAN be separated from illegally hiring his mistress, and Joe Paterno fans say his history CAN be separated him from enabling a child rapist to roam free, and say they should remain as coaches, all the world does is laugh.

          Oh, and SMU won BIG during the slush fund days, but they have burned all their banners related to those years, and so should we.

          Sucks for the rest of the players who played clean, but thats life.

          • Dave

            They all “played clean.”  There were no alleged infractions affecting the outcomes of any games.

            Frankly, it shouldn’t matter whether “the rest of college sports” cares.  What matters is right and wrong.  It is wrong to punish players who had nothing to do with the alleged off-the-court infraction and it is wrong to ignore their accomplishments.

            It is also inappropriate to compare the different situations.  They are all unique.  Citing the Petrino and Paterno cases is especially bizarre since their alleged transgressions were completely unrelated to their professional accomplishments.  Moreover, the question of hiring or firing a coach is completely separate from honoring or trying to ignore or erase the accomplishments of players.

            The fact that life often sucks should not be an excuse for doing the wrong thing.

            You appear to believe in following rules regardless of their logic, fairness or morality.  I do not.  We should agree to disagree.  

          • ParkKH

            Still don’t understand, what ineligible means, do you? As a booster I could pay a million dollars for all the best recruits in the nation to come play at Michigan. According to you, it won’t affect the outcome of the game, so its all good. So a booster from Ohio State could pay everyone, beat us 20 times in a row, and proudly display banners.

            And since you fail to understand the analogy, let me explain. Michigan displaying the banners is no different from those schools keeping their disgraced coaches.Yes, lets agree to disagree. You seem to fail to grasp what the word ‘fair’ means, and think breaking rules and cheating is nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Dmoracco

    It’s time to put the banners back up.  We paid our dues, and it resulted in about 10 years of a diminished program.  In view of the harsh punishment, which has been served, I think it’s fair to have a little reminder of the good times.  Putting up the banners is in no way endorsing off the court activity.  On the court, the team team made us all proud.  Having attended Michigan during that era, it was awesome.  Granted, I wouldn’t trade the banners for 10 years of a diminished program, but we got stuck with the penalties anyway.  At least we can look at the banners and remember the on court achievements as well. 

    • ParkKH

      We’ll remember the good times. Everyone else will remember money and scandals.


    the 101 comment made!!! RAISE THE BANNERS!!!!

  • Observernba

    Suppose I’m a 100 yard runner in the olympics and I win the gold medal. I get tested for drugs and I’m clean. I won the gold medal fair and squiare and nobody disagrees. Later, the police find out that 10 minutes before I won, I killed somebody. I get convicted of murder and get sent to prison.

    What some of you are saying is that I should be stripped of my gold medal because I murdered somebody. Those of you that think that have some kind of twisted sense of morality. One event has nothing to do with the other. They are mutually exclusive.

    Similarly, UM did NOT pay to have players COME to play. In my mind this is the only infraction that would justify keeping the banners down. If a kid and his family made the choice to come to UM of their own free will and no money changed hands, then every game they won is fair and square.  

    If you want to start going down that road then you need to instantly disqualify UCLA and Kentucky for next year. Nerlens Noel’s AAU team was sponsored by one shoe company throughout his AAU career. Shabaz’s team was sponsored by a different shoe company. As it turns out each player ended up going to a university that is sponsored by the same shoe company that sponsored their respective AAU teams. Coincidence, I think not!

    I also have it from a Kentucky recruit that money is changing hands. But let’s not worry about that. Let’s continue to penalize guys like Jalen Rose for working his ass of for UM.

    • sane1

      So you think that OSU’s football team should not have had it’s 2010 season vacated because it was later discovered that, like Webber, some of their players received illegal benefits under NCAA rules? The Olympic champion violated no rules of the governing body. Webber and the three others did violate rules of the NCAA. 

      • Observernba

        If the olympic champion received a 5 million dollar contract by Nike to wear their shoes during the race, does that change the fact that he won the race?

        • sane1

          That is not against the rules for Olympic athletes. If it was, he would be stripped of his medal.

          • Observernba

            My point is that money didn’t enhance the athelte’s performance or change the outcome in any way. The win was fair and square. There was no cheating involved. If I ran the 100 yards in 8.0 seconds flat (with no performance enhancing drugs), then how does getting paid or not getting paid change that fact?

    • EECS

      Using your analogy, I agree you should not be stripped of
      your gold medal. But let us add a little detail to the circumstances. Let us suppose that the person you murdered was the coach of
      one of the participants in the race, and you threatened to kill the coaches of the other
      participants if they try to win the race or approach the authorities regarding
      the murder.

      In my opinion, in light of the new found information, you
      should be stripped of your gold medal. Cause and effect. In the first example,
      your action before the race, however gruesome, did not have an effect on
      the outcome of the race. In the second example, your actions before the race
      gave you an unfair advantage over the other competitors, which in my
      opinion constitutes cheating. So you should be stripped of your medal.


      I would categorize Chris Webber’s circumstances under the
      second example. By playing Chris Webber, the Michigan basketball team gained an illegal advantage, illegal based on NCAA
      rules, over the other teams. Again in my opinion, that constitutes cheating. Maybe not in the physical confines of the basketball court,
      but definitely within the confines of NCAA rules.

      The purpose of my post is not to convince anyone one way or
      another regarding the banner. I’m also not in a position to judge who is wrong
      or who is right regarding this matter. My purpose is to show that it
      is perfectly normal for people to have varying perceptions regarding a single
      event in history. My perception is just one among many. That’s all.
      And as always, Go Blue!

      • EECS

        Sorry for the spacing issues. It didn’t look like that on my screen.

      • Observernba

        Hey, I totally agree with you. If there is some unfair advantage given to an individual or team, then absolutely that’s cheating. But please tell me how giving money to Chris Webber constitutes an unfair advantage to the Wolverines?

        I’m sure there are plenty of kids playing on D1 teams who come from millionaire families. Giving Webber a few bucks hardly makes him a millionaire and “evens” the playing field does it?

        As soon as you get paid, you lose your amature status and hence are not eligible to play on a D1 team (pros aren’t allowed). So, by this definition Webber was a pro and UM played an ineligible player. So, yeah I get it.

        My point is that UM did not know the situation while playing Webber. An extra 10K in Webber’s bank account did not unfairly disadvantaqge other teams or give the Woverines some kind of edge.

        Suppose I go to a store and buy a TV. The next day the police arrive at my door and tell me that the TV was stolen. Well, guess what? I’m in possession of stolen property and by strict definition I should go to prison. However, when the police find out that I legitimately paid for the TV with no knowledge that the TV was stolen, I will not be going to prison. To me, this is the EXACT situation UM found itself in. But in that case the judge (NCAA) unfairly put UM in prison.

        • EECS

          Please re-read my original post. At least twice if possible. I’ll even re-post for your benefit. “By playing Chris Webber, the Michigan basketball team gained an illegal advantage.” The word I used was “illegal”. Let me repeat, in my opinion, illegal constitutes cheating. I get the impression that in your attempt to make your point, you are misinterpreting what others are saying.

          • Observernba

            It’s only cheating if you “knowingly” do something wrong. UM didn’t know it was participating in “illegal” activity at the time. Hence, they did nothing wrong.

        • a2sk

          I would be very, very surprised if Fisher didn’t know that there was something going on with Ed Martin.

  • Paul F.

    My take on this is to raise the banners back up. Mary Sue Coleman Is wrong on this issue. The fab five went to 2 finals. Their should be an remembrance of these feats. Michigan should invite the whole team back Inculding Chris Webber ( he wouldn’t show up anyway IMO) and put them back up. I can careless about Jalen Rose ‘s scholarship money because frankly, nobody in my family would ever get any of the money anyway. I say put the banners back up it’s a part of the schools history.