Michigan alum and current Phoenix Sun Jalen Rose bought a billboard to honor the Fab Five the season after their 15-year anniversary.
“The motivation for that speaks for itself,” said Rose, who didn’t tell the
other guys until after it was up, wanting it to be a surprise. “Being this
(2006-07) is the year of the Fab Five 15th-year anniversary, people nationally are talking about it — about how we changed college basketball and the landscape of the sport. We have no banners and representation at U-M, almost like we didn’t go there.”
Perhaps he’s forgotten about the illegal loans to Chris Webber and other players that resulted in penalties for the university in addition to the removal of all banners commemorating their achievements from Crisler Arena.
Former Michigan AD Bo Schembechler threw them under the bus as well.
“They were five really fine basketball players. But what did they do?” [said] retired Michigan football legend Bo Schembechler, the university athletic director in 1989, when he fired Bill Frieder and promoted Fisher to head coach on the eve of the 1989 NCAA tournament. “They never won the national title, and frankly they had enough talent to do it. Did they win any Big Ten championships? What did they bring us?”
That’s some cold shit, Bo. They did bring increased visibility, more applicants and huge merchandise sales in addition to tripling athletic royalties.
Rose had the billboard placed in Detroit near the area where he and Webber grew up. He said he didn’t want to cause any distractions.
“Unfortunately, what a couple players were accused — never proven — of doing, our banners got taken down so our memories aren’t as fond as they should be,” Rose said. “There’s no hard feelings and I think some good eventually will come out of it. But, especially when, being in broadcasting, I see what (former Ohio State running back) Maurice Clarett was going through, and they didn’t take their (championship) banner down. I see (former USC running back) Reggie Bush and what he’s going through. And I see what (former UCLA basketball coach) Jim Harrick goes through, and I notice it’s original and unique how our situation is handled.”
Rose can’t be blamed for being bitter and he does have a point but it seems as though he absolves Webber of any guilt in the situation. To their credit, Rose and Jimmy King have continued their association with the basketball program.
** Ray Jackson is living in Austin, TX running a moving company and Rise Up, Inc., a non-profit that mentors kids on and off the court. I always wondered what happened to him.