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April 02, 2008 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-04-02

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I 8B > The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 2, 2008

LEGACY
From PAGE 7B
"I just thought it was the most
unfitting way for the Fab Five run
to end," Wojnowski said. "It was
the opposite of brashness and defi-
ance."
That was the end of the Fab Five
at Michigan. Webber left for the
NBA after that season, and even

though the team reached the Elite
Eight the next season, the Fab Five
era closed in 1993 with that loss to
North Carolina in New Orleans.
A SOILED MEMORY
In 1996, Mateen Cleaves was a
coveted basketball recruit. Some
recruiting services had him as one
of the top 10 players in the country.
After he along with Michigan
players, got in a car accident on
the night of his recruiting visit,
Duderstadt went over to Cleaves'
parents at the Michigan-Indiana
game the next day.
"I went up and apologized to
his parents for the accident that
had happened and hoped there
hadn't been any harm," Duder-
stadt said.
In many ways,-that recruiting
visit shifted the balance of power
in college basketball in the state of
Michigan for more than a decade.
Cleaves went on to a prolific
career at Michigan State, leading
the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA
Championship. Michigan State is
now one of the premier programs
in the country.
For Michigan, the weekend
also marked the beginning of a

slippery slope into uncovering a
scandal-ridden era in Wolverine
basketball.
The late-nightcar accident on M-
14 launched newspaper and NCAA
investigations into why the players
were out that late, why the recruit
was so far away from campus and to
whom the car belonged.
The paper trail led back to bas-
ketball booster Ed Martin, who
attached himself to talented high
school basketball players, giving
them favors, money and even cakes
in hopes that they would remember
him when they made it big. He also
ran a numbers racket out of the Ford
Rouge plant.
Six years later, Martin was
charged with money launder-
ing. The report said he gave over
$616,000 to Michigan basketball
recruits, including Webber.
As part of its self-punishment in
2002, the University erased records
from all games the implicated ath-
letes played at Michigan and sev-
ered contact with Webber until
2013.
A common misconception among
college basketball fans is that the
entire Fab Five received money

from Ed Martin. It was just Web-
ber. That notion has tarnished the
legacy of Rose, Howard, Jackson
and King.
"It is unfair to them," Duderstadt
said.
He likes to tell the story of how
the University had to receive spe-
cial dispensation from the NCAA
to purchase Howard a winter jacket
because he couldn't afford it on his
own.
Even though those four were
not implicated in the scandal, the
University has done little to make
amends with them.
"They really do, to a certain
degree, short-change the fans,"
Wojnowski said. "Because that
was a memorable time for Michi-
gan basketball fans, one of the few
memorable times they've had in 15
years."
Recently,the Universityhad tried
to reconnect with those players.
Jimmy King has starting doing
commentary on the radio broad-
cast of Michigan basketball, the
program celebrated Jalen Rose
Day to honor his contributions to
the Detroit community he grew up
in, and Howard's son attended the

Michigan basketball camp.
But it took nearly 15 years for this
to happen.
THE LONGED-FOR REUNION
When Rose returned in February
for Jalen Rose Day, he addressed
the crowd at halftime.
"Every time you see the black
shoes, black socks and baggy shorts,
the Fab Five lives," Rose said.
But every time you look up at the
empty Crisler Arena rafters, fairly
or unfairly, the Fab Five also lives
on.
The last time the Fab Five were
on a basketball court at the same
time was when they walked off the
floor in New Orleans in the 1993
Championships game.
But King plans to be on the
Crisler Arena court again with his
teammates, the same court where
they revolutionized the sport,
redefined the role of freshmen and
shaped their legacy.
"So, eventually, whenever the
sanction is lifted or it's over, we'll
all be back," King said. "What-
ever that day is. If it's not that day,
the next event or even if it isn't an
event, we'll make an event to come
back that day."

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