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October 03, 2016 - Image 8

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2B — October 3, 2016
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com

Fab Five still shapes the conversation

oday, they might not
stand out.

Five young Black men in

baggy shorts,
black shoes
and black
socks with
shaved heads
isn’t a rarity on
the basketball
court. Not
anymore, at

When the

Fab Five burst
into college
basketball 25 years ago, that
swaggering style was likened to
thuggery. Now, it is as much a
part of the game as free throws
and Dick Vitale.

Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray

Jackson, Juwan Howard and
Chris Webber didn’t just shake
up the college hoops landscape,
they put it in a blender and left
it running for two years. The
culture of basketball has shifted
in the time since, moving (if ever
so slowly) away from norms that
call for obedience and order
instead of personality.

But as symbolic and powerful

as a pair of black tube socks can
be, they can only go so far. Two
more symbols used to hang from
the Crisler Center rafters. The
reason they don’t can be traced
back to what was then, and still
is, the plight of college athletes.

Marred by an improper benefits

scandal that saw the physical
embodiments of their time in
Ann Arbor torn from the rafters,
the Fab Five was temporarily
disassociated from the University.
But that’s no reason to stop
learning from their time here.

They remain one of, if not the

single, most significant examples
of the conflicts between race,
money and power in college
sports. Saturday, three of the
group’s members (Jackson, King
and Rose) will visit campus for

a public discussion about their
legacy, bringing along a history so
heavy and complicated it might
not fit in Hill Auditorium.

It’s a discussion that shouldn’t

need its own special event, but
almost inarguably does.

King, Rose and Jackson will join

LSA Professor Yago Colas; as well
as journalist Kevin Blackistone,
who is a visiting professor at
University of Maryland; and
University of Houston Professor
Billy King at Hill Auditorium for a
public discussion called “Fab 5 at
25.” Colas will moderate the event,
asking questions to the panelists
himself first and then opening it
up for questions from the public.

The event is scheduled to last two
hours. But what comes of it could
endure much longer.

“I think what

would feel best
for me is for this
to kind of kick off
a conversation,
or a series of
that could occur
over time on
campus about
some of the
issues that, I
think, the team
and thinking about the team
raise,” Colas said. “Specifically
issues of race within college

sports, especially in big-time
college sports, and the related
issues of money in college sports,

opportunity in
college sports for

The history of

the group has been
well chronicled. In
addition to their
phenom statuses
as freshmen, those
five players’ radical
defiance of the
standards to which

their predecessors and peers were
held changed the culture of the
sport. But today, that legacy seems

outweighed by what came after
they were gone.

The Ed Martin scandal rocked

the Fab Five’s public perception
and temporarily severed its ties
with the University. Both wounds
are only now really beginning to
heal. The Fab Five’s perception is
forever shaded by attitudes about
their attitudes, critiques that
might not have been heard about
white players asserting the same
intent to control their image. And,
of course, the power dynamics
that see college athletes generate
so much interest and revenue
but aren’t allowed to take home a
penny of it.

Those issues have only

increased in importance in
the time since the Fab Five
left campus. At a time when
the debate of whether college
athletes ought to be paid rages
strongly, the Fab Five’s story is as
important as ever. Someday, the
benefits causing the scandal may
no longer be deemed improper.

Presumably, some students

will be in attendance Saturday,
some who are athletes and
some who aren’t. Colas thinks
both groups will have plenty to
take away from the event, but
for those who fill the bleachers
on game days, there could be
something extra to gain.

“I guess in a certain way, I do

feel that, just because there are
more students who aren’t athletes
… I’d say there’s more urgency
to the sort of vast number of
students who are fans of Michigan
athletes, to hear the stories of
athletes and open themselves up
to the experience emotionally of
recognizing the humanity of the
athlete,” Colas said.

Even while Jalen Rose calls

for re-hanging the banners that
were taken down in the wake of
the Martin scandal, there is other
change at stake on Saturday,
change that extends beyond the
rafters of Crisler Center. What
that looks like remains to be seen.
Colas said that after the event,
they organizers will look at the
reaction and go from there.

And even with the urgency

Colas referenced, there’s still time
for nuanced thought. Debates
on money, race, power and
amateurism aren’t going away,
and this event invites Michigan
back to the center of them.

No one is saying that these are

issues that can be solved with a
conversation. But they can’t be
solved without one.

Bultman can be reached at

bultmanm@umich.edu and on

Twitter @m_bultman. Please @ him.

Stribling has come a long way

since 2013, when former Penn
State wide receiver Allen Robinson
caught a fourth-quarter pass over
him that set up for the game-
tying score. It sent the game to
quadruple overtime, where the
Wolverines lost, 43-40. It even
inspired Robinson to ink his side
with the picture of the catch.

It’s unlikely that Stribling

would allow something like that
to happen again.

“He has his confidence

back and he’s getting more
comfortable with himself and he
knows that he’s one of the best,
really,” Lewis said. “I know he
won’t ever say that, but I know
he’s one of the best.”

It’s hard to decide which

corner will have a bigger impact
on the season than the other, and
it probably doesn’t matter for this
reason: Michigan may have the
best two in the Big Ten.

Hall can be reached at

hallkl@umich.edu and on

Twitter @KellyHall20.

handling all three kicking duties
(field goals, kickoffs and punting)
was “ideal” for Allen, and regardless
of whether that is the case, Allen
now finds himself in a fight with
Tice for the placekicking job.

For his part, the fifth-year

senior had a solid day punting the
ball, pinning Wisconsin inside the
20 four times and notching four
punts of 50 or more yards.

With a trip to Rutgers looming,

the Wolverines may not need a
flawless performance from their
kickers Saturday. But as Harbaugh
pointed out, they will eventually.

After the game, Harbaugh was

asked about the saying “defense
wins championships,” a nod to
the way Brown’s unit bailed out
the mishaps on Saturday. He said
he ascribes to the saying with
one caveat.


Harbaugh said, “you’ve gotta
make field goals, too.”

From Page 1B

From Page 1B

Game-winning pass redeems passing game

In the third quarter of the

Michigan football team’s game
against Wisconsin, Bo Dever
found his friend Jehu Chesson
on the Wolverines’ sideline and
tried to stay positive. Dever,
a former wide receiver on the
team who is now a graduate
assistant, told Chesson, now a
fifth-year senior wideout, that
the breakthrough was coming.


crack,” Dever told Chesson. “We
gotta keep pounding. It’ll crack,
it’ll crack.”

Up until that point, there



game was close to a go-ahead
score. On the first series of

sophomore quarterback Wilton

interception of the season. On
the next two drives, the Badgers
stopped the Wolverines with
third-down sacks. And yet
there were Dever and Chesson,
already sensing paydirt.

“It had to come,” Chesson


Then, midway through the

fourth quarter, with No. 4
Michigan still locked in a 7-7 tie
with No. 8 Wisconsin, Speight
hit Darboh with a 15-yard slant
pass on 3rd-and-7, keeping the
drive alive at the Badgers’ 46.
Passing game coordinator Jedd
Fisch called a play Chesson
referred to as simply “All

The pass was supposed to go

to senior tight end Jake Butt,
who ran a post over the middle.
But Speight saw Darboh on the
weak side, matched one-on-one

Derrick Tindal — who grabbed
the interception earlier.

“That’s probably the best

scenario that, as a quarterback,
I could hear is one-on-one
with Amara Darboh,” Speight
said. “I got back at the top of
my drop and saw that he won
on his release. And it was still
solid coverage, so I knew I
needed to put it in one spot and

one spot only, and he made a
great play.”

Redshirt junior running back

Ty Isaac blocked Wisconsin
defensive end Alec James long
enough for Darboh to beat
Tindal down the sideline by a
full stride. Speight’s eyes shifted
from Butt to Darboh. Tindal had
no help from the safeties.

“You’re just kind of holding

your breath there the last split-
seconds of the play to see that
it doesn’t get deflected,” said
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

Seeing his man wide-open,

Speight floated a perfect pass to
Darboh, who snatched it away
from Tindal and waltzed into
the end zone. The Wolverines
won by that margin.


highlight against a swarming

Wisconsin pass defense, but
it was enough. Of Michigan’s
first 12 drives, two resulted in
touchdowns, and the other 10
stalled on passing plays — three
sacks, one interception and



the touchdown

Darboh bobbled
a pass and then
dropped it after
a hit by D’Cota

next series was
redemption for


with 87 yards.

“The kid has ice in his veins,

so he’s very clutch,” Chesson

said. “He got the game-winning
touchdown throw, so we’re very,
very, very lucky to have him on
our sideline.”

The Badgers sacked Speight

on third down on each of the





sacks on the day


that came the

threw a low ball
over the middle
into traffic and
Tindal grabbed

On several other occasions,

Wisconsin’s aggressive defense


out of their 3-4 front, and
the back end of their defense

limited the effectiveness of the
Wolverines’ usual screen and
crossing routes.

But in the fourth quarter,

Chesson still felt like Michigan
was gaining traction against

Harbaugh was confident in
Speight’s ability to throw deep,
and Darboh liked his matchup.
The final result validated all of
their beliefs.

“I was just very excited when

I saw (Darboh), very excited
when he caught that touchdown
because that meant we went up
by six, made the extra point, up
by seven, and we’re winning
the game,” Chesson said. “So it
finally cracked.”


Fifth-year senior wide receiver Amara Darboh (far left) caught a 46-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to ease concerns about some early mistakes.


Managing Sports Editor

“The kid has
ice in his veins,

so he’s very




The Michigan basketball teams return to the Nike uniforms with black socks and black shoes this year, the look established by the trend-setting Fab Five.

“What would
feel best for me
is to kick off a


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