The University of Michigan and Chris Webber can officially reconnect after a 10-year ban was lifted by the NCAA on Wednesday. The ban was also lifted for Maurice Taylor and Louis Bullock.
The NCAA forced Michigan to cut all ties from the three former Wolverines and the late Robert Traylor for a decade following a federal investigation. The investigation revealed that that deceased booster Ed Martin gave them more that $600,000 when they were student athletes.
But now the option to renew the relationship with school is up to Webber, Taylor and Bullock. However, the Michigan has to be willing to want to reconnect as well.
“I’ve never met any of those guys, and I am looking forward to meeting them,” Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday night. “If any of those guys are interested in meeting with me, that would be great.”
Fellow Fab Five member Jalen Rose told the Detroit News that he has seen a line drawn that if Webber does not apologize then they will punish the rest of the members of the Fab Five. But Rose said it is not on Weber to issue an apology to Michigan in order to receive recognition for success that the group achieve, the university can do that despite what Webber decides to do.
“This morning, I felt really good about the dissociation being over and having the opportunity to reunite with the University of Michigan,” Taylor told The AP on Wednesday. “I’m excited to talk to Mr. Brandon and coach (John) Beilein. While I had some success in the NBA, there was a void in my life because of the circumstances.”
Martin, who died in February 2003, plead guilty to conspiracy to laundering money, saying that he used gambling money and combined other funds in loans to Webber, other players and their families.
“Ed was made out to be something he wasn’t, he wasn’t a booster who steered you to a school or guy who preyed on kids,” Taylor said. “He was just a great guy in Detroit, who helped out anybody playing ball of any kind in the city.”
With the ban lifted, Webber can possibly reunite with his fellow Fab Five members to see their 1992 and 1993 Final Four banners go back up in the rafters, if Michigan chooses to do so.
Rose, Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson attended the NCAA final in Atlanta last month. However, Webber chose to sit in a suite to watch the game.
“You can’t think of Michigan without thinking of us,” Webber said in a 2007 interview with the AP.