2007, April 1: Lexington Herald Leader – Fab Five
June 24, 2008
UK NOTEBOOK – Michigan’s team changed the game before sanctions…
Michigan’s Fab Five accomplished a lot in two short seasons. Two Final
Fours as freshmen and sophomores, itself a revolutionary feat in the
early 1990s when freshmen made little impact. Then came allegations of
accepting money from a booster and, in another oddity, Michigan
stripped its record books of their presence much as the Soviet Union
made Leon Trotsky a non-person.
Despite all of that, Jalen Rose has no problem remembering the Fab Five playing Kentucky in the 1993 Final Four.
"It wasn’t just another game at all," he said. "Kentucky was the
favorite to win the NCAA that year by the way they were blowing people
Never mind that Michigan returned all five starters from a team that
advanced to the 1992 national championship game. The experts made
Kentucky the big favorite.
"We took it personally," Rose said. "It was almost like a slap in the face."
Michigan beat Kentucky 81-78 in overtime before losing to North
Carolina in a championship game settled by a technical foul called on
Chris Webber for calling a timeout the Wolverines didn’t have.
All became a mere footnote for the Fab Five, who changed college
basketball by wearing baggy shorts and black socks, sporting tattoos
and, as Rose said, "performing like we were in the backyard talking
trash and having a swagger."
The Fab Five did not intend to make such a mark on college basketball.
"Most of it just happened," said Rose, who plays for the Phoenix Suns.
"Our mark on college sports and pro sports is unquestioned."
Rose, who considers college athletics the "ultimate hypocrisy,"
acknowledged the sting of having Michigan erase the Fab Five from its
record book. He interprets that action as the revenge gained by those
who disliked the style. He wonders why Ohio State did not take down the
football championship banner that Maurice Clarett helped raise.
"Looking back on it, I understand that people appreciate what we brought," he said. "I know it’ll never be duplicated."
By Jerry Tipton
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER