2008, February 24: DetNews.com – Jalen Rose honored: Fab Five star hopes all will be forgiven in tim
June 24, 2008
February 24, 2008 — The yellow T-shirts handed out Saturday were not subtle.
Bright yellow with "Jalen" in blue block letters, there was no mistaking who Saturday’s honoree was at Crisler Arena.
Jalen Rose was one of the most talented guards in Michigan basketball
history, and he was recognized as such with a pregame reception and at
halftime of the Michigan-Illinois game.
He thanked his fans, family and specifically referred to "four guys" —
the other members of the Fab Five — whom he rattled off by name to the
crowd’s cheers, adding "The Fab Five is forever." At one point, when he
paused, the alumni band began playing "The Victors," only to be cut off
by Rose, who wanted to continue.
"Only on Jalen Rose Day, he can stop the band," Rose said to the crowd, laughing.
The first member of the Fab Five to be publicly recognized, Rose
attended his first game at Crisler since leaving U-M after his junior
season in 1994.
The years since have seen many of his era’s records vacated as
punishment for late booster Ed Martin’s payments to Rose’s teammate
Chris Webber and three subsequent U-M players.
Eventually, Rose hopes, Webber will be among those who get their due.
As part of the Wolverines’ NCAA sanctions, Webber is not allowed to be
a U-M guest until 2013.
"It’s no shame, what was said was said; what was alleged was alleged,"
said Rose before the game, adding he spoke to his former teammates, and
former U-M head coach Steve Fisher and assistant Perry Watson earlier
about Saturday’s festivities.
"But ultimately, with everybody, time heals all wounds. In my opinion,
it’s going to be time to move on eventually. That’s how life happens;
that’s how situations happen. I just hope I’m not in a wheelchair,
walking with a cane or in a grave site when it happens. I want to be
here to see it."
Yet he feels the Fab Five’s spirit is alive in modern basketball.
"Every time you see the black shoes, black socks and baggy shorts, the Fab Five lives," he told the crowd.
While many affiliated with Michigan look back on the 1990s as an
embarrassing period in the program’s history — U-M president Mary Sue
Coleman called it "a day of great shame" when the sanctions were
announced — Rose said Saturday was progress.
"I see this as being the first step coming back to honor at least the
other four guys in the Fab Five and eventually coming back when our
banner is hoisted with all of our numbers and achievements on it," he
said. "That will be the ultimate day."
BY MARK SNYDER ? FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER