In 1991, Chris Webber committed to go to the University of Michigan on a basketball scholarship. The no. 1 ranked player in the country out of Detroit, was the biggest star of the Fab Five as they entered Michigan basketball. However, after the Ed Martin scandal, Webber was essentially ex-communicated from Michigan basketball in 2003.
This was the week that Webber’s “disassociation” period technically ended. Now, the school, if they choose, can embrace Webber for the great achievements he made at Michigan. Webber can also return to his alma mater, if he so chooses. But beyond that, what does the end of the disassociation really mean?
You see, this was just another example of the NCAA trying to erase history. When they want to punish a school or a player, they decide events didn’t happen. Reggie Bush never won the Heisman Trophy at USC. Derrick Rose and Memphis never made a run to the national championship in 2008, because there are no banners to prove they did. The Fab Five didn’t make the Final Four in 1992 and 1993. Sure, there is video of all of these things happening, but according to the NCAA, none of it happened.
And according to the NCAA, Webber couldn’t have any connection to his former school and basketball program.
So now, are Michigan fans suddenly supposed to remember Webber? The problem is, nobody forgot about him. The disassociation may have kept the two parties from contact, but to every other basketball fan in the world, Webber was still a great player on the Fan Five at Michigan. Michigan, Chris Webber and the Fab Five are all things that are inherently associated with each other in fan’s minds, no matter what the NCAA and the school decided to do for a decade. In the horribly distorted mind of the NCAA, Webber and Michigan have no connection between 2003 and this week. The problem is, most fans have memories and live in the real world, where things that happened, happened, not just when the NCAA says they did.
Webber’s disassociation with Michigan has now ended, but did it ever really exist?
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