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Friday, September 21, 2018

Jalen Rose reacts to Chris Webber accepting Jim Harbaugh’s invitation

Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose is thrilled that his former Fab Five teammate Chris Webber has decided to return to Michigan this fall for the first time in years, but he has one question — why football?

Last week, Webber accepted Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh’s invitation to serve as an honorary captain at a game this season. Rose was asked for his thoughts on the topic on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Monday morning, and he said numerous times that he is “elated” Webber has finally decided to reincorporate himself into the Michigan family.

“I’m elated. I’m excited because this really unlocks the legacy of the Fab Five,” Rose said. “Him not going back to Ann Arbor and not acknowledging the university actually put a ceiling on the acknowledgment of the Fab Five and on (former coach) Steve Fisher, who all did a terrific job of trying to establish a level of success and appreciation for what we were able to accomplish.”

Webber, of course, was at the center of an NCAA scandal when it was discovered that he and other Michigan players accepted money from booster Ed Martin, who died in 2003. Webber took over $200,000 from Martin and was the highest-profile player called to testify before a grand jury. He initially lied to the grand jury and was later convicted of perjury, and Michigan was forced to vacate its Final Four appearances and wins from the 1992 and 1993 seasons. Webber was not elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year for the seventh straight year, and some believe the Michigan scandal is the main reason voters are snubbing him. Rose believes that is why Webber is now trying to reconcile with Michigan.

“I’m elated by this news. I’m not surprised by this news and, respectfully, it’s calculated,” he said. “He understands that he is a Hall of Fame-level player. He has to turn around the thoughts of a lot of media members who didn’t select him. To me, I see this as the first step of him (reigniting) his Hall of Fame candidacy for public consumption.”

Finally, Rose also wondered why Webber has accepted an invitation from Michigan’s football program and not the basketball team.

“The one person that I’m pretty sure is probably like, ‘What’s going on?’ is (Wolverines coach) John Beilein. The last time I checked, (Webber) didn’t play football. He played basketball.”

Rose has made some very harsh comments about Webber in the past, so it’s clear where he stands in regard to how things have gone over the past two decades. For Webber, serving as an honorary captain for a football game would be a start, but it might not be the capacity many fans and alumni were hoping to see him in.

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