May 8, 2013, 9:30 PM EST
The tie that has bound former Michigan players Chris Webber, Louis Bullock and Maurice Taylor for the last ten years wasn’t a good one, as the school disassociated itself from the three due to NCAA rules violations involving late Michigan booster Ed Martin.
On Wednesday the ten-year period, which was one of the school’s self-imposed sanctions, came to an end. In a story by the Larry Lage of the Associated Press both Bullock and Taylor expressed their desire to reconnect with the Michigan program.
“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 Associated Press. “I’m excited to talk to [UM athletic director Dave] Brandon and coach (John) Beilein. While I had some success in the NBA, there was a void in my life because of the circumstances.
“I had three of the best years of my life there and I love that school and all that it stands for.”
While Bullock and Taylor’s desire to reconnect is certainly a positive, it is Webber who will be the focus of this development due to his role in the program reaching the NCAA title game in both 1992 and 1993.
As a result of his role in the scandal the school took down the Final Four banners associated with those seasons, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of the players who were not found to have broken rules. What will it take for the school to honor the Fab Five now that Michigan can once again associate itself with Webber?
But, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has said Webber must first apologize for his role in the scandal before the university would make any overtures toward recognizing the group.
“I don’t see much movement and I don’t see the sense of urgency at all,” Jalen Rose told the Detroit Free Press. “I see a line in the sand that was drawn basically saying if Chris doesn’t apologize, they’re going to punish everybody else.”
Will Webber make the move to apologize to the school? And what happens if he doesn’t apologize? Does that mean the other members of the program at that time will be made to pay the consequences as well?
What the answers to those questions are remain to be seen. But at the very least the school and Webber can now actively discuss them, and that should be seen as a positive.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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