Chris Webber said he received an apology from Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel about the fallout from the investigation over claims he had accepted money from a booster during the Fab Five era.
Webber spoke to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf about his life and career as he prepares for his upcoming induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Among the issues he touched on was his isolation and exile from the University of Michigan. Webber was the most notable member of the Fab Five, but infamously became involved in a booster scandal that led to the school banning him for ten years and erasing him from the history books.
“I was told [that] by the University of Michigan. I was told by the athletic director at the University of Michigan [Warde Manuel], that he was sorry,” Webber said. “And he wasn’t even there at the time [I was playing]. He told me that he did his research and that he needs to apologize. His exact words [were], he needs ‘to apologize to the 18-year-old Chris Webber because we didn’t protect him.’
Webber pleaded guilty in 2003 to a criminal contempt charge and admitted he repaid former booster Ed Martin around $38,000 for what he called a loan he accepted when he was a star basketball player at the school.
“I was the lowest-hanging fruit. I had the biggest name. I knew that then, so hopefully some of the things in [my upcoming book] will reveal what happened, how things happened and hopefully just life can go [on] or it can just get back to normal in that way. Hopefully, once we address all this good stuff, we’ll get back to it.”
Webber said he’s already planning to return to Michigan to observe practice under coach Juwan Howard, another member of the Fab Five. With most of the scandal drama behind him, Webber is focused on being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend.