It appears the relationship between the Michigan Wolverines and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Chris Webber isn’t quite as repaired as first thought.
Webber was famously accused of accepting money from former booster Ed Martin and ultimately pleaded guilty to a criminal contempt charge in 2003 and admitted to giving more than $38,000 to Martin as a repayment. In response, Michigan disassociated itself from Webber for 10 years and also stripped his collegiate stats from its record books.
Webber, 48, claimed earlier this week that current Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel privately apologized to him for how the university treated the five-time NBA All-Star during and after the 2003 investigation. According to Myron Medcalf of ESPN, however, Manuel responded in a school statement and said no such apology occurred.
“I enjoyed the conversation with Chris when we met several years ago,” Manuel explained. “But I can assure you I made no apology to Chris and, for those who may be curious, I never asked him to apologize to the University of Michigan. I wish Chris nothing but the best, and I’m happy that he’s being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.”
College athletes can now earn money from their names, images and likenesses without violating NCAA rules, so discussions about whether or not Webber is owed an apology for incidents that may or may not have occurred when the “Fab Five” were the hottest thing in college basketball are downright silly.