The advent of warm weather has kept me far away from the computer – there is simply too much to do at the ranch.
However, I cannot let an article as perfect as this go by without comment:
What makes this article so beautiful is Rose’s utter lack of self-awareness. He seems blissfully ignorant of the shame his actions and those of his teammates brought upon the University of Michigan, or why the university president may not want to celebrate his dubious “achievements.”
Rose was of course part of the “Fab Five,” a group of corrupt freshman basketball players who made it to the NCAA finals before losing at the last second to Duke.
Thus they failed to win either a conference or national title, but are still venerated in Ann Arbor because they wore baggy shorts.
The comments on the article are full of the usual sturm und drang, but once again I note that no one has fully addressed the real problem of the Fraud Five – that we do not know how far their corruption extended.
U-M “booster” and criminal mastermind Ed Martin died before the investigation was complete and many of his secrets died with him. Martin was able to lavish money on the athletes thanks to the profits from his gambling operation and it is this element that Skunk Bear faithful never want to address.
You see, since Martin depended on profits from his gambling to pay the players, it would be a simple thing for one of them to shave a point here or there, or even offer a tip that a “sure thing” was not as sure as it looked. One could even make money on the over-under or fail to make the spread on a blowout. In short, there are lots of ways to “fix” a game short of throwing it.
I have no specific information, but it seems inconceivable to me that at some point one or more of these players did not try to compensate their benefactor by shaving a few points or otherwise boosting his haul from a bet.
Needless to say, none of the athletes would ever admit to this even now, as the damage to their reputation would be catastrophic. Pete Rose remains banned from baseball for gambling and were it to emerge that any of the games of that era were even slightly influenced, a similar ban would likely be put in place, barring the Fraud Five not only from their alma mater, but also professional basketball as well.
The problem is that once one bears the taint of wrongdoing, no one is sure where it ends.
Jalen Rose has little credibility – and his teammates wisely are leaving the issue dormant.
Still, there is a case to be made for U-M restoring its squalid banners to the rafters of Crisler Arena. After all, the Skunk Bears continue to tout themselves as the “winningest football program ever,” despite the fact that several of their early teams consisted entirely of non-student hirelings.A win is a win, and one could argue that the Wolverines would at least be consistent.