Ex-Wolverines basketball star Chris Webber is expected to be back at Michigan this weekend.
It will be Webber's first public appearance in Ann Arbor since his 10-year disassociation with the program ended in 2013. Webber's disassociation was the result of the payment scandal involving former booster Ed Martin — a scandal that rocked the basketball program in the early 2000s.
Webber is expected to serve as the football team's honorary captain, at coach Jim Harbaugh's invitation, on Saturday when the fifth-ranked Wolverines (7-1, 5-0) host Penn State at Michigan Stadium.
During a radio appearance with 97.1-FM on Wednesday, Harbaugh said he anticipates a positive reaction from fans when Webber is on the field.
"The loyal Michigan fans that write to me and I hear from are excited about it," he said. "That's the reaction I would expect."
As of Wednesday morning, neither Michigan football nor Michigan basketball had made any formal plans to make Webber available to the media during his expected visit to Ann Arbor. Webber, the centerpiece of Michigan's famed Fab Five teams that went to back-to-back NCAA championship games in 1992 and 1993, has mostly stayed quiet about his involvement in the Martin scandal over the years.
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In addition to a 10-year ban from the school handed down by the NCAA, Webber was eventually ordered to pay $100,025 in 2005 on a misdemeanor contempt charge for lying to a federal grand jury about money he'd received from Martin prior to his entry into the NBA.
Speaking with the Dan Patrick Show this summer, Webber said he'd like to one day have a full reunion with his former teammates at Michigan.
“There’s nothing I would want more than that,” Webber said. “I think that we’re on the right path for that. I think there has to be conversation, organically. People were pushing it for money because of that (ESPN) doc, but you have to be sincere, address and then move forward because all the other stuff is still going to be there.
“For the fans, for myself, for my family, hopefully I think it’s something we’re working toward.”
Contact Nick Baumgardner: n[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.
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