That choice, however, makes the NCAA's systematic disavowal of the Fab Five era look even more egregious than it already is.
Former Fab Five star Juwan Howard is set to become the 17th Michigan men’s basketball coach in school history pic.twitter.com/r9SkX0QK2o— Mich. Daily Sports (@theblockm) May 22, 2019
Howard, one of the members of Michigan's world-famous quintent of players that guided the program to back-to-back appearances in the national championship game, has officially been welcomed back to the college basketball world with open arms. The Fab Five at large, however, have been essentially erased by the NCAA due to their run being tarnished by players receiving improper benefits from a booster, Ed Martin.
Their Final Four banners from 1992 and '93 were removed from the Crisler Center beneath a dark cloud of impropriety. The whole situation was and is a mess. Howard's hiring just makes the NCAA's choice to scrub the record of that stellar 90s team look ridiculous and hypocritical. It proves to the world that they were looking to make an example out of those Michigan players, yet turn around and celebrate them as the folk heroes that they were if and when it became convenient.
Michigan and Juwan Howard have agreed to a five-year deal to make him U-M's next basketball coach. Weren't speculating last night, and we aren't now. pic.twitter.com/b23SBQuT2y— Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) May 22, 2019
This is yet another stain on the already-tarnished reputation of the NCAA, a governing body that would rather merely give the appearance that they care about stopping rule-breakers rather than actually punishing those who game the system and take advantage of student-athletes.
Howard's return to his alma mater should be a joyous occasion, a way to celebrate the homecoming of one of the school's most iconic players. But since his name has been scrubbed from history as a member of college basketball's most famous starting lineup -- despite the fact that he himself was never implicated in the Ed Martin scandal -- the college basketball world is left pondering how this saga could have played out differently.