Michigan AD denies apologizing to Chris Webber for 2003 investigation, fallout

·3-min read

Chris Webber will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, and believed that his feud with Michigan was well behind him.

Wolverines athletic director Warde Manuel, however, seemed to reignite that beef on Friday.

Manuel, days after Webber said he had received an apology from him for how he was treated during an investigation over claims that he accepted money from a booster at the school and eventual disassociation, refuted Webber’s claims and said he never actually apologized.

"I enjoyed the conversation with Chris when we met several years ago," Manuel said in a statement, via ESPN. "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."

Webber said Michigan AD apologized

Webber played at Michigan on the Fab Five teams from 1991-93 before his 15 year career in the NBA.

Webber was the subject of an investigation in 2003, and later pled guilty to a criminal contempt charge in court while admitting htat he had repaid a booster more than $38,000 — which he said was given to him as a loan when he was a player at Michigan.

As part of that deal, Webber and Michigan cut ties for a decade and stripped all of his stats from the school’s record books. He was the only one of the Fab Five caught up in the scandal.

"I was the lowest-hanging fruit," Webber told ESPN. "I had the biggest name. I knew that then, so hopefully some of the things in [my 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."

Since the decade-period ended, Webber’s relationship with Michigan has significantly improved.

Manuel was hired as the school’s athletic director in 2016, after he played football there in the 1980s and worked at the school in the 1990s. Though he was not involved in the investigation, Webber said that Manuel actually apologized to him.

"I was told by the athletic director at the University of Michigan [Manuel], that he was sorry," Webber told ESPN. "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.'"

Now, as that’s apparently not true, only time will tell if Webber and Michigan are truly past things.

Michigan Wolverines forward Juwan Howard, guard Jalen Rose, and forward Chris Webber
Michigan Wolverines forward Juwan Howard, guard Jalen Rose, and forward Chris Webber (left to right) look on during a game in 1992. (Getty Images)
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