Home Sports Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard suspended for rest of Wolverines' regular season after postgame altercation at Wisconsin – ESPN

Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard suspended for rest of Wolverines' regular season after postgame altercation at Wisconsin – ESPN

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Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard suspended for rest of Wolverines' regular season after postgame altercation at Wisconsin – ESPN

Michigan coach Juwan Howard strikes Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the handshake line after game between Badgers and Wolverines. (0:45)
Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard has been suspended five games — the remainder of the regular season — and fined $40,000 for hitting Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the face after Sunday’s game, the Big Ten Conference announced on Monday.
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was fined $10,000 for violating the conference’s sportsmanship policy but not suspended, while Krabbenhoft is not expected to receive punishment.
Michigan forwards Terrance Williams and Moussa Diabate and Wisconsin guard Jahcobi Neath were each suspended one game. All three appeared to throw punches. The disciplinary actions were imposed by the Big Ten, in conjunction with both schools.
“Big Ten Conference coaches and student-athletes are expected to display the highest level of sportsmanship conduct,” conference commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “I am grateful for the partnership with Michigan athletics director, Warde Manuel, and Wisconsin athletics director, Chris McIntosh.
“Our expectation is that the incident yesterday will provide our coaches and student-athletes with the opportunity to reflect, learn and move forward in a manner that demonstrates decorum and leadership on and off of the court.”
In the final minute of Wisconsin’s 77-63 home win on Sunday, Gard substituted his walk-ons into the game. Michigan, which still had its regulars on the floor, was pressing full-court, leading Gard to call a timeout to settle his team and give it a chance to cross half court without turning the ball over.
Following the final buzzer, Gard grabbed Howard’s arm as he walked past in an attempt to stop and talk to him. The two men exchanged words, with Howard putting his finger in Gard’s face and grabbing Gard’s shirt before being surrounded by several players and coaches. Krabbenhoft then came over in the middle of the scrum and exchanged words with Howard, and Howard then reached out and struck Krabbenhoft’s face.
Both teams began pushing and shoving, with Michigan’s Diabate and Williams and Wisconsin’s Neath appearing to throw punches.
“After taking time to reflect on all that happened, I realize how unacceptable both my actions and words were, and how they affected so many. I am truly sorry,” Howard said in a separate statement released by Michigan on Monday. “I am offering my sincerest apology to my players and their families, my staff, my family and the Michigan fans around the world. I would like to personally apologize to Wisconsin’s Assistant Coach Joe Krabbenhoft and his family, too.
“Lastly, I speak a lot about being a Michigan man and representing the University of Michigan with class and pride, I did not do that, nor did I set the right example in the right way for my student-athletes. I will learn from my mistake and this mistake will never happen again. No excuses!”
Both ADs said such incidents have no place in the game.
“Today’s disciplinary actions underscore the seriousness with which we take the incident that unfolded on Sunday. Simply put, there is no room at U-M for the behavior we saw,” Manuel said in Michigan’s statement. “We will learn from this incident as a department, work to improve ourselves while operating under a spotlight, and move forward in a positive light.”
McIntosh said in a statement released by Wisconsin: “Needless to say, there is no place in college athletics for what happened at the end of Sunday’s game. Neither Coach Gard nor his staff had any intent to provoke or incite any of what took place. I want to commend those on our staff — and student-athletes — who were trying to de-escalate the situation.
“Our staff has my complete support, as do our student-athletes. I consider the $10,000 fine from the Big Ten to be a ‘Wisconsin fine’ and not a ‘Greg Gard fine.’ Wisconsin Athletics will assume the responsibility for paying the fine.”
Howard had said Sunday he was angry over Wisconsin’s timeout usage. Wisconsin called two timeouts in the last minute, including one with 15 seconds left when the Badgers led by 15.
“I didn’t like the timeout they called, and I’m being totally honest with you,” Howard said. “I thought it was not necessary at that moment, especially with it being a large lead. … I thought that wasn’t fair to our guys. And so that’s what happened.”
He also said someone from Wisconsin made contact with him but didn’t specify who did it.
“Someone touched me, and I think it was very uncalled for, for them to touch me, as we were verbalizing and communicating with one another. That’s what escalated it,” Howard said.
Gard explained his rationale for the timeouts, particularly the one with 15 seconds left, in a postgame interview with CBS.
“Apparently, he didn’t like that I called the timeout to reset the 10-second call. Because we only had four seconds to get the ball over half court,” Gard told CBS. “I didn’t want to put my backups — I had all my bench guys in the game — I didn’t want to put them in that position of scrambling with only four seconds. So I took a timeout and got us a new 10 seconds, and it helped them get organized and get the ball in. And he did not like that when he came through the handshake line. I’ll leave it at that, and the tape will show the rest.”
Michigan (14-11 overall, 8-7 in the Big Ten) has four straight games at home before playing at Ohio State in the regular-season finale. Associate head coach Phil Martelli, the former longtime coach at St. Joseph’s, took over head-coaching duties when Howard was ejected from last year’s Big Ten tournament.

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