Michigan Basketball Coach Juwan Howard Out For Rest Of Regular Season After Postgame Fight
University of Michigan head basketball coach Juwan Howard has been suspended for the rest of the regular season after a post-game brawl broke out between him and University of Wisconsin coach Greg Gard.
The Big 10 Conference imposed the punishment, taking him out for the remaining five games along with a $40,000 fine. This was all as a result of Howard voicing his displeasure with a time-out called by Gard in the final seconds of the matchup with the Badgers, which the Wolverines lost 77-63. While in the handshake line, Howard and Gard exchanged words, which then became physical and led to Howard reaching through a crowd to strike Wisconsin Assistant Coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the head.
“It has been determined that there was a clear violation of the Big Ten Conference’s Sportsmanship Policy by Michigan Men’s Basketball Head Coach Juwan Howard,” a statement from the Big 10 read. “Additionally, the University of Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Head Coach Greg Gard was in violation of the conference’s sportsmanship policy.”
Gard was fined $10,000 for his role in the fight and three players, two from Michigan and one from Wisconsin, were each suspended for one game.
Howard, the Wolverines coach since 2019, led the team to the Big 10 Championship. He was also a member of its “Fab Five” elite squad that became famous for leading the team to the NCAA finals in 1992 and 1993, and went on to a nearly two-decade NBA career. Howard earned a championship ring with the Miami Heat in 2012 before retiring in 2013.
"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 statement, according to The Detroit News. "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."
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With the NCAA Tournament coming up, the Wolverines are currently 14-11 and 8-7 and an invitation to the field of 68 teams is currently up in the air for them. Assistant coach Phil Martelli will take Howard’s place at the helm for the remainder of the regular season.