Michigan Men’s Basketball head coach Juwan Howard has been fined $40,000 and suspended for the remaining five games of the Wolverines’ season after he allegedly hit Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the face after Sunday’s game.
According to ESPN, the Big Ten Conference announced Howard’s suspension on Monday while also fining Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard $10,000 for violating the conference’s sportsmanship policy. However, he will not be suspended, nor will he receive punishment for his actions.
Michigan forwards Terrance Williams, Moussa Diabate, and Wisconsin guard Jahcobi Neath received a one-game suspension after throwing punches. In addition, the Big Ten and the schools decided to impose disciplinary actions on the student-athletes.
“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,” he said.
During the game’s final minute, Gard took a timeout as the Badgers had a 77-63 win over the Wolverines on Sunday. While Gard substituted his walk-ins into the game, the regular starters remained on the floor. So he wanted to strategically ease into a game win without potentially turning the ball over.
After the final buzzer, Gard attempted to speak with Howard. The Wolverines’ coach attempted to walk past, and Gard grabbed his shirt. The two exchanged words before Howard put his finger in Gard’s face, and the situation escalated quickly. Several players and coaches surrounded the two coaches, and Krabbenhoft came over and attempted to diffuse the altercation. However, when he and Howard exchanged words, the Wolverine’s coach struck Krabbenhoft in the face.
Here's really good raw video of the aftermath of #Michigan and #Wisconsin. You can clearly hear Juwan Howard say "I'll remember that" to Greg Gard prior to the altercation.
(Video courtesy of WKOW. Caution unedited, NSFW language.) pic.twitter.com/27N2q1OD8I
— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) February 20, 2022
As both teams engaged in the scuffle, Michigan’s Diabate and Williams and Wisconsin’s Neath appeared to have thrown punches towards one another.
“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.”
On Monday, Howard made a separate statement following his actions after Sunday’s game.
“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. 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!”
The team’s athletic directors made statements regarding the incident.
“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,” Ward 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.”
Chris McIntosh said the school would be responsible for paying the fine.
“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.”
Without Howard as head coach, the Wolverines (14-11 overall, 8-7 in the Big Ten) have four straight home games before playing Ohio State in the season finale game.