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Michigan head coach Juwan Howard suspended for rest of regular season after hitting Wisconsin assistant

Wisconsin's Greg Gard not suspended, fined $10k
Michigan Wisconsin Basketball
Posted at 5:40 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 23:24:17-05

Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard has been suspended the final five games of the regular season and fined $40,000 for hitting a Wisconsin assistant in the head, triggering a postgame melee.

The Big Ten Conference also suspended three players one game for the altercation following the 15th-ranked Badgers’ 77-63 win on Sunday: Michigan’s Moussa Diabate and Terrance Williams II, and Jahcobi Neath of Wisconsin. Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was fined $10,000 for violating the conference’s sportsmanship policy, but was not suspended.

Howard is expected to be back for the Big Ten tournament, which begins March 9 in Indianapolis.

"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. Additionally, the University of Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Head Coach Greg Gard was in violation of the conference’s sportsmanship policy," Big Ten's statement said in part.

Below are the official disciplinary actions:

University of Michigan

  • Head Coach Juwan Howard
    • Coaching Suspension: Five games (remainder of the regular season)
    • Fine: $40,000.00
  • Student-Athlete Terrance Williams II
    • Suspension: One game (effective immediately)
  • Student-Athlete Moussa Diabate 
    • Suspension: One game (effective immediately)

University of Wisconsin

  • Head Coach Greg Gard
    • Fine: $10,000.00
  • Student-Athlete Jahcobi Neath
    • Suspension: One game (effective immediately)

“Big Ten Conference coaches and student-athletes are expected to display the highest level of sportsmanship conduct,” stated Commissioner Kevin Warren. “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.”

Howard released the following statement Monday night:

"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!"

Chris McIntosh, director of athletics for Wisconsin, said in part, "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."

During his postgame news conference, Howard said he didn’t like Wisconsin calling for a timeout with 15 seconds left and the Badgers leading by 15.

After the game, Howard pointed a finger at Gard. Later on, Howard reached through a crowd to get to Krabbenhoft, and players from each side got involved in the skirmish.

“I didn’t like the timeout they called, and I’m being totally honest with you,” Howard told ESPN. “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”

According to ESPN, Howard said his reaction stemmed from someone on Wisconsin putting hands on him, though he did not say who that was.

"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," he told ESPN.

According to ESPN, Howard was ejected at last year’s Big Ten tournament at Michigan in 2019 after getting into a shouting match with Maryland coach Mark Turgeon.

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