University of Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard will not be on the sidelines after being suspended for his actions after a game where he got into it with a coach from the opposing team.
The Wolverines’ coach has been suspended for five games – the remainder of the regular season – for hitting University of Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the face after their game on Sunday (February 20th). The suspension was handed down by the Big Ten Conference on Monday (February 21st), which comes with a fine of $40,000.
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was fined $10,000 for violating the sportsmanship policy of the conference but received no suspension. “Big Ten Conference coaches and student-athletes are expected to display the highest level of sportsmanship conduct,” said Kevin Warren, the conference’s commissioner in a statement announcing the decision. Michigan forwards Terrance Williams and Moussa Diabate, along with Wisconsin guard Jahcobi Neath were each suspended one game for throwing punches during the melee.
The altercation took place as Howard was leading his team off the court after a 77-63 loss. Gard grabbed Howard’s arm in an attempt to talk to him. Both men exchanged testy words, and Howard put a finger in Gard’s face and grabbed his shirt before being restrained and surrounded by players and coaches from both teams. Krabbenhoft then came over in the midst of the fray and exchanged words with Howard, who then reached out and struck the coach in the face.
Howard issued a statement of apology after the news was announced: “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,” he said. 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.” Assistant head coach Phil Martell will take over for Howard.