Michigan Coach Howard Suspended For Season After Wisconsin Brawl

Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard will miss the final five games of his team’s season after being suspended for his part in a post-game brawl with Wisconsin staff and players at the weekend.

The coach will also be $40,000 lighter in his bank account after being fined that amount after he appeared to punch Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the face during the brawl.

The Big Ten Conference announced the punishment late on Monday and also announced that Wisconsin coach Greg Gard would be fined $10,000 for a a violation of the sportsmanship policy, but he was not suspended.

Krabbenhoft was neither fined or suspended by the Big Ten.

Three players that were embroiled in the fracas, Michigan’s Terrance Williams and Moussa Diabate as well as Wisconsin’s guard Jahcobi Neath all received a one-game suspension for appearing to throw punches in the post-game melee.

Juwan Howard throws a punch. pic.twitter.com/HiC3y7yKvG

— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 20, 2022

What Happened To Cause The Confrontation?

Late in the game on Sunday, Wisconsin had a comfortable 77-63 lead over Michigan and in the final minute of the game, coach Gard decided to allow his walk-ons the chance for some game time and substituted them onto the court.

Michigan though still had its regular starters playing and whatsmore, they were playing a full-court press.

As the shot-clock ticked down and despite having a 14-point lead, Gard decided to call a time out with just a few seconds left on the shot clock, to give his team a chance to move the ball forward without handing the opposition possession.

It is this which seemingly so angered Coach Howard.

A few seconds later at the end of the game, the two coaches clashed as Gard seemed to grab at Howard’s arm which led to a fiery exchange between the two, leading to Howard to push his finger into Gard’s face.

He then grabbed Gard’s shirt before several players gathered around the two feuding coaches.

Krabbenhoff then moved over the middle of the two coaches and exchanged words with Howard which led to the Michigan coach thumping Krabbenhoff in the face.

The melee continued for a short time thereafter with the three players named above now becoming involved and throwing punches at each other.


Despite calls for the coach to be sacked, Michigan seem to have stuck by Howard who was contrite when news broke of his punishment.

Juwan Howard releases a statement apologizing for his actions in the altercation after Michigan’s game against Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/if4ZyPRvYd

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 22, 2022

“I realize how unacceptable both my actions and words were, and how they affected to man, I am truly sorry,” stated Howard in a statement 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.”

Howard also admitted that he did not set “the right example in the right way for my student-athletes,” and he promised that the mistake “will never happen again.”

However, it was notable that in his apology, Howard made no mention of Coach Gard, the person he had the altercation with initially.

Wisconsin’s AD has already stated that they view the $10,000 fine for coach Gard as a “Wisconsin fine” and will pay that on the coach’s behalf, claiming that their coach and staff had no intention to “provoke or incite any of what took place.”

Michigan’s final five games could see Associate head coach Phil Martelli take over coaching duties as he did when Howard was ejected from the Big Ten tournament last year.

Author: Paula Dunn