Volatile Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard potentially faces a suspension or firing for punching a Wisconsin assistant coach today during the postgame handshake line.
Howard swiped at Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft’s face, igniting a brawl that included coaches and players. The 15th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers beat unranked Michigan, 77-53.
This isn’t Howard’s first such incident. At last year’s Big Ten tournament, Howard was ejected when he got into a shouting match with Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. The two had to be separated when Howard appeared to be heading over to physically confront Turgeon
Today’s issue started when Howard and Wisconsin coach Greg Gard has angry words in the postgame line. They were quickly surrounded by a few players and coaches, and Howard escalated the situation by putting his finger in Gard’s face and grabbing his sweater. Krabbenhoft came over and Howard reached out and struck his face.
That threw gas on the fire, and both teams began a shoving match, with Michigan and Wisconsin players throwing punches.
The Big Ten said it would review the matter for “swift and appropriate disciplinary action.”
“The Big Ten Conference is aware of a physical altercation involving Michigan Head Coach Juwan Howard at the conclusion of the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball game. The conference is in contact with both member institutions and is currently assessing the incident. The conference will provide more information and will take swift and appropriate disciplinary action when it completes its review,” the conference said in a statement.
Howard claimed he was angry over Wisconsin’s timeout use at the end of the game. Wisconsin called two timeouts in the last minute, including one with 15 seconds left while leading by 15 points.
“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.”
Howard said he didn’t get physical until someone else made contact, although he didn’t specify who.
“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 said.
Juwan Howard throws a punch. pic.twitter.com/HiC3y7yKvG
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 20, 2022
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