Michigan coach Juwan Howard suspended for rest of regular season; Gard fined $10K

Big Ten: Brawl a 'clear violation' of conference sportsmanship policy

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Michigan is suspending head men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard for the rest of the regular season following Sunday’s altercation with Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard and other Wisconsin assistant coaches.

In a statement Monday evening, the Big Ten said Sunday’s incident was a “clear violation” of the conference’s sportsmanship policy.

Howard will also face a $40,000 fine. Two Michigan players and one Badger — Terrance Williams II, Moussa Diabate and Jahcobi Neath — have each been suspended one game.

Badgers Head Coach Greg Gard, meanwhile, has been fined $10,000.

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

In a statement, Howard apologized for his “unacceptable” behavior:

“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!”

UW-Madison Athletic Director Chris McIntosh said Wisconsin Athletics will cover Gard’s fine, saying he considers it “to be a ‘Wisconsin fine’ and not a ‘Greg Gard fine.'”

“Neither Coach Gard nor his staff had any intent to provoke or incite any of what took place,” McIntosh said in a statement. “I want to commend those on our staff — and student-athletes — who were trying to de-escalate the situation.”

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel was the first to report the suspension. The Wolverines have five more games left on their schedule before the Big Ten tournament begins next month.

The altercation started during the post-game handshake line when Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard says he stopped Michigan head coach Juwan Howard to try to explain why he took a late timeout in the game even though the Badgers were winning by a large margin.

Gard put his hand on Howard’s elbow in an attempt to prevent him from walking past him without saying anything, to which Howard said he responded by telling Gard not to touch him.

The incident then escalated, with Howard yelling at Gard and Badgers staff while also grabbing hold of Gard’s shirt. As a scrum between both benches started in an attempt to pull everyone apart, some punches were thrown between players, and Howard was seen slapping Wisconsin assistant coach Joel Krabbenhoft.

Juwan Howard Fight Joe Krabbenhoft Wisconsin Michigan

The hand of Juwan Howard is seen hitting Wisconsin Badgers assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft during an altercation following the game between Wisconsin and Michigan on February 20, 2022. (WISC-TV/Channel3000)

Earlier Monday, officials with the UW-Madison Police Department told News 3 Now that no criminal charges or citations would be filed over the incident, and that they would let the universities and the Big Ten handle any discipline.

This is not the first time in which Howard has found himself in a physical argument with another Big Ten coach. He was ejected during Michigan’s first game in last year’s Big Ten tournament after getting into an altercation with then-Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon.

Michigan’s athletic director issued a statement Sunday night, saying there was no excuse for the physical altercation with Gard and the Wisconsin staff, and apologizing to Wisconsin officials.