Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard suspended for rest of regular season

Kirkland Crawford David Jesse
Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard won't be on the sidelines for a while.

Howard has been suspended for the remainder of the regular season by the school — which the Big Ten backed — and fined $40,000 for striking an opposing coach  at the end of the Wolverines game against the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday. 

Howard's supsension would not include the Big Ten tournament or any other postseason games.

The Big Ten also fined Wisconsin men's basketball coach Greg Gard $10,000 for the altercation, while Michigan forwards Moussa Diabate and Terrance Williams II and Wisconsin guard Jahcobi Neath were all suspended for one game for throwing punches.

“Big Ten Conference coaches and student-athletes are expected to display the highest level of sportsmanship conduct,” conference commissioner Kevin Warren said in the released 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.”

Howard struck Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the face after Howard and Gard exchanged words in the postgame handshake on Sunday. The Wolverines lost, 77-63, and Howard was unhappy that Gard called a timeout with 15 seconds remaining, but the Wisconsin head coach said he did so to ready his reserves for Howard's pressure defense the Wolverines were still employing.

Once Howard struck Krabbenhoft, Neath, Diabate and Williams threw punches in the scrum.

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Howard did not apologize for his actions, in his postgame news conference, but he did offer contrition Monday night after his suspension 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," Howard's statement began.

"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 Joel Krabbenhoft and his family, too."

Michigan head coach Juwan Howard speaks to the media regarding a fight that broke out on the court after the loss to Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022.

The Big Ten released a statement around 7 p.m. Monday, stating that Howard was in "clear violation of the Big Ten Conference's Sportsmanship Policy," and that Gard was "in violation" of the policy. 

Howard had a heated exchange with then-Maryland coach Mark Turgeon during last season's Big Ten tournament in the second half of the quarterfinal win. 

Michigan (14-11, 8-7 Big Ten) has five regular season games remaining, four at home, then the Big Ten tournament as the team fights for its sixth straight NCAA tournament bid

The Wolverines host Rutgers on Wednesday and Illinois on Sunday.

Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel was first to report Howard's suspension.