Following a dispute a couple days prior to Sunday’s win over Iowa, Michigan head strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson has filed a claim with the University of Michigan’s Human Resources department following a dispute with head coach Juwan Howard, according to The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn.
What we know about Juwan Howard’s situation at Michigan amid HR probe into confrontationhttps://t.co/MSmTcSPeJV— Brendan Quinn (@BFQuinn) December 13, 2023
The HR department will review all the facts of the incident, with information from both Sanderson’s and Howard’s account of the matter to be included. After that, HR will send a report to athletic director Warde Manuel, who will then decide if any policy was violated.
It should be noted that Howard has been under a zero-tolerance policy following the infamous incident in Feb. 2022, when he struck Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft following a loss to the Badgers. For that incident, Howard was suspended by the Big Ten for the final five games of the regular season and fined $40,000.
As reported by Quinn, the confrontation between Sanderson and Howard happened after a disagreement between Jace Howard and an athletic trainer. Howard hasn’t played in a game all season after suffering a stress fracture in his knee and has been a limited participant in practice over the last few weeks.
Quinn reported, citing witnesses and people briefed on the matter, that no punches were thrown between Sanderson and Juwan Howard, but they had to be separated after things got heated.
A source confirmed to Maize n Brew that Sanderson chose not to make the trip to Iowa for Sunday’s game. Sanderson has not responded to a request for comment following the dispute.
Howard has been recovering from heart surgery in September and has yet to fully return as the team’s head coach. He returned to the bench to watch the games in the Battle 4 Atlantis, and has been in an assistant coaching type role since then.
As of Wednesday afternoon, it is unclear if Howard will be on the sidelines for Michigan’s next game against Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Sanderson has been with Michigan for more than a decade and has played a vital role in developing players physically. Players will often “attend Camp Sanderson” over the offseason to get stronger. He famously helped Nik Stauskas put on 16 pounds of muscle before his standout season in 2013-14. He also recently helped train Dug McDaniel and Tarris Reed Jr. this offseason.
It’s still unclear how all this is going to end, but Maize n Brew is working to confirm more information about the incident. We will keep you updated as more news develops.