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Daily Brews: Juwan Howard explains his stance on California player likeness bill

The latest with the Michigan Wolverines and college sports world for Oct. 3.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Media Day Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Juwan Howard spent the majority of Wednesday in Rosemont, Illinois for Big Ten basketball media day and questions about the future of Michigan under his watch were of course the main attraction. However, one topic continues to hang over collegiate sports like a rain cloud, which dragged into the event at the Hilton Rosemont.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany came out against California’s Fair Pay for Play Act, which would allow student athletes to be compensated for the use of their likenesses. The coaches in the league on Wednesday mostly came out in favor of what is best for the players, but Howard was not ready to go there yet.

Not because he does not support it, but because he has not done enough reading or research on the subject to understand the effect it may have yet.

“Well, I don’t know too much about it, to be honest with you,” Howard said during his podium session on Wednesday. “I’ve heard a little bit of some information that’s out there. I haven’t had a chance to really read about it. I’ve been more focused on our players, on practices, getting ready for the season, day-to-day stuff that I’m dealing with back at the University of Michigan, whether it’s players’ academics, practices, planning, recruiting. But I’ve heard a little bit about it, and unfortunately I haven’t read anything on it, so I can’t really comment. If it’s something I don’t know about, I would prefer not to comment about it.”

Some wrote off these comments as ignorant and weak, but Howard opened up a bit more on his reasoning for it during the more informal roundtable session with the media later in the day.

“I really don’t know what’s happening right now with this bill,” Howard said. “I haven’t had a chance to read about it, dive all the way in and get to know what’s happening with this new transition. Yes, I was once one of these kids that were playing on the collegiate level and now I’m coaching. Here’s a keyword: Coaching. I’ve been so caught up into our guys and what we’re trying to build as a team, my head is still spinning with all the other things that I’m managing. Making sure they’re going to class and that there’s nothing they’re going to fall behind in class. Also, locked in on recruiting. I haven’t signed a player yet, haven’t gotten a guy to commit. I haven’t had a chance to think about that. I come today to media day, and they’re going to think I’m BS’ing. I really don’t know what is happening but I will. I will do my homework but I understand and I heard this that they’re three years away. I trust our AD Warde Manuel and how he’s going to vote and his decision moving forward. We’ll figure it out.

“I’ll tell you this, my family and how I grew up, we couldn’t afford a dream college. I got someone, and I don’t know who that person is and hopefully, I get to meet them someday, paid for my scholarship. Freeride at the University of Michigan. I got scholarship offers to other universities. I am forever debted to those people, whoever spent money for scholarship. That right there was a gamechanger for my life. I am very appreciative. The free ride and knowing how much college costs, paying for my daughter Skye who went to Syracuse and Newhouse, it’s not cheap at all.”

Howard said he was not going to toe the company line because there was not much of one to toe in his eyes. He simply was not ready to comment on something he had not done enough research on yet. Seeing as immediately after the event was over, he made his way to West Virginia on a recruiting visit, he certainly has a case for lacking the time to pour over the details of a bill that is not even in effect yet.

Seeing as many beat writers and media do not even know the details of it, yet persist in asking about something they do not fully understand, perhaps we all need to take a step back and do the reading, first.

Chris Partridge: ‘Unbelievable’ how Jim Harbaugh handled Wisconsin fallout

Michigan football is still in the process of picking itself off the floor after a humbling defeat at Wisconsin a few weeks ago. The first step in the healing process was the dismantling of Rutgers last weekend, which safeties and special teams coach Chris Partridge said Jim Harbaugh handled nearly flawlessly.

“Unbelievable how he handled the team and the coaches that week,” Partridge said, via The Detroit News. “It was just like a clinic, I felt. We got up and we attacked. We were ready, because we know who we are in here, and we knew we got knocked backward. There’s going to be some self-doubt. But if you just look in the mirror and say, ‘This isn’t how I’m defined,’ as an individual, as a team, and you get after it, the result will be what happened (against Rutgers).

“Then we’ve just got to continue to make sure that we remember and learn from that game moving forward, and we’ve got to prepare like we prepared last week, and we gotta feel like we felt Monday, even though you’re coming off a win. It’s got to be the same focus and determination and attention to detail and everything.”

Iowa coming to town will surely be another measuring stick for where this team is at. Michigan is favored in the game, but that will not mean much of anything if they do not come to play on Saturday.

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