The University of Michigan athletics department and the Big Ten Conference have both now issued statements regarding the fight involving Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard, Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard and others following Sunday’s game in Madison.
The Big Ten statement reads, “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.”
Meanwhile, U-M athletic director Warde Manuel said, “I am aware of and watched the end of our men’s basketball game. There is no excuse for any of our staff or student-athletes to get into a physical altercation with others regardless of instigating factors. I reached out and apologized to Chris McIntosh and President Coleman has reached out to UW Chancellor Blank to apologize for the totally unacceptable behavior. We will review the situation more thoroughly and work with the Big Ten Conference as they determine their disciplinary actions and will determine if further disciplinary actions are warranted.”
All parties involved seem to be cooperating with this. A suspension is very likely in Howard’s near future, but we’ll have to wait and see what else comes out of this.
Speaking of the likely suspension, The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn took to Twitter after the game and read through the Big Ten’s rules. The maximum penalty the conference can hand out to Howard is a two-game suspension and a $10,000 fine. However, if the university chooses to do so, it can dish out its own suspension to Howard.
The fight broke out after Howard and Gard met in the postgame handshake line. Howard was rubbed the wrong way when Gard took a timeout with 30 or so seconds remaining when the game was well out of reach for Michigan. The two exchanged words, and things escalated pretty quickly when Howard threw a punch that hit Wisconsin staffer Joe Krabbenhoft. Howard was restrained not long after that and the two sides parted ways to their respective locker rooms.
All in all, just a terrible situation to see play out.