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Juwan Howard reflects on last year’s slapping incident after loss at Wisconsin

Howard addresses the apology he made.

Michigan v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

It was yet another close defeat for the Michigan Wolverines last night, as they lost to the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, 64-59.

After the game, head coach Juwan Howard took some time to address the infamous slapping controversy from last year.

To refresh your memory, after last year’s loss in Madison, Howard and Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard got into an argument that ultimately led to Howard slapping Badgers assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft.

Following the slap and the altercation that happened after, Howard was suspended 5 games. Two Michigan players — Terrance Williams II and Moussa Diabate — were also each suspended for one game.

Howard reiterated that he apologized for the incident, regretted it, has had time to reflect on it, and has since had positive conversations with Wisconsin’s coaching staff.

Here’s the quote in full:

“Overall, what happened last year was, as we talked about and I apologized for it. I wish I could have that situation back because I never would have reacted the way I did. And I hurt a lot of people — my family, my team, obviously Wisconsin, the coaching staff, the fans here and the Michigan fans.I don’t ever want this to always be remembered as that moment.

Yes, it’s going to be brought up a lot. Do I regret it? Yes. Yes I do. Do I wish I could have it back? Yes, I do, because I would never have reacted the way I did. Even though that was me, that’s really not who I am as an individual.My players know that, and so they know the love that I have for them and they understood when I had a conversation about the incident, I took ownership of it. I’m still growing. I’m also vulnerable to let them know that those moments right there, you can learn from it and make sure you don’t make those mistakes.

That’s the connection that we have.I’m so honored and blessed to have young men in that locker room that are enjoying the experience and representing the ‘Go Blue,’ the maize and blue.…

And by the way, too, I’ve had a conversation as you guys know. I’m sure you’ve seen it at our Big Ten Media Day with Coach Greg Gard and I, we talked. Then also had a really good conversation with Joe. He and I had a really good moment. It was just great just to sit down and talk to Gard and Joe [Krabbenhoft]. I can’t tell you exactly what was said — that’s more private — but it was a very good conversation.

After last night’s loss, Michigan falls to 14-12 on the year and 8-7 in the Big Ten. Tentatively, Michigan’s next game at home is versus Michigan State — that’s set to tip-off on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. It has not yet been announced whether this game will happen as planned; Michigan State’s game against Minnesota, originally set to be played today, was canceled after three students tragically lost their lives in a mass shooting on Michigan State’s campus Monday.