The Wolverine

April 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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44 THE WOLVERINE APRIL 2022 M ichigan head coach Juwan Howard returned March 7 from a five-game suspension resulting from an altercation at Wisconsin Feb. 20. The league "determined there was a clear violation of the Big Ten Confer- ence's sportsmanship policy by Michi- gan men's basketball head coach Juwan Howard," adding in a statement that University of Wisconsin men's basket- ball head coach Greg Gard was also in violation of the conference's sportsman- ship policy. "For their roles in the altercation, Michigan's Terrance Williams II (for- ward), Moussa Diabate (forward), and Wisconsin's Jahcobi Neath (guard) were also in violation of the Big Ten Con- ference's sportsmanship policy. Many members of the bench area for both teams, including assistant coaches, did not represent the level of sportsmanship that is expected from the Big Ten Con- ference and its member institutions." Howard initially said something to Gard in the handshake line about a late Wisconsin timeout. Gard then appeared to put his hands on him to stop him to talk. The Michigan coach got animated and put his finger in Gard's face, at which point the two had to be separated. Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabben- hoft then entered the middle of the pack. Whatever Krabbenhoft said or did seemed to set the Michigan coach off (it appeared he put his hands on Williams). Howard's open-handed smack set off a melee that included Williams, a sopho- more, and Diabate, a freshman. "Yes, I was [upset]," Howard said. "I didn't like the timeout being called, and I'll be totally honest with you. I thought it was not necessary at that moment, especially being a large lead. And then, for the timeout to be called with three seconds, four seconds to go. I thought that … wasn't fair to our guys." Gard said he was simply trying to reset the 10-second clock, which he under- stood was at four seconds. That would give his backups a chance to get the ball up the floor. "Big Ten Conference coaches and stu- dent-athletes are expected to display the highest level of sportsmanship conduct," Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said. "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 the court." Manuel proactively assessed a five- game suspension of Howard with War- ren. Concluding an assessment of the incident, the conference and the Uni- versity of Michigan reached alignment on Howard's disciplinary action. That included a $40,000 fine for Howard and a $10,000 fine for Gard. Gard, however, was not suspended. Associate head coach Phil Martelli took over for Howard and helped lead the Wolverines to a 3-2 record, includ- ing home wins over Rutgers and Michi- gan State, and a critical road win at Ohio State. Martelli credited assistant Howard Eisley for calling "a perfect game" in the 87-70 victory over the Spartans and insisted Eisley and Saddi Washington should be head coaches someday. Howard met the media March 9, a day before his team's Big Ten Tournament game with Indiana. "I can come with 1,000 excuses, but I will not," Howard said. "I take full own- ership for my actions. I can talk about the timeout. We can discuss the pull on the arm. We can talk about the words exchanged with coaches. All that would be excuses. "The main thing is, that was not the right way to carry myself as a head coach at a fine institution like the University of Michigan.   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL Juwan Howard Remorseful Following Return From Five-Game Suspension Upon returning from his suspension, Howard said: "I take full ownership for my actions. … I was truly upset with myself during that two weeks and did soul-searching how I can improve." PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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