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Michigan's Juwan Howard suspended 5 games after postgame altercation

The suspension will last the rest of the regular season after Howard landed an open-hand shot on a Wisconsin assistant coach during a scrum in the handshake line.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan men's basketball head coach Juwan Howard will serve a five game suspension following an altercation in the handshake line after Sunday's Wisconsin-Michigan game, the Big Ten Conference announced.

The five-game suspension will last the rest of the regular season, as Michigan has five games to go, after Howard landed an open-hand shot on Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft. 

Howard was upset about a late timeout call by Wisconsin. As Howard tried to walk right past Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard in the handshake line, Gard grabbed Howard and the two had words before pushing and shoving ensued. When Krabbenhoft forced his way into the middle of the altercation, Howard struck him with an open hand to the head. 

“Big Ten Conference coaches and student-athletes are expected to display the highest level of sportsmanship conduct,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “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 of the court.”

Howard will also be fined $40,000 in addition to his suspension. Michigan student athletes Terrance Williams II and Moussa Diabate each received one-game suspensions.

Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard was fined $10,000 and student athlete Jahcobi Neath received a one-game suspension.

During his postgame news conference, Howard said he didn't like Wisconsin calling for a timeout with 15 seconds left and the Badgers leading by 15.

“I thought it was not necessary at the moment, especially being a large lead,” Howard said.

Wisconsin head coach Gard said he called the timeout because his reserves were in the game and only had four seconds to get the ball past midcourt. A timeout gives them 10 seconds.

“I was not going to put them in position, where the ball had already gotten knocked out of bounds, to have to break a press in four seconds,” Gard said.

Juwan Howard released the following statement after the suspension.

“After taking time to reflect on all that happened, I realize how unacceptable both my actions and words were, and how they affected so many. I am truly sorry.”

“I am offering my sincerest apology to my players and their families, my staff, my family and the Michigan fans around the world. I would like to personally apologize to Wisconsin’s assistant coach Joel Krabbenhoft and his family, too.”

“Lastly, I speak a lot about being a Michigan man and representing the University of Michigan with class and pride. I did not do that, nor did I set the right example in the right way for my student-athletes. I will learn from my mistake and this mistake will never happen again. No excuses!”

Following the 77-63 loss to Wisconsin, Michigan dropped to 14-11 on the season with an 8-7 conference record. 

The Wolverines next game is Wednesday against Rutgers in Ann Arbor.  

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