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Juwan Howard Issues Apology After Postgame Altercation With Wisconsin

Michigan coach Juwan Howard apologized for his actions in Sunday‘s postgame handshake line in a statement on Monday.

The apology comes after Howard swung at Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft during a scuffle that broke out following his team‘s loss to Wisconsin. The Wolverines coach expressed regret for both his actions and words during the incident.

“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,” Howard said, per The Athletic's Brendan Quinn. “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 Joe 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!”

The Big Ten suspended Howard for the rest of the regular season on Monday, which will cause him to miss a total of five games. He was also fined $40,000.

“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 Monday. “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.”

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The altercation began after Sunday’s game because Howard was upset with Wisconsin coach Greg Gard for calling a timeout in the final seconds with the Badgers comfortably in the lead. During the handshake line, Howard was seen poking Gard in the chest and Gard appeared to grab Howard by the shirt. Eventually, the incident escalated and both coaches and players had to be restrained.

During the scuffle, Howard swung at Krabbenhoft.

Gard later explained that he had called the timeout to reset the clock so that his team could get across half court without getting a violation. He also said that Howard told him “I’ll remember that,” before he poked him. Howard explained during his postgame press conference that he was aiming to protect himself as a result of another coach putting their hands on him. 

The Big Ten announced additional punishments for Gard and players involved in the altercation. Michigan forwards Terrance Williams II and Moussa Diabate will be suspended one game. Gard was dealt a $10,000 fine and Wisconsin guard Jahcobi Neath was suspended one game.

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