Michigan head coach Juwan Howard throws punches at Wisconsins' Joe Krabbenhoft as Badgers beat Wolverines 77-63
February 21, 2022
Michigan Wolverines' game against the Wisconsin Badgers ended in a chaotic spectacle. The incident occurred after Michigan head coach Juwan Howard stood up to Wisconsin's head coach Greg Gard following an absurd late timeout in the game. It turned violent after Howard threw a punch at the opposing assistant coach during the line-up handshake. Following the Wolverines' 77-63 defeat at the hands of the Badgers, Howard and Gard got heated up during the line-up. Then, a Wisconsin assistant coach reportedly said something to Howard. The former NBA player then took a full swing at assistant Joe Krabbenhoft. Howard wasn't the only person involved in the brawl. According to Michael Cohen, a sports journalist, the players from both the Wisconsin and Michigan teams started fighting after the game. The incident escalated quickly as players from both teams started pushing and shoving each other. As the heated exchange continued, the crowd began to rain the court with boos. The brawl deescalated when Wolverines headed to its locker room. NCAA is expected to hand in several suspensions and fines following this unexpected turn of events. Due to the brawl, the college basketball world is in an uproar. Although Howard incurred a one-game suspension from the NCAA, he could be fined for his actions due to his position as a mentor as well.
Reason for Gard's late timeout
Following his team's double-digit win, Gard explained why he took the late time out with seconds left in the half that upset the opposing head coach. According to the Wisconsin head coach, he wasn't able to give his players enough time to get the ball over halfcourt. Also, he didn't want to rely on backup players. "Apparently, he didn't like that I called the timeout to reset the 10-second call," said Gard. "Because we only had four seconds to get the ball over halfcourt. I didn't want to put my backups — I had all my bench guys in the game — I didn't want to put them in that position of scrambling with only four seconds." He also noted that he decided to use the additional time to help the team get organized and get the ball in. "So I took a timeout and got us a new 10 seconds, and it helped them get organized and get the ball in. And he did not like that when he came through the handshake line. I'll leave it at that, and the tape will show the rest," the 51 years old head coach said. During his post-game press conference, the Wisconsin head coach said he wanted his team to dribble out the clock and not shoot the ball in order to combat the Wolverines' full-court press.
Howard has not apologized
After the game, Howard claimed that Gard touched him during the handshake, so the 49 years old coach felt the need to defend himself. Howard also noted that it was unfortunate for the players to join the brawl as he thought it was unnecessary for them. Apparently, that was the only thing the head coach is sorry for. Additionally, Desmond Howard, a former Michigan football player, also justified the head coach's action. The former NFL wide receiver tweeted his support for the Wolverines coach: "I saw Juwan walking away, and Wisconsin coach put his hands on him to stop. First mistake. Then an assistant coach inserted himself and said something that only escalated things. Let bosses be bosses and play your position. Second mistake."