Michigan vs Wisconsin fight: What the sports world is saying about Juwan Howard striking Wisconsin assistant after game
An on-court scuffle between Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard and Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard was one of the biggest subjects in sports on Sunday.
The scuffle led to Howard drawing the most attention from it, as he threw a punch at Badgers assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft. Howard was irritated that Gard called a late timeout in a game where the Badgers were up a substantial amount. He’s likely to face a suspension but isn’t the only person from the program that will face discipline — players on both teams threw punches.
The fallout from the game will have big consequences for Michigan (14-11), as they’re fighting to make the NCAA Tournament. The Badgers, meanwhile, are 21-5 and preparing for another tournament bid.
Reaction to the incident made national waves in the sports world. The commentary about Howard’s role in the scuffle was strong.
“For Howard to react the way he did was alarming but not without precedent,” wrote CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander. “He had to be restrained from going after Maryland coach Mark Turgeon during last year’s Big Ten Tournament. He was not suspended for that. For this, he will be. Multiple games. If it’s for the remainder of the season, that would be appropriate.
“Some are calling for Howard to be fired. The Michigan administration can do whatever it pleases, but that would likely be a step too far. Howard doesn’t need or deserve to be fired what he did. Another incident like this, and sure, he would probably have to go. Two confrontations in two years is short of a trend, but it’s also not a good sign. The university, the sport cannot have this again.”
The Athletic’s Brian Hamilton said Howard’s job at Michigan should be in jeopardy.
“But Juwan Howard absolutely should be fired for what he did and said Sunday, if only because he doesn’t seem to grasp that the head men’s basketball coach at Michigan shouldn’t act like a child,” he wrote.
Zach Braziller of the New York Post believes Howard should be suspended the rest of the season.
“Whether the Michigan coach was right or wrong — and all indications are the latter — is irrelevant,” Braziller wrote. “His job as a college basketball coach is partly as an educator. He’s a mentor. He’s supposed to be a leader.
“He wasn’t any of those things on Sunday afternoon in Madison, Wis., after his team suffered a 14-point loss. He acted like a child. He lost his temper. He got physical with not one but two opposing coaches, escalating a situation that needed to be de-escalated.
“For that reason, he has to be suspended for the rest of the season, until Michigan has played its final game. He can’t be part of this program until the year is over.”
And here’s more commentary about the scuffle from Twitter:
I don’t have the energy to fully get into this Juwan Howard thing, but no, he shouldn’t be fired.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 20, 2022
Juwan Howard should absolutely NOT be fired.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) February 21, 2022
This is not Juwan Howard’s first incident. Last year if you remember he had an ugly incident in the @TerrapinHoops game with Mark Turgeon. This needs to be addressed on all levels. This is embarrassing. Fwiw coach your own team. Your opponent will coach their team.
— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) February 20, 2022
Look Greg Gard was no innocent bystander in this situation with Juwan Howard.Calling a time out was absurd with 15 sec. left. Gard seeing the anger in Howard’s face should have kept his hands off him.Howard slap INEXCUSABLE -Saying all that SUSPENSION is a MUST / firing NO !!
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 21, 2022
Unbelievably ugly scene at the end of this game. Plenty of blame to go around but foremost Juwan Howard for punching/slapping Wisconsin asst Joe Krabbenhoft. No doubt a suspension is coming for Howard. Should be multiple games. Absolutely inexcusable.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) February 20, 2022
— Aron Yohannes