The Big Ten Conference announced Monday, Michigan men’s basketball coach Joanne Howard has been suspended for five games — the remainder of the regular season — and a $40,000 fine for hitting Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabenhoft in the face after Sunday’s game.
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard has been fined $10,000 but not suspended, while Krabenhoft is not expected to be penalized.
Michigan forwards Terrence Williams and Moussa Diabatti and Wisconsin goalkeeper Jahkobi Neith are each suspended for one game. The three seemed to be throwing punches. Disciplinary measures were imposed by the Big Ten, jointly with both schools.
“Big Ten Conference coaches and student-athletes are expected to display the highest level of sportsmanship,” Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren said in the statement. “I am grateful to be partnering with Michigan Director of Athletics, Ward Manuel and Director of Wisconsin Athletics, Chris McIntosh.
“We expect yesterday’s incident to provide coaches and student-athletes with an opportunity to think, learn and move forward in a way that demonstrates fitness and leadership on and off the field.”
In the final minute of Wisconsin’s 77-63 win on Sunday, Jared substituted his rounds for the game. Michigan, which still had its key players on the ground, was pressing the entire field, prompting Jared to call a timeout to level his side and give him a chance to cross half the field without turning the ball over.
After the last bell, Jared grabbed Howard’s arm as he passed trying to stop and talk to him. The two men exchanged words, with Howard putting his finger in Jared’s face and taking Jared’s shirt before several players and coaches surrounded him. Then Krabbenhoft came in the middle of the scrum, exchanged words with Howard, then Howard stretched out and hit Krabbenhoft’s face.
Both teams started pushing and shoving, with Diabatti and Williams of Michigan and Neth Wisconsin appearing to throw punches.
“Disciplinary action today underscores the seriousness with which we take the incident that occurred on Sunday. There is simply no room at UM for the behavior we saw,” Manuel said in a separate statement released by the school. “We will learn from this incident as a management, and we will improve ourselves while working under the spotlight, moving forward in a positive light.”
Howard said he was angry about the use of the Wisconsin timeout. Wisconsin called two timeouts in the last minute, including one timeout with 15 seconds left when the Badgers led by 15.
“I didn’t like the lead time they called, and I’m totally honest with you,” Howard said. “I thought it wasn’t necessary at that moment, especially with it being such a big advance… I thought it wasn’t fair to our guys. And that’s what happened.”
He also said that someone from Wisconsin called him, but did not specify who did.
He said, “Someone touched me, and I think there was no excuse, because they touched me, because we were talking and communicating with each other. And that escalated the matter.”
Jared explained his rationale for the timeout, particularly the 15-second one, in a post-match interview with CBS.
“He obviously didn’t like that I called the timeout to reset the 10-second call. Because we only had four seconds to get the ball over half of the field,” Jared told CBS. “I didn’t want to put my backups – I had all the guys on the bench in the game – I didn’t want to put them in this scramble position in just four seconds. So I took a timeout and got 10 new seconds and helped them organize and get the ball. He likes it when he’s gone through the handshake line. I’ll leave it at that and the rest of the tape will come out.”
Michigan (14-11 overall, 8-7 in the Big Ten) has four consecutive home runs before playing at Ohio State at the end of the regular season. Associate Head Coach Phil Martelli, a former longtime St. Joseph coach, took over the head coaching duties when Howard was kicked out of the Big Ten last year.
“After taking some time to reflect on everything that happened, I realized how unacceptable my actions and words were, and how they affected so many. I am truly sorry,” Howard said in the Michigan follow-up statement.
“My sincerest apologies to the players, their families, staff, family, and Michigan fans around the world. I would like to personally apologize to Wisconsin assistant coach Joel Krabenhoft and his family as well.” Finally, talking so much about being a Michigan man and representing the University of Michigan with pride, I didn’t, and I didn’t set the right example the right way for my student-athletes. I will learn from my mistake and never repeat that mistake again. no excuses!”
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