On Feb. 20, the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball of the University of Wisconsin–Madison beat the Michigan University Wolverines by 77 to 63. During the routine victory handshake, things turned violent between Michigan head coach Juwan Howard and the Wisconsin coaching staff members. In the process, Howard reached out and hit Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft with what seemed to be an open hand.
Howard joined the victory line at the back instead of leading the line as usual.
As Howard and Badgers coach Greg Gard met each other on the line, Gard put his hand on Howard’s arm and stopped his progress. Howard then backed up and put his hand on Gard’s chest, grabbing his pullover jacket, USA Today reported. A tussle ensued, and players joined in. Before long, Howard hit Krabbenhoft.
Howard said he was angry over how Wisconsin used its timeouts. Wisconsin called two timeouts in the last minute, ESPN reported.
“I didn’t like the timeout they called, and I’m being totally honest with you,” Howard said. “I thought it was not necessary at that moment, especially with it being a large lead. … I thought that wasn’t fair to our guys. And so that’s what happened.”
Howard said he then reacted after someone from Wisconsin put hands on him.
“Someone touched me, and I think it was very uncalled for, for them to touch me, as we were verbalizing and communicating with one another. That’s what escalated it,” he said.
When asked by The Daily Cardinal about the incident, the Michigan coach said, “Me bragging in a medical setting about eating 12 ounces of bacon every morning doesn’t mean that I won’t protect myself when someone tries to test me for the potential consequences of my actions.”
Black Twitter spoke out.
“Tell the truth. Be honest with me. In the grand scheme of things are you really upset Juwan Howard slapped a guy talking sh*t. In real life does this bother you? On this beautiful sunny day at least if you are in Cali like me. I find it more humorous than anything else,” tweeted Robert Littal, CEO of BlackSportsOnline (BSO).
“My column today: ‘Joe Krabbenhoft is white. Had he struck Juwan Howard, Krabbenhoft would have been fired Sunday night. He would be portrayed as the second coming of Derek Chauvin,’” tetted Jason Whitlock, co-host of the “Fearless” podcast. Derek Chauvin is the former police officer convicted for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Juwan Howard should absolutely NOT be fired,” tweeted Marc Lamont Hill, a Temple University professor and host of Black News Tonight.
“Your an educator Mark, if you did this while working for a university and swung on an opposite professor or administrator or whatever, what would happen?” John Richardson asked Hill in a reply.
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According to a tweet from the Bleacher Report, “Juwan Howard will be suspended for the remainder of Michigan’s regular season.”
The Big Ten Conference matchup took place in the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. The Big Ten is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the U.S. and consists of 14 universities and two affiliate institutions.
“The Big Ten Conference is aware of a physical altercation involving Michigan Head Coach Juwan Howard at the conclusion of the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball game,” the Big Ten said in a statement. “The conference is in contact with both member institutions and is currently assessing the incident. The conference will provide more information and will take swift and appropriate disciplinary action when it completes its review.”
Photo: Michigan head coach Juwan Howard, left, reacts after Michigan was whistled for a foul during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State Feb. 12, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)/Photo: Then-Wisconsin forward Joe Krabbenhoft, right, talks during a news conference in Boise, Idaho, March 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)