Michigan Coach Juwan Howard Sparks Major Brawl After Punching Opposing Coach After Loss

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Michigan head coach and former NBA star Juwan Howard was trending for the wrong reasons on Sunday. Howard’s Michigan Wolverines had just suffered a tough loss against the Wisconsin Badgers, prompting him to confront Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard.

At the end of the game, the back-and-forth between the two coaches in the handshake line led Howard to throw what looked like a punch, hitting Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft in the head. After some more heated words, both teams joined the fray, and a full brawl was underway on the court.

The ugly situation led to many quickly calling for Howard to be fired or suspended for his role in sparking the fracas. And while that may be coming, Howard defended himself to the press after the game and seemed to claim self-defense.

Telling reporters that Gard “started to touch him in a way that” he believed was “uncomfortable.” He did add that the disagreement was over a late-game timeout when the game was already in hand for the Badgers before winning 63-77.

In the end, Howard achieved more of an open hand slap or grab to the opposing coach. But for those watching at home, they pointed the finger of blame directly at him and even drudged up some of his past incidents. Specifically, an incident against Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon last season earned Howard an ejection from a Big Ten Tournament game.

Gard gave a different account of how the incident unfolded, according to 247 Sports. “Apparently, he didn’t like that I called a timeout to reset the 10-second call, because we only had four seconds to get the ball over half court,” Gard said after the game. “And 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 so I took a timeout and got us a new 10 seconds to help them get organized and get the ball in. He did not like that when he came through the handshake line. So I’ll leave it at that, the tape will show the rest.”

Sunday’s incident was luckily not as bad as it could’ve been. The chaos of the game’s ending quickly tapered off as both sides separated. Still, Howard is likely looking at a hefty suspension for his actions, with some even going further to say he should be fired from the school.