After Wisconsin defeated his team, 77-63, on Sunday afternoon, Michigan coach Joan Howard slapped Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabenhoft in the head during the post-game handshake line, creating a rift between the two teams.
Howard, a former assistant coach for the Miami Heat and a member of Michigan’s famous Fab Five recruiting class in the early 1990s, didn’t originally enter the handshake streak but came in late. At first, Wisconsin coach Greg Gard appeared to use his left hand to grab Howard’s right elbow to stop him so they could talk.
Howard then appeared to pull on Jared’s shirt, point his index finger at Jared and get into a heated discussion with Jared. When the coaches were dismissed by police officers, assistant coaches, and players, Howard slapped his right hand over Krabbenhoft’s head. Then the players from both teams started pushing and shoving each other.
Howard can be suspended for “no more than two competitions” and a fine of up to $10,000, depending on the Big Ten Conference’s sportsmanship policy, and Michigan or the group’s executive committee at the conference can choose to impose additional penalties. The Big Ten said in a statement that it was aware of the incident.
“The conference is in contact with both member institutions and is currently evaluating the incident,” the statement said. “The conference will provide more information and will take prompt and appropriate disciplinary action upon completion of its review.”
Michigan athletics director Ward Manuel said in a statement that he apologized to his Wisconsin counterpart Chris McIntosh.
“There is no excuse for any of our staff or student-athletes to get into a physical fight with others regardless of the triggers,” he said.
“We will review the situation more comprehensively and work with the Big Ten as they define their own disciplinary action and will determine if any further disciplinary action is needed,” Manuel added.
Jared said in a TV interview that Howard was upset that Jared’s timeout expired 15 seconds before the time was up and Wisconsin was up by 15 points. Michigan was pressing Wisconsin backups when the timeout called.
“Apparently, he didn’t like that I called a timeout to reset the 10-second call,” Jared told CBS. “We only had four seconds to get the ball in the halfway and I didn’t want to put my reserves – I had all the guys off the bench for the game – I didn’t want to put them in that position of scrambling just four seconds, so I took a timeout and we got the new 10 seconds and he helped them. On organizing to get the ball.”
He added, “He didn’t like it when he came across the handshake line. I’ll leave it at that and the rest of the tape will show.”
Howard said he objected to Jared starting the call in the handshake line.
“Well, I basically addressed the manager that I would remember that because of that timeout, and someone touched me, and I think that was not justified for him to touch me because we were talking and communicating with each other,” Howard told reporters. “That’s what happened and that’s what escalated it.”
Sunday wasn’t the first time Howard got involved in an argument with another Big Ten coach. During the 2021 Conference Championship, Howard He had to be separated from Mark Turgon in Maryland, When he felt Turgeon “charging” toward him. Howard was ejected from the match with about 11 minutes remaining in the second half, but was not stopped.
Wisconsin State No. 15 (21-5, 12-4 Big Ten) won Sunday 25 points behind Johnny Davis. The Badgers compete with No. 5 Purdue and No. 12 Illinois for the conference title.
Michigan (14-11, 8-7) is still on the bubble for the NCAA Championship. The Wolverines were ranked No. 4 earlier in the season but not in the top 25 since an Associated Press poll on November 29.
A year earlier, Michigan won the Big Ten regular season and lost to UCLA in the eighth round of the NCAA Championship.