The Big Ten conference announced Monday that Michigan men’s basketball coach Juan Howard has been fined five games – the remainder of the regular season – and $ 40,000 for hitting Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Grabenhaft in the face after Sunday’s game.
Wisconsin coach Greg Card was fined $ 10,000, but was not suspended, while Grabenhaft is not expected to receive a penalty.
Michigan forward Terence Williams and Moussa Diabete and Wisconsin guard Jacoby Neath were each suspended for one game. All three threw punches. Disciplinary action was imposed by Big Ten in conjunction with the two schools.
“The Big Ten conference coaches and student-athletes are expected to exhibit the highest level of athletic ability,” conference commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “I am grateful for the partnership between Michigan Director of Athletics Ward Manuel and Wisconsin Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh.
“Our expectation is that yesterday’s event will give our coaches and student-athletes the opportunity to reflect, learn and progress in a way that reveals decor and leadership both on and off the court.”
In the final minute of Wisconsin’s 77-63 victory on Sunday, Kart turned his walk-ons into the game. Michigan, with its regular players still pressing on the ground, called a deadline for the card to settle for his team and allowed them to cross the half court without turning the ball over.
Following the final chatter, Kart grabbed Howard’s hand as he tried to stop him and talk. The two exchanged words as Howard put his finger on Card’s face and grabbed Card’s shirt before being surrounded by several players and coaches. Grabenhaft then came in the middle of the scrum and exchanged words with Howard, then Howard reached out and struck Grabenhaft in the face.
Both teams began to push and play as Michigan’s Diabetes and Williams and Wisconsin’s Neath punched.
Howard said he was angry because he used Wisconsin’s deadline. Wisconsin called for two timeouts in the last minute, one of which had 15 seconds left with 15 badgers in the lead.
“I did not like the deadline they called, and I’m completely honest with you,” Howard said. “At the time I thought it was unnecessary, especially since it was a big front. … I thought it was unfair to our comrades. So that’s what happened.”
He said someone from Wisconsin contacted him, but did not specify who did it.
“Someone touched me. I think it’s very unpleasant for them to touch me. We kept talking and communicating with each other. That’s what increased it,” he said.
In a post-game interview with CBS, Kart explained the reason for his deadline.
“I called the deadline to reset the 10-second call and he didn’t like it because we only had four seconds to get the ball halfway to court,” Kart told CBS. “I did not want to put my backups in – all of my bench mates were in the game – I did not want to put them in a rusty position for four seconds. So I took a deadline and got one from us. He did not like it when it came through. I leave it at that and the tape shows the rest. “
Michigan (14-11 overall, 8-7 at Big Ten) have four straight games at home before playing in the regular-season final in Ohio. Associate head coach Bill Martelli, the former longtime coach of St. Joseph’s, took over as head coach when Howard was ejected from the Big Ten tournament last year.
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