Michigan’s Juwan Howard will not be allowed to participate in practice during his five-game suspension, per a Michigan spokesman. The Wolverines will conclude their regular season March 6 at Ohio State.
Given that there are only five games remaining in Michigan’s regular season schedule, Howard is done coaching until the B1G Tournament. Barring a miracle, Michigan has played themselves out of the NCAA Tournament with a mediocre 14-11 overall record (8-7, B1G) and are looking at a six-eight seed in the conference tournament. With the likes of No. 4 Purdue, No. 15 Illinois, No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 22 Ohio State all vying for that automatic bid as well, those odds don’t bode well for a Michigan squad that opened the season ranked in the top-10.
Howard took to social media to issue a statement for his actions following Sunday’s scuffle.
“After taking time to reflect on all that happened, I realize how unacceptable both my actions and words were, and how they truly affected so many. I am truly sorry,” Howard said. “I am offering my sincerest apologies to my players and their families, my staff, my family and the Michigan fans around the world. I would like to personally apologize to Wisconsin’s Assistant Coach Joe Krabbenhoft and his family, too.
“Lastly, I speak a lot about being a Michigan man and representing the University of Michigan with class and pride, I did not do that, nor did I set the right example in the right way for my student-athletes. I will learn from my mistake and this mistake will never happen again. No excuses!”
Michigan athletic director Ward Manuel also released a statement following Howard. He said there is “no room” for those kind of actions at the University of Michigan and everyone involved will learn from the incident.
“Today’s disciplinary actions underscore the seriousness with which we take the incident that unfolded on Sunday. Simply put, there is no room at U-M for the behavior we saw. We will learn from this incident as a department, work to improve ourselves while operating under a spotlight, and move forward in a positive light.”
In his place, Associate Head Coach and former St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli will serve as Michigan’s acting head coach during Juwan Howard’s five-game suspension, a school spokesman confirmed, per Jon Rothstein on Twitter.
During his time coaching St. Joe’s, he led the Hawks to seven NCAA Tournaments and six NIT appearances in 24 seasons as head coach. Martelli is also a former AP and Naismith Coach of the Year in 2004 and is the winningest coach in St. Joe’s history.