ANN ARBOR – Following a five-game suspension by the University of Michigan, the four words Monday (Feb. 21) night from Juwan Howard, many thought, were a day late; I am truly sorry.
Howard’s written statement also apologized to Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft, who was on the receiving end of the slap in the handshake line, further enraging the situation.
Reaction around the basketball world is mixed on the severity of the suspension, which allows Howard to come back for the postseason, starting with the Big Ten Tournament.
“I feel it is fair and glad he wasn’t fired,” said Dick Vitale. “I hope he takes advantage of this and never ever allows himself to lose control of his emotions.”
There was no suspension for Wisconsin coach Greg Gard who initiated the physical contact with coach Howard whose intentions were to walk away. Gard was hit with a $10,000 fine.
Howard’s statement did not mention Gard but finished with him saying, “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! I am offering my sincerest apology to my players and their families, my staff, my family, and the Michigan fans around the world.”
Phil Martelli will replace Howard during his five-game absence.