No matter how frustrated you are, everyone knows you should never let your emotions get the best of you, especially in a professional setting. Michigan basketball Head Coach Juwan Howard completely ignored all of the rules of professionalism recently when he swung and hit Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft on Sunday at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Here are the deets:
During a 77-63 Wolverines loss to the Badgers, Howard and Wisconsin coach Greg Gard argued in the handshake line and Howard hit Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft, setting off a confrontation between the two teams, USA Today reported.
With only seconds left in the game, Gard called a timeout and Howard was displeased.
“I didn’t like the timeout being called, and I’ll be totally honest with you: I thought it was not necessary at that moment, especially being a large lead,” Howard said after the game. “And then to have a timeout be called with three seconds or four seconds to go, you know, I thought that was what I felt wasn’t fair to our guys.”
There is no justification for Howard’s actions. No leader, whether it be a coach or player, should result to violence in the heat of the moment. But, here, it happened, and it was disappointing, as it always is when things like this happen in sports.
The Big Ten disciplined Howard, suspending him for the remainder of the Wolverines’ regular season. A $40,000 fine was also issued to the Chicago native. Howard will be able to return with the team, assuming all things go well and they seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Yes, Howard was suspended but was the NCAA too lenient on him?
Think about it. If you were working in any other fortune 500 positions, or any professional workplace, and were hauled off for hitting someone because of something they said, what would happen?
Any competitive person can vouch on how intense sports can get, especially college sports, with plenty of pushing, shoving, and hard fouls. But Howard needs to lead by example for the young players he’s guiding.
By the way, what Howard didn’t realize at the time, was that he was not the only person involved in the quarrel. Players were also in the mix.
While Howard reacted erratically, he has since apologized for his actions. “After taking time to reflect on all that happened, I realize how unacceptable both my actions and words were, and how they affected so many. I am truly sorry.
“I am offering my sincerest apology 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.”
Should Howard’s punishment be harsher? Is his apology sincere? Maybe the consequences of Howard’s actions are enough to make him think twice about how he reacts the next time he’s displeased with a call.
By Jeremiah Griffith, Junior, Noble Academy