Michigan basketball head coach Juwan Howard shouldn’t be fired and it’s ridiculous that some people are even suggesting it.
Juwan Howard doesn’t owe anyone an apology, most especially Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard for the incident following Wisconsin’s win over Michigan basketball on Sunday.
I wrote in a previous blog that Howard would apologize (he didn’t) and I was wrong to say that he should.
The more I’ve thought about it (and viewed) what actually happened, Greg Gard should be the one apologizing and the question to be asked, is what did Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft say to get Howard so fired up?
If he will answer that simple question, we can all sort this matter out. But until we have that crucial context, it’s hard to blame Juwan for what happened.
Howard explained the situation after the game like this:
"“I addressed with the head coach that I will remember that, because of that time out and for someone to touch me — and I think that was very uncalled for him to touch me as we were verbalizing and communicating with one another — that’s what ended up happening. And that’s what escalated it. Touching me unnecessarily … there wasn’t cause for that when we were talking. At that point, I thought that was time to protect myself.”"
Howard is 100 percent correct: Gard had no reason to touch him like that. Howard was trying to walk past him and if Gard would have allowed him to, there would have been no indicent.
But Gard wanted whatever respect he thinks he and his program deserve (which is none, look at the conduct of Brad Davison). So he grabbed Juwan and held onto him and he needs to take responsibility for that.
Plus, something was clearly said to Juwan by Krabbenhoft. I don’t want to speculate what it might have been, but it set off Juwan and on top of Gard’s physical blockade, enough was enough.
I’m sure Juwan will regret his actions at some point. But that doesn’t mean he should apologize. I didn’t see Gard apologizing for his role after the game.
In fact, Wisconsin’s AD said his coaches and players did nothing wrong — which is as true as saying that Brad Davison is a squeaky clean player as he trips, elbows, and flagrant fouls his way through just about every single Big Ten game.
The fact is, this altercation went both ways. Wisconsin players threw punches and it was captured on video so if any Michigan players are suspended, some Badgers better be too.
And those comparing this incident to when Woody Hayes punched a player and tackled him for absolutely no reason, without provocation, are completely off base.
You can’t compare what Juwan did to Woody Hayes attacking a player. There’s just no comparison. See for yourself:
Juwan attempted to walk by Greg Gard multiple times and wasn’t allowed. He felt he had reason to act and while it was unfortunate how it played out and both coaches should be suspended, the idea that Juwan should be fired is beyond ridiculous.
It’s a lazy narrative and one that ignores all of the context surrounding the situation.