Not surprisingly, the debate on social media and sports talk shows is nearly as passionate as the explosive atmosphere at the end of the Michigan-Wisconsin collegiate basketball game.
Michigan’s head coach Juwan Howard, who’ll always be remembered as a member of the iconic and culture-shifting “Michigan Fab Five” in the 90s, has been suspended for five games for delivering an open-handed hit to the face of a Wisconsin assistant coach. The melee popped during the customarily subdued handshake line following the Badgers’ thorough beating of the Wolverines, 77-63, on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.
What was said between the two men during the argument that precipitated the on-court scuffle may never be known —but Howard took great umbrage at Wisconsin calling a timeout during the waning seconds of the game when they had a double-digit lead. Howard perceived that gesture as bad sportsmanship and the desire to run up the score against the Wolverines.
The reaction to the suspension has been mixed and highly charged. Some believe Howard should be suspended for the rest of the year. Many agree with the Detroit News that Howard should be terminated altogether. A percentage of fans and pundits believe that the five-game suspension was warranted and appropriate. Others think that Howard was punished too harshly — especially given what the legendary and notoriously temperamental Indiana head coach Bobby Knight was able to get away for decades.
— WATCHING WORLD BURN (@WATCHINGWORLDB3) February 22, 2022
A white coach hitting a black coach would have been fired. Yeah I said it!#JuwanHoward
— Capt John the Deplorable (@CDeplorable) February 22, 2022
Why are black people expected to take the high road after being disrespected?
We are exhausted of being treated like we are subservient to you!
*When you assault someone you don’t get to determine the level of retaliation you receive as a result! #JuwanHoward pic.twitter.com/1eyQEcqVXU
— GrayHairedHottie (@EarthSucks1) February 21, 2022
We gotta look at how Wisconsin coach lied at the press conference. He said “He came up to me and pulled his mask down.” Coach Howard was walking passed him and Wisconsin coach grabbed him. He’s a liar. #JuwanHoward #Michigan
— Stanley Tunez (@stanleytunez) February 21, 2022
Howard went after Turgeon last year as well. Every 4th game, he has a temper tantrum against either the opposing coach or the refs. He is completely out of control. Remember that time when Dean Smith or Coach K punched another coach? Neither do I. #Howard #JuwanHoward #Michigan
— Brian Sinkoff (@BrianSinkoff) February 21, 2022