Michigan head coach reinstated in time for Big Ten

Natalie Kelley, Reporter

Michigan head coach Juwan Howard has officially been reinstated as Michigan’s head basketball coach, just in time for the Big Ten tournament. 

On Feb. 21, Howard was suspended for five regular season games after an altercation with the Wisconsin head coach Joe Krabbenhoft; during the postgame handshake, Howard swung with an open hand at Krabbenhoft and made contact with his head. This altercation also resulted in a $40,000 fine. Top assistant coach Phil Martelli served as the team’s acting head coach. During Howard’s suspension, the team went 3-2, beating both of the school’s rivals, Rutgers and Ohio State (Bleacher Report).

Against Rutgers, Michigan won short-handed with sophomore forward Terrance Williams II and freshman forward Moussa Diabate both serving a one game suspension because of their involvement with the postgame incident in Wisconsin. 

Martelli thanked the Michigan team for allowing him to coach them for the remainder of the regular season. 

“We will go forward,” Martelli told the Michigan team. “Tomorrow will be a change. So, thank you for allowing me to be with you.”

Energy in the locker room was high after the Ohio State game; you could hear the echo of cheering as a result (On3).

Howard showed remorse for his actions and for the inappropriate way he represents the University of Michigan. 

“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,” Howard said. “I will learn from my mistake and this mistake will never happen again. No excuses” (Bleacher Report). 

The terms to Juwan Howard’s reinstatement were not specifically commented on by the Michigan spokesperson, however he made a public statement regarding his actions. 

“I can come with a thousand excuses, but I’m not,” Howard said Wednesday in his first public comments since being suspended. “I take full ownership for my actions” (The Athletic).

As Michigan moves forward with Juwan Howard as head coach again, they will compete in the March Madness tournament as the No. 11 seed, drawing Colorado State as its first-round opponent (The Detroit News).