Michigan’s Fab Five were known for being among the most controversial basketball teams of all-time, loved and hated by many in large part because of their trash talk and bold approach on the court.
Among the revolutionary Michigan starting five was Juwan Howard, a brash yet disciplined young power forward from the Chicago, Illinois area who was seen as the more calm counterpart to his frontcourt mate Chris Webber at the university.
While Howard mostly lived up to this reputation in college, typically preferring to express his emotions through his signature form of youthful exuberance, he also has been an intense competitor from the day he stepped foot on campus in Ann Arbor.
Now, with his Wolverines firmly on the NCAA bubble at 14-11 despite a big win over fifth-ranked Purdue recently, Howard has found himself back in the national news headlines after an incident involving Wisconsin Head Coach Greg Gard and the fifteenth-ranked Badgers in Madison.
Howard Throws Strike at Wisconsin Assistant Coach
The Wolverines, firmly on the NCAA bubble, dropped today’s contest to the fifteenth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, after which Howard seemed upset by Badgers Head Coach Greg Gard’s reaction.
Following an interaction between the two major college coaches, Howard appears to point aggressively in Gard’s face before throwing what was deemed to be a punch, but appears more like a slap on further review, in the direction of a Wisconsin assistant, as shown in the video below.
A scrum later breaks out between the two teams involving both players and coaches:
After the game commentator Dick Vitale, who is currently battling lymphoma, his second cancer diagnosis in recent months, had the following to say.
A pathetic scene after MICHIGAN gets beat by WISCONSIN . Teams lineup for handshaking & Juwan Howard & Greg Gard have words basically I think over Gard calling a TIME OUT with 15 sec. Left . Still no excuse for punch thrown by Howard at Ass’t of Badgers .It was UGLY . pic.twitter.com/H97U5DIwCZ
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 20, 2022
Longtime college hoops analyst Andy Katz also weighed in, as did long time NBA players J.J. Redick, Rex Chapman, former Detroit Lions football center Damien Woody and several others.
There should be no question at all: Juwan Howard should get a suspension for throwing a slap/punch at @BadgerMBB assistant Joe Krabbenhoft. Kevin Warren must act accordingly this week. So, too, should @umichbball AD Warde Manuel. Full stop. That cannot be tolerated.
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) February 20, 2022
WTF is going on in Madison
— JJ Redick (@jj_redick) February 20, 2022
Some of y’all calling for Juwan Howard to be fired is crazy as hell. We’ve seen MUCH worse incidents in CBB but sure let’s go with that ??♂️
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) February 20, 2022
Juwan Howard is a gentleman. But never forget he’s from Chicago’s south side… https://t.co/Y3ffOaTlmG
— Rex Chapman?? (@RexChapman) February 20, 2022
Following the incident, Gard spoke to the media, saying that he believed Howard did not like his timeout call late in the game with the Badgers comfortably winning.
"Apparently, he didn't like that I called a timeout."
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard explains what led to the postgame fight with Juwan Howard and the Michigan team. pic.twitter.com/tjgRpGsCQB
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) February 20, 2022
According to well known sports personality Big Cat from Barstool Sports, the man Howard went after is Joe Krabbenhoft, a “Badger Legend” who has “never done anything wrong in his life.” ‘
You apologize! Juwan Howard assaulted Joe Krabbenhoft who is a Badger legend and has never done anything wrong in his life. Shame on you! Shame! https://t.co/PLqRIePSle
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) February 20, 2022
Howard addressed what “escalated” the incident in a post-game press conference posted by Bleacher Report.
Juwan Howard explains what led to his altercation with Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 20, 2022