Michigan’s head coach will miss the remainder of the regular season after slapping Wisconsin’s assistant coach. 

Michigan’s men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard has been suspended for five games following a post-game altercation on Sunday in which Howard slapped Wisconsin’s assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft. 

The incident stemmed from a timeout called late in the game by Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard. With 15 seconds left, the Badger head coach decided to call a timeout as his team was up 76-61 to avoid a 10-second violation. Howard took issue with the timeout in a game that was seemingly over. 

In a post-game press conference, Gard claimed the timeout was taken to get his team “organized” and ready to break the Michigan press. Prior to the timeout, Wisconsin had subbed out their starters for their walk-ons. 

As the game concluded, Howard initially refused to enter the handshake line. After some delay, Howard eventually joined and attempted to walk past Gard, who grabbed Howard by the arm. Video shows Howard reacting by pointing a finger in Gard’s face before saying, “I’ll remember that.” The altercation escalated into a brawl between both teams which led to Howard taking a swing at Krabbenhoft. 

Howard however, was not the only one punished for Sunday’s skirmish. Greg Gard was fined $10,000 for his role in the incident. Wisconsin guard Jahcobi Neath and Michigan forwards Terrance Williams and Moussa Diabate all received one-game suspensions. Krabbenhoft, who was struck by Howard, will not receive punishment.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren responded to the incident in a statement published on Monday night. Warren hopes the suspensions serve as a learning experience for the players and coaches involved. 

Many on social media were appalled by the incident, sparking comparisons of the 2004 “Malice at the Palace,” in which a large-scale brawl broke out during an NBA game. Some users also questioned whether or not to eliminate the handshake line— an honored sportsmanship tradition. 

Others were quick to point out that this is Howard’s second physical altercation in just his third season at Michigan. In last year’s Big Ten Tournament, Howard and Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon exchanged words before both teams gathered at half court. No physical action was taken, but Howard was ejected as a result. 

The scuffle after a 63-77 loss adds to the list of disappointments on what has been an ugly season for the Wolverines. The 14-11 Wolverines’ odds at making the NCAA Tournament look even slimmer without their head coach and two key players. Williams and Diabate will be back to take on Illinois, while Howard is not expected to return until the Big Ten Tournament. 

For the Badgers, being without guard Jahcobi Neath will likely mean little as they enter into their last four games of the regular season. At third place in the Big Ten, Wisconsin has most likely already secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament regardless of how they finish the season. 

Michigan assistant coach Phil Martelli is expected to take over as head coach during Howard’s absence. Martelli, who spent much of his career as the head coach at Saint Joseph’s University filled in for Howard during his ejection against Maryland last year.