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Michigan coach Howard hits Badgers assistant; melee ensues

Juwan Howard
University of Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard.

Michigan coach Juwan Howard hit Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft during the handshake line, setting off a fracas between the team following the 15th-ranked Badgers’ 77-63 win Sunday.

The Big Ten said it planned to “take swift and appropriate disciplinary action when it completes its review.”

Howard said he was upset Wisconsin called timeout with 15 seconds left. Badgers coach Greg Gard said he called it because his reserves were in the game and were running out of time to get the ball past midcourt.

Howard began arguing with Gard during the handshake line and pointed a finger at him while complaining about the late move. Howard then reached through a crowd to get to Krabbenhoft — replays showed Howard no longer had a closed fist and had his hand open by the time he struck Krabbenhoft on the left side of his head.

Players from each side got involved in the skirmish, and video appeared to show Michigan’s Moussa Diabate and Wisconsin’s Jahcobi Neath throwing punches.

Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh said he already had contacted Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren about the situation, adding that Wisconsin had staff members who were “affected and injured.”

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel issued a statement saying that he had apologized to McIntosh and that Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman had contacted Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank “to apologize for the totally unacceptable behavior.”

Editor's note: The University of Michigan holds Michigan Radio's license.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.