Last month I published a piece titled “Should University of Michigan coach, Juwan Howard, be fired?”.  The very next day the University of Michigan answered that question with a big NO!  It was reported back on February 21st that the “Big Ten, in collaboration with Michigan and Wisconsin, announced that Juwan Howard has been suspended for the final five regular-season games and fined $40,000 for his role Sunday’s postgame altercation when he struck Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the head.  That fine was the highest ever levied in the Big Ten.

Howard received that suspension for the following:

I asked at the time if it was right for a coach who physically attacks a person on a Big Ten basketball court only get a 5-game suspension.  That certainly is not giving a great example to the young men on those teams.  Many sports analysts were predicting he might not be fired but if not, he would or should be suspended for the rest of the season, including any post-season games.

In a statement Juwan Howard said:

After taking time to reflect on all that happened, I realize how unacceptable both my actions and words were, and how they affected so many. I am truly sorry...I am offering my sincerest apology to my players and their families, my staff, my family and the Michigan fans around the world. I would like to personally apologize to Wisconsin's assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft and his family, too.

He went on to say:

Lastly, 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. I will learn from my mistake and this mistake will never happen again.

Now we are informed via a report by the Detroit News that:

However, Howard’s return wasn’t guaranteed. According to a release from Michigan at the time of the suspension, “prior to reinstatement, all parties will meet to make a final decision prior to the Big Ten Tournament and any postseason participation.” Michigan didn’t comment on any conditions that were required for Howard’s reinstatement.

In the Michigan Insider reported that the Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said when the punishments were announced:

Our expectation is that the incident [on Feb. 20] will provide our coaches and student-athletes with the opportunity to reflect, learn and move forward in a manner that demonstrates decorum and leadership on and off of the court

When the “coaches” and the “student-athletes” take the “opportunity to reflect” they will reflect that physically attacking a coach or player on the court will only get them a 5-game suspension.

For some that may be a fair price for others it will not.  What do you think is a fair price to pay, should Howard be able to coach during the post season this year?  He will be coming this Thursday morning in Indianapolis, where Michigan, a No. 8 seed, will face No. 9 seed Indiana.

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