A brawl during or after a sporting event is never a high point for those involved, and one that’s kicked off by coaches arguing can be even more frustrating to watch. Unfortunately, that’s precisely what happened after a Michigan/Wisconsin basketball game on Sunday afternoon. Wisconsin were the victors by a score of 77-63.
An ESPN report lays out the details: when the game was over, both teams were lining up to shake hands. As that took place, Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said something to Michigan coach Juwan Howard, and their conversation quickly grew heated. More and more players and team staff joined them, and eventually Howard struck Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft. Cue the brawl, in which players from both teams were involved.
Later that afternoon, the Big Ten Conference issued a statement about the incident. “The Big Ten Conference is aware of a physical altercation involving Michigan Head Coach Juwan Howard at the conclusion of the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball game,” it began.
“The conference is in contact with both member institutions and is currently assessing the incident,” it continued. “The conference will provide more information and will take swift and appropriate disciplinary action when it completes its review.”
According to ESPN’s report, tempers were already high when the game concluded due to Wisconsin’s use of time outs in the last quarter, which frustrated Howard. As for what escalated things from harsh words to something more physical, Howard has an explanation.
“Someone touched me, and I think it was very uncalled for, for them to touch me, as we were verbalizing and communicating with one another,” Howard told ESPN. “That’s what escalated it.”
Will there be disciplinary actions taken by either team? We’ll know more in the coming days.