Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard reinstated from suspension

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Juwan Howard is back as the head coach of the Michigan men’s basketball team.

Howard has been reinstated from his suspension and will coach the Wolverines in the postseason, starting with this week's Big Ten tournament, a program spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

Michigan coach Juwan Howard was reinstated from suspension on Monday.

Howard will return to the sidelines Thursday morning in Indianapolis, where Michigan, a No. 8 seed, will face No. 9 seed Indiana at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Howard was suspended for the remainder of the regular season on Feb. 21, one day after he struck Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the head during the postgame handshake line. He was also fined $40,000. The suspension, which was announced jointly by the Big Ten and Michigan, lasted five games.

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.

More: Big Ten men's basketball tournament 2022: Bracket, schedule, how to watch

The Wolverines (17-13, 11-9 Big Ten) went 3-2 and beat both of their rivals in Howard’s absence. Top assistant Phil Martelli served as the team’s acting head coach and kept Michigan in the hunt to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, splitting a four-game homestand — with wins over Rutgers and Michigan State — before beating then-No. 23 Ohio State in Sunday’s regular-season finale in Columbus.

Two of those three wins came with the team shorthanded. Against Rutgers, sophomore forward Terrance Williams II and freshman forward Moussa Diabate served a one-game suspension for their involvement in the postgame incident at Wisconsin. Against Ohio State, the Wolverines were without sophomore center Hunter Dickinson, who was unavailable due to a stomach bug.

With Howard back and assuming Dickinson's ailment doesn't linger, the Wolverines are on track to have their full team together for the first time in two weeks heading into the Big Ten tournament.

The team didn't practice on Monday, but Howard held individual player meetings, the spokesperson said.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins