The Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball team, a storied program with a rich history, is on the verge of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015. Prior to their recent loss to Rutgers in the opener of the Big Ten tournament, the Wolverines were already projected to be on the wrong side of the bubble, and now it seems almost certain that they will miss out on the tournament. Some fans are calling for a coaching change, which begs the question: how much would it cost to buy out Juwan Howard’s contract?
Michigan Not Going Dancing
Howard, who guided Michigan to an Elite Eight two years ago and the Sweet Sixteen last year, has a respectable tournament record. However, going just 36-30 over the last two seasons does not sit well with many Wolverine fans and missing the NCAA tournament this year could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Some believe that a coaching change is necessary to revitalize the program and get it back on track.
With the season on the line, Michigan can only master one field goal in the first 18:56 of the second half. Fire Juwan Howard now!!! #goblue
— Sam Reynolds (@Flannel_Sam) March 9, 2023
Juwan Howard’s Buyout
Howard signed a new deal in November of 2021 that was worth $16.9 million. However, should the Wolverines want to get rid of Howard, that could be quite expensive.
Included in that contract was a buyout clause that started at $5 million, but decreased by $1 million each contract year. That puts the current buyout at $4 million if Michigan want to fire Howard without cause.
While Howard’s record over the past two seasons has not been ideal, he has led the team to some significant successes in previous years. The decision to keep him or let him go will likely be a difficult one for the university administration to make.
Ultimately, the university will need to weigh the potential costs of a buyout against the potential benefits of making a coaching change. If they decide to keep Howard as head coach, they will need to provide him with the resources he needs to succeed and turn the program around.
Regardless of what the university decides, it’s clear that the Michigan men’s basketball program is at a crossroads. Missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in several years is a significant blow to the program, and fans are understandably frustrated.
The administration will need to make some tough decisions in the coming months, and whatever they decide will have major implications for the future of the program.
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