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Wisconsin Athletic Director Releases Statement On Big Ten Punishments

Wisconsin AD Chris McIntosh speaks following a game.

MADISON, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 20: Wisconsin Badgers Athletic Director Chris McIntosh speaks to the media after the game about the fight against the Michigan Wolverines at Kohl Center on February 20, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Following the postgame skirmish with Michigan yesterday, Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh reportedly went on the offensive with his messaging to the Big Ten.

Tonight, after the league handed out penalties to those involved in the melee, McIntosh continued to bullishly defend his program, its head coach Greg Gard and his staff.

In a statement shared a little while ago, McIntosh offered his "complete support" to the UW coaches and players. He added that the athletic department will pay the $10,000 fine Gard incurred from the Big Ten, calling it a "Wisconsin fine" and not a "Greg Gard fine."

"Needless to say, there is no place in college athletics for what happened at the end of Sunday's game. Neither Coach Gard nor his staff had any intent to provoke or incite any of what took place," McIntosh said. "I want to commend those on our staff--and student-athletes--who were trying to deescalate the situation."

McIntosh is laying it on very thick here. It is true that Michigan head coach Juwan Howard was the biggest culprit in the incident, which is why he earned a five-game suspension and record-setting $40,000 fine.

However, saying no one from Wisconsin did anything other than deescalate the situation seems to be a bit of a stretch. Both sides are to blame in that regard, and the penalties assessed to Gard and guard Jahcobi Neath indicate that.

While Gard was fined $10,000, he was not suspended. The only member of the Badgers who received a ban was Neath, who was suspended for the team's upcoming game against Minnesota.