Michigan tabs Howard as next head coach

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Juwan Howard is coming back to Michigan.

The former member of the Fab Five agreed to a five-year deal, which will pay him $2 million in his first year, on Wednesday to lead the Wolverines.

"As a 'Michigan Man' I know the place our program has in college basketball and I embrace the chance to build onto that history and lead us to championships both in the Big Ten and national level," Howard said. "We will continue to develop young men on the court, in the classroom and in the community that our fan base will continue to be proud of."

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, in his first major move in three years in charge of the department, is giving the Miami Heat assistant coach his first shot at being a head coach other than during the NBA's summer league.

"We have found someone with high integrity, great character and a coach who has unbelievable knowledge of the game of basketball," Manuel said. "Juwan has proven himself to be a tremendous leader, a wonderful communicator and a developer of talent. We couldn't have asked for a better role model for the young men in our program. We are excited to welcome back a member of the family to Ann Arbor."

He replaces John Beilein, who left to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Howard helped Michigan reach the national championship game twice, playing alongside Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. The school later removed the Fab Five's Final Four banners from Crisler Arena as part of self-imposed sanctions that stemmed from one of the NCAA's largest financial scandals.

A federal investigation revealed now-deceased booster Ed Martin gave Webber and three non-Fab Five players more than $600,000. The NCAA forced the school to dissociate from the former players involved until 2013. The saga stained the university and basketball program, leading to many years of struggles.

"Juwan wasn't a part of that," Jackson told AP in a telephone interview. "He was never involved. And despite being part of the Fab Five, which is tied to Ed Martin, Juwan embodies the professionalism and positivity that Michigan represents across the world."

PRO FOOTBALL

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) - NFL owners gave the competition committee the go-ahead Wednesday to decide whether to refine the new rule allowing replay challenges involving pass interference.

The proposed tweak would take the decision on whether to review in the final two minutes of each half out of the hands of the officials. Reviews in the final two minutes would instead require a coach's challenge.

Owners voted to hold the NFL draft in Cleveland in 2021, the 75th anniversary of the Browns, and in Kansas City in 2023. The league said it delayed choosing a site for 2022 because about 20 cities are interested in hosting that year.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Cam Newton still isn't throwing a football four months after surgery on his throwing shoulder.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera isn't worried.

Rivera downplayed Newton sitting out of passing drills at organized team activities (OTAs) on Wednesday, saying it's a "really big not-that-big-of-a-deal." Rivera said there's still no timetable for when Newton will begin throwing again, but remains optimistic the 30-year-old QB will be ready to practice when the team opens training camp in late July.

AUTO RACING

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Tony Stewart headlines a Joe Gibbs Racing trio that has been elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The three-time Cup Series champion will be inducted alongside car owner Joe Gibbs and former teammate Bobby Labonte. Driver Buddy Baker and mechanic Waddell Wilson were also voted in Wednesday.

Stewart won 49 Cup Series races during his 17-year NASCAR career, including championships in 2002 and 2005 driving for Gibbs and another in 2011 with Stewart-Haas Racing. He won another championship as an owner in 2014 with driver Kevin Harvick.

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