LAWRENCE, Kansas (AP) — Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard was suspended for two weeks Thursday after coach Bill Self learned that his former player and one of the nation’s top recruiters was arrested last summer in his Illinois hometown for marijuana possession.
Howard was charged last July with misdemeanor possession and ordered to pay $1,178.26 in fines after the arrest, the Peoria Journal Star reported. Howard also was placed on six months of court supervision, which was set to end Friday.
Self said that he didn’t learn of the situation until Wednesday.
“Just to be real candid, I’m disappointed I didn’t know about it,” Self said during his regular news conference. “I love the guy. And the fact that I didn’t know about it regardless of what circumstances surrounded it is disappointing to me.”
Howard, who played for Self at Illinois before joining his staff at Kansas prior to last year, will not be able to participate in practices or games during his suspension. That includes Saturday’s showdown between the eighth-ranked Jayhawks and No. 16 Baylor, and includes games against No. 21 West Virginia, TCU and Kansas State that could help decide the Big 12 race.
Howard would be back in time for the Jayhawks’ final three regular-season games.
“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Howard said in a statement released by the school. “I should have never been in that situation. Not only did I let myself down but also my family, my coaches, my players, the fans and this program.
“I compounded the problem by not disclosing this incident to Coach Self and Kansas athletics,” he said. “I brought this penalty upon myself and will use this situation as motivation to work harder and represent this great program positively moving forward.”
The 34-year-old Howard is considered one of the rising stars in coaching, working under Larry Brown at SMU and Bruce Weber at Illinois before joining the Jayhawks. He is especially known for his work in recruiting, helping land five-star prospect Cliff Alexander in last year’s class and leading the recruitment of Malik Newman, one of the top unsigned players in this year’s class.
“Jerrance has been a part of our family for any years,” Self said. “I’m confident that he will take ownership of this and be better for it.”