Kansas men’s basketball assistant coach Jerrance Howard will serve a two-week suspension starting Thursday after it came to light this week that he was fined for marijuana possession last summer in his hometown of Peoria, Ill.
Kansas coach Bill Self announced the suspension Thursday afternoon.
Howard, in his second season at Kansas, was charged in July 2014 with unlawful possession of cannabis, a Class B misdemeanor in Peoria County, and was ordered to pay $1,178.26 in fines and was placed on six months of court supervision, according to a report in the Peoria Journal Star. The six months of court supervision were set to end on Friday.
“I am disappointed,” Self said during a news conference on Thursday afternoon. “But on one front, just to be real candid, I’m disappointed I didn’t know about it. I love the guy, and the fact that I didn’t know about it, regardless of what circumstances surrounded it, is disappointing to me.”
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Self reaffirmed Thursday that he first learned about the situation on Wednesday afternoon, after the news was reported by the Peoria Journal Star. Howard will miss all practices and games during the suspension. He will miss four games in all, beginning with Saturday’s home game against Baylor. Howard will be eligible to return for a home game against Texas on Feb. 28.
“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Howard said. “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. Coach Self has done so much for me, and I’m honored to a part of this team and this staff.
“I compounded the problem by not disclosing this incident to Coach Self and Kansas Athletics. I brought this penalty upon myself and will use this situation as motivation to work harder and represent this great program positively moving forward.”
Howard, 34, who played for Self at Illinois, is in his second year on the staff at Kansas. Before coming to KU, Howard spent one season as an assistant at SMU under Larry Brown. Howard previously worked five seasons at Illinois for Bruce Weber, who is now at K-State.
Regarded as one of the nation’s top young assistants and recruiters, Howard was key in the recruitment of Kansas freshman Cliff Alexander and has been the lead recruiter for Malik Newman, a consensus top-five recruit in the class of 2015.
“Regardless of circumstances,” Self said in a statement. “I was disappointed that I was not made aware of this immediately following the incident. Jerrance has been a part of our family for many years. I’m confident that he will take ownership of this and be better for it.”