A Protective Tom Izzo Tells Players to Answer Questions Only About Basketball
March 1st, 2018, 8:28 AM
These players, this staff, deserves to focus in on basketball."
Michigan State University has taken a beating in the past year. There's been the Larry Nassar sex scandal heard round the world. There's been recurring reports about sexual assaults involving football and basketball players and allegations of parents of basketball player Miles Bridges getting some minor financial compensation in violation of NCAA rules.
So after, weeks of letting his players field questions from the press, a protective Coach Tom Izzo told reporters he only wants his players to answer basketball questions as they approach March Madness, reports Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.
"That’s gonna be it. It's basketball questions," Izzo said. "I owe it to them – and I mean this strongly – I owe it to them and I owe it to my staff that we’re gonna focus in, because it’s been a lot of distractions. I tried to do it as best as I could for all of you. Never cut off my locker room or anything else. But now, it's gonna be basketball time. These players, this staff, deserves to focus in on basketball.
"That’s what we're gonna do and see if we can make this incredible year even more special.”
He also said:
- "It's been draining on [players]. We haven’t been as sharp as I think we could or should be. And when I start looking at film of what it was like early January, middle of January, there were things that we did a better job of. So I'm either gonna rip my assistant coaches, rip myself or kind of understand that there has been some things that have been tough on them.”
- "I just told them it's time. I let my players talk and did not close my locker room one time. I let them talk for five weeks, and I think they’ve done an unbelievable job. And then Miles talks the other night, and there’s a hair of a mistake and it gets blown up. So we’re gonna stick to what we should stick to. These players deserve that. So they're not gonna answer anything but basketball questions.
- "What people throw at me, I'm a big boy and I gotta handle it. But for them, that’s gonna be their orders. I apologize, but that’s why you came here. You came to ask me questions about basketball."