On Sunday, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt opined on One Big Thing on the recent anger directed at Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo for his “fiery confrontation in [a] team huddle,” Van Pelt advising viewers to “stop being offended by things that don’t concern you.”
“His players, past and present, have a rare loyalty to him,” stated Scott Van Pelt. “He doesn’t have a transfer problem. He has the opposite. He has a bunch of four-year guys, the overwhelming majority of whom have gotten to final fours in part because of being held accountable the way he holds them accountable. You don’t like it. Fine, don’t send your kid there. But stop being offended by things that don’t concern you because they’re not.”
Van Pelt’s comments came after, according to Yahoo! Sports, “Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo had to be restrained and calmed down by two of his players during a timeout in the Spartans’ NCAA tournament opener against Bradley.” Izzo was reportedly “furious at freshman guard Aaron Henry, presumably for what Izzo perceived to be lackluster defense” and proceeded to scream and point at Henry before the team got into their huddle during a timeout. Both junior point guard Cassius Winston and senior guard Matt McQuaid stepped in to restrain and calm the coach.
“‘If they’re my bads because that team or that guy played better, [OK]. If it’s “my bad” “cause I decided to jog back instead of sprint back,[”] then it is you’re bad and your bad and you’re gonna hear about it. That’s what it was,’” Coach Izzo said in defense of his reaction during the game.
Below is a transcript of SportsCenter Scott Van Pelt’s remarks:
“We’re so concerned with safe spaces and not saying mean things, that when a coach gets on a player, it’s seen by some of you as out of bounds, and that is insane to me.
“Is that the only way to get your point across? No. You can go about it differently, but you notice who didn’t have a problem with it? Michigan State. Did you notice what seniors [junior] Cassius Winston and [senior] Matt McQuaid did? They told Izzo, ‘We got this,’ because they have a voice. They’ve been empowered in a family dynamic that occasionally gets volatile; because there’s a scoreboard, and they’re trying to win.
“You know who else didn’t have a problem with it? The freshman who was getting the what for, Aaron Henry. His social media, as well as the accounts of past Spartans like Miles Bridges and Draymond Green and countless other Spartans gave insights into why they didn’t and don’t have a problem with it.
“But that doesn’t matter to people that don’t really want context. They just want to be mad and be offended. So, be good and mad about how Tom Izzo yelled at his players. His players, past and present, have a rare loyalty to him. He doesn’t have a transfer problem. He has the opposite. He has a bunch of four-year guys, the overwhelming majority of whom have gotten to final fours in part because of being held accountable the way he holds them accountable. You don’t like it. Fine, don’t send your kid there. But stop being offended by things that don’t concern you because they’re not.”
“Stop being soft,” former MSU Spartan, now NBA player, Miles Bridges tweeted out in response to a post by BBALLBREAKDOWN that said the following about MSU Coach Izzo:
“I’ll be happy when this type of coaching finally goes extinct as this generation of coaches retire and fade away.”
Former Spartan Draymond Green responded with the following tweets:
1:28 PM – 22 Mar 2019 – “Just an FYI. Being in those huddles for years. Cassius and Matt grabbed Iz so he could shut up and move on... after a while you’re just ready for him to draw up the play. Just giving perspective from someone who’s been apart of those huddles.”
1:30 PM – 22 Mar 2019 – “And the reason he wouldn’t stop is because Aaron Henry kept talking. However, what the world doesn’t know is that Iz loves the kid who will challenge him back more than anything! So there’s some insight For you all!!”
1:32 PM – 22 Mar 2019 – “So, Young Fella keep standing up for yourself and don’t back down. And Iz keep leading the program! We on a mission.”