- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi's comments after last week's victory over Michigan about playing "60 minutes of unnecessary roughness" drew a lot of attention and criticism. And now Narduzzi has drawn an admonishment from his own athletic director.
Spartans AD Mark Hollis had this to say Friday about Narduzzi's comments:
“There’s no question that Coach Narduzzi was caught up in the emotion of the moment; however, that doesn’t excuse him from being accountable for his statements,” Hollis said in a statement released by the school. “Needless to say, Pat chose his words poorly, and he expressed his regret over making those comments to our local media following practice earlier this week. He requested that media opportunity to clear the air because too many took his remarks literally.
“I have taken this opportunity to express to Pat the importance of collecting his thoughts after an emotional game to ensure that he puts his best foot forward with the media and public in the future. He’s an outstanding coach and motivator and a rising star in his profession.”
Narduzzi and head coach Mark Dantonio both said earlier this week that those postgame comments didn't really reflect their views. It's interesting that Hollis would come out a week later with his public statement, but the Spartans took a little bit of a public relations beating with both those words and William Gholston's actions, which led to a one-game suspension for the defensive end.
Narduzzi will likely be more careful with his words in the future, but you have got to like his enthusiasm and excitement even if he probably should have picked a better phrase. We praise coaches and players for their candor but then criticize them when they say something we don't like. That's a tough bargain.
Hopefully now this whole thing is over, and we can focus on what should be a terrific game Saturday night against Wisconsin.