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Monday, November 5, 2012
Michigan State's Izzo rips students, refs

By Brian Bennett

We don't quote a lot of basketball coaches on this football-specific blog. But few basketball coaches like football -- or are bigger straight shooters -- than Michigan State's Tom Izzo. And Izzo had a couple of interesting things to say related to Spartans football on Monday.

Speaking at his own basketball news conference, Izzo mentioned his disappointment with the student turnout at the Nebraska-Michigan State game on Saturday. There were large swaths of empty seats in the student section.

"I don't want to hear about it being too cold," Izzo said. "If it is, we've got a bunch of wimpy students, you know?

"I love our students. I think students have got to hold students accountable. We ain't putting this on [athletic director Mark] Hollis, and definitely not [Mark] Dantonio. We've got to self-evaluate."

Izzo said the Spartans' 5-5 record shouldn't have anything to do with the turnout since the student tickets had already been sold.

"I can't figure it out, but hopefully, in both sports we'll try to get to the bottom of it because there's got to be some reason," Izzo said. "It disappoints me for Mark because I think he's earned the right, and I do think it is a right. You can tell me about the ticket prices. You can tell me all that. Baloney, because the tickets are sold. It's not about the ticket prices. It's about passion and enthusiasm."

Izzo also took a few swipes at the officials from Saturday's game, who made some questionable calls, including the late pass interference flag in the end zone that helped Nebraska score the game-winning touchdown. Asked if he could get fined for criticizing the zebras in another sport, Izzo said: “Probably. It would be worth the fine, though.”

Maybe we should quote basketball coaches more often.