Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo looks up at the clock as they play the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA men's West Regional basketball tournament in Phoenix

Report: Michigan State players have ‘physical altercation’ at hotel

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According to a report from Centre County Report, a news outlet run by Penn State students and faculty, two Michigan State players had a physical altercation at a hotel on Wednesday. No. 18 Michigan State visits Penn State tonight.

According to their twitter feed, the two players got into a verbal altercation in the second floor rotunda just after 11 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Nittany Lion Inn. After the altercation turned physical and one player was shoved into a wall, the police were called.

No one was arrested and the identity of the two players is still unknown.

UPDATE: Diamond Leung has some more details on what happened:

Two Spartans players engaged in a verbal altercation that turned physical when they exchanged punches to the area of the face and one shoved the other into a wall in the second-floor lobby, causing minor damage, according to Parham.

No arrests or charges have yet to be made or filed, according to Parham, who said both players suffered minor cuts and did not seek medical attention after they were separated and calmed down. The players have yet to be identified because an investigation is ongoing, according to Parham.

Fights within a team aren’t not a huge issue in my opinion. These are passionate, competitive young adults that spend a ridiculous amount of time around each other. Disagreements will happen. If you have a sibling, think back to when you guys were growing up. You never got into a fight with each other? Now imagine there are 13 of you, and you’re all fighting for a limited amount of attention from your parents (playing time).

The issue is whether or not they can hug it out once the fight is over and tempers die down. Disagreements are fine, so long as everyone remembers that, at the end of the day, they are teammates.

(We will update this post as more information becomes available.)

UPDATE II: It was Branden Dawson and Adriean Payne. They won’t start tonight. The police are still investigating the incident.

UPDATE III: Tom Izzo tried to clear up the situation with an explanation of the incident, per MLive.com

“They are roommates back in East Lansing and they got in an argument over practice gear,” Izzo said. “They got in a pushing and shoving altercation, go back dent a wall, and with Twitter and everything else it becomes a story of its own.”

“I’m trying to find a happy medium between keeping it normal, and yet making them understand this isn’t normal anywhere this day and age,” Izzo said. “They have to hold themselves accountable, they didn’t, and so we’ll deal with it.

“I don’t want to make a mountain out of a mole hill here. Those two kids won’t be starting and won’t be playing for a while, and yet I plan on playing them sometime in the game.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Nigel Hayes’ comment on basketball brands hits on greater point

Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes (10) drives on Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Hayes had a team-high 21 points in Wisconsin's 79-68 win. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
AP Photo/Andy Manis
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Much is made about the ball when it comes to how the sport of basketball is played and rightfully so, as the ball is the most important piece of equipment. Different brands have different characteristics, and with college basketball programs being able to pick the ball they use for home games there are adjustments to be made during the season.

Wisconsin will play at No. 2 Maryland Saturday, meaning that in the days leading up to the game the Badgers needed to get used to the Under Armour basketball. The brand became a conversation point in the aftermath of Maryland’s win over No. 4 Iowa last month, with the Hawkeyes (while not blaming the ball for their loss) made note of the differences between the Under Armour ball and the Nike ball they use for their home games.

Thursday Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes offered up his observations on the basketball while also pointing out (albeit sarcastically) the goal of intercollegiate athletics.

“It’s definitely different,” Hayes said. “Personally, we don’t like it too much. I don’t like the Under Armour ball whatsoever. But that’s the way this amateur sports league is set up. We’re supposed to be having fun, but all the money is in these basketballs that colleges play with. But it’s an amateur sport, we’re just here for fun. It’s not really that serious. So I guess any ball should be OK.

“Maybe we should have a universal ball like the NBA. You don’t go to the Clippers’ stadium and play with a Nike and then go to Golden State and play with a Rawlings. But in this amateur sport of college, where money isn’t the goal — it’s the student education and experience that you get — we play with a million different basketballs.”

Hayes makes a good point here, and in regards to the NBA all hell would break loose under similar circumstances (remember the leather vs. microfiber composite controversy in 2006?). If these games are solely about fun and the college experience, wouldn’t having one ball used by all schools better fit that mission? This isn’t the biggest of deals when it comes to “amateur” athletics, as different basketball brands have been used for years.

But Hayes was able to take this situation and work it into the discussion of the goals of intercollegiate athletics. Is it about the experience? Or does the ability to profit, be it through a minor move such as using a particular ball or the more impactful step of moving from one conference to another, take precedence? Given the shifts that have occurred in college sports in recent years, it’s quite apparent that the search for additional revenue streams has won out.

Hayes did note that neither he nor his teammates would make excuses, saying that the team would simple “have to get used to” the unfamiliar basketball according to the Wisconsin State Journal. In the end, this was a good use of sarcasm by Hayes to make a greater point about the collegiate athletics machine he and his teammates are but minor parts of.

Marquette fan sends Providence money for missed free throw

Providence's Kris Dunn reacts to his shot during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Villanova, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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It goes without saying that sports can inspire some interesting promises, from players and coaches guaranteeing victory to fans making statements that hinge on the outcome of a particular game or play (see: tattoos celebrating a team’s triumphs before they’ve even won the game in question). For one Marquette fan, the need for Providence’s Kris Dunn to miss a free throw during Wednesday night’s game (which Marquette won in overtime) inspired him to make a promise that he intended to keep.

Jamey Schilling took the approach of yelling that he’d pay Dunn $10 if he missed the free throw. Sure enough Dunn missed the shot, and Schilling made good on his promise. But with players themselves unable to receive such funds due to NCAA rules, Schilling sent the check to the Providence athletic department.

Schilling’s gesture did not go unnoticed by Marquette either, as the school sent him a gift card to use in the Marquette Spirit Shop.

H/T For The Win