Michigan State’s famed student section, the Izzone, had words for ESPN commentator Dan Dakich all throughout the Spartans’ 74-66 win Tuesday over Ohio State, frequently chanting “We hate Dakich.”
Tom Izzo had words for Dakich after the game.
“I’ve got to be honest with you,” Izzo said. “I was kind of getting upset with the chants of Dakich until I got in the locker room, and I asked what was that all about? Somebody read me his tweets. Social media. And if I would have known that before the game, I would have embarrassed myself almost as much as he embarrassed himself and I would have led the chants because calling us whiners and all that is kind of unprofessional.”
The issue stems from a number of tweets Dakich sent accusing Spartan fans of “whining,” but what really appeared to bother Izzo was a tweet Dakich sent that directed at a Michigan State fan that said, “Sparty not only whines but now just dumb!! Couldn’t get into UM (Michigan)??”
Of course, Dakich’s son, Andrew, is currently on the Wolverines’ roster, which only complicates matters when it comes to any perceived slights for Michigan State fans.
“Saying our students couldn’t get in there (Michigan),” Izzo said, “and he’s doing games for Michigan when his son is there. That is a disappointment and that is ridiculous and I think it’s funny because I’ve got no respect for him for that.
“You can read it, you can tweet it, you can do whatever you want with it. But Twitter got him in trouble, and I’m surprised ESPN would let somebody say something like that that works for them.
“But Danny owes our fans and our students an apology. And I probably won’t get it. I’ve always gotten along with Dan, but as you know, it seems like this year a lot of people have been mad at me, but I would have loved to get in that Izzone and joined those chants if I was on Twitter. Thank God, I’m not. Thank God some of my friends are.”
Dakich, a former Hoosiers player, coached at Indiana and Bowling Green and now is the host of a radio show in Indianapolis in addition to calling games on television broadcasts for ESPN.
Izzo is not the first Big Ten coach from whom Dakich has drawn rebuke from. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery went after Dakich after the broadcaster criticized Hawkeye Adam Woodbury, who had poked multiple opponents in the eye during the 2014-15 season.
“Dan Dakich is so far out of line,” McCaffery said in Feb. 2015. “He’s just lost it on this one. He doesn’t know Adam Woodbury. For him to say the reprehensible things he said about an amateur athlete, it’s inexcusable. Absolutely inexcusable that his network would allow him to say those kinds of things about a guy he doesn’t know.”
The dustup actually had Iowa provide Dakich with extra security at a game he called in Iowa City later that season.