On Thursday afternoon, Tom Izzo provided yet another example of why he is one of the most popular coaches in the college ranks.
Izzo reinstated senior big man Derrick Nix after Nix pleaded guilty to a charge of impaired driving stemming from an arrest in which he was caught with weed in his car. Well, it wasn’t his car, actually. The police report said that he was driving a 2011 Dodge Charger, a car that very few college students are going to be able to afford.
Obviously, the rumors started: Why was Nix driving a 2011 Charger? Who did he get it from? Is this how Izzo is able to land players?
But as it turns out, the car wasn’t a 2011 Charger, it was a 2007 Charger. And it didn’t belong to a booster or a rogue car dealership, it belonged to his brother’s girlfriend. And, as you might expect Izzo had some pointed words for those critics.
“It gave a bunch of people at other universities a chance to throw missiles,” Izzo said. “And you know what? They threw ‘em, but we’re still standing.
“To me, that is nothing. It’s not pertinent to this story in any way, shape or form. And if somebody wants to make it that under the circumstance I think they want to make it at, now we got a fistfight.”
Yes, Tom Izzo just challenged “a bunch of people at other universities” to a fistfight while standing up for a player that was being reinstated to the team after nearly getting the boot for a possession arrest.
Who wouldn’t want to play for a guy will to do that?