Mike Francesa On Tom Izzo Controversy: 'We've Gotten So Soft'

Mike's On
March 22, 2019 - 4:09 pm

By WFAN.com

The outrage over Michigan State coach Tom Izzo's treatment of one of his players during the NCAA Tournament is an example of how soft society has become, WFAN's Mike Francesa said Friday.

During the Spartans' first-round game against Bradley on Thursday night, Izzo got in forward Aaron Henry's face during a tongue-lashing over the freshman's lack of effort. During a timeout moments later, Izzo sprang out of his chair and moved toward Henry before Michigan State players intervened.

Izzo has been blasted by some on social media over the incident, and one caller to Francesa's show Friday said it was "disgusting" and that Michigan State and Izzo should be embarrassed. 

"We've gotten so soft," Francesa said. "You guys got to be kidding me. I'm sorry. You know what? I've been around too long. You guys, you're not allowed to say anything to a player anymore. This is just outrageous. That wasn't even angry from Bob Knight. That wasn't even angry in the old days.

"Listen, you're not allowed to talk to kids anymore, and you're not allowed to yell at kids anymore, and you've got to give everybody a competition trophy," he added. "I mean, I understand that's where we are now. It's going to be some world in 30 years is all I've got to say.

"He yelled at him for not hustling. You've got to be kidding me. You can't yell at your player for not hustling anymore?"

Izzo did not apologize after the game, which second-seeded Michigan State won 76-65. 

"Aaron Henry, trust me, did some things that you can’t do as a starter on a top-five team at the end of your freshman year," he said. "And they were effort-related. And so he’s going to get challenged. Aaron Henry’s got to grow up a little bit and learn the 'my bad' days when you’re a freshman that’s started a lot, they can happen."

Henry didn't seem particularly bothered by the incident.

“You know he’s gonna chew you out when he calls you over there — there’s nothing you can do now,” he said. “Just responding to it is accepting the coaching and not having a pity-party for yourself and just being a basketball player and go respond.