Live-Blogging Tom Izzo's Press Conference

Tom Izzo's press conference can be seen here. Below are the running notes from the presser.

President Lou Anna K. Simon:

  • "Amusing" that rumors swirled so much and "tweets became facts."
  • Izzo deserved time to make a decision.
  • Thankful that so many reached out and gave support to Izzo and his family.
  • Mark Hollis "generally sealed the deal" and did a great job throughout all of this.
  • Hollis made this happen.

Athletic director Mark Hollis:

  • Greatness is expected. This is no time to rest; time to move forward and be the best.
  • Izzo is more than a basketball coach. He's a role model for everyone in the state of Michigan.
  • Appreciate all of the support the students, alumni and fans gave.
  • Thank the basketball team for staying strong throughout all of this.
  • "Time to become the best."
  • "Individuals make headlines; teams win championships."
  • Izzo did not "seek out" this opportunity.
  • Not done for personal attention. Evaluated for his family and for their best intentions.
  • "Public swayed by ridiculous and outrageous rumors."
  • "Media out of control."
  • "The race to be first leaves a great deal of pain in its wake."
  • Both Simon and Hollis called out the media, blogs and Twitter for irresponsible reporting.

Tom Izzo:

  • "That was a hell of a speech." (Referring to what Hollis had to say)
  • Entire basketball team and managers came up, shook Izzo's hand, hugged him and stood behind him while he spoke.
  • "It was a once in a lifetime decision for me. How many more offers do you get? How many more opportunities do you get?"
  • "For me, I decided this decision would put me here for life or not."
  • "This was a decision for life."
  • "What helped me? Amazing couple of things helped me... The number of former players that called me when this broke... gave me their input and said coach you gotta take a look and not feel guilty."
  • Magic Johnson spoke to Izzo last week and told him to get on a plane and go earn that opportunity that it took 27 years to earn
  • "The opportunity Michigan State gave me, the fact that these players helped me win a lot of games, got to Final Fours, gave me the opportunities for financial things, the dream of coaching in the NBA, the opportunity to coach one of the greatest players that ever played the game. I felt honored and went down there and I must say this about Dan Gilbert -- one of the classiest guys I've ever met."
  • Izzo had only met Dan Gilbert twice before this. They weren't friends, and they hadn't talked for more than 20 or so seconds.
  • Gilbert was going through a difficult time and was worried about what people in Michigan would think.
  • Proud of Gilbert for the man he is and the Michigan State Spartan he is.
  • Appreciate all of the e-mails and the letters.
  • "Dan Gilbert saw me in something that was right for that same goal and mission (winning)."
  • "I didn't do it, as some said, for publicity."
  • "I am going to be a lifer and I'm damn proud of it."
  • "We've built a pretty good basketball program. Mark Dantonio has been very important to me. He is building a very good football program. I am a program guy... I care as much about other people as much as I do myself... The mission that Hollis has decided is to make the Michigan State athletic department one of the best in the country."
  • "My goal is now to make this the best athletic department in the country, and thank God I have some great friends to help me do that."
  • "No, I did not talk to LeBron. I talked to enough people in his camp that I felt very comfortable with some of the things I needed to know. I can appreciate the things he's going through as well. I hope he stays at home and everybody wins."
  • "If you're gonna ask good questions, I'm gonna give you good answers." (Responding to an awful question by Drew Sharp)
  • "Did I ever get to the point where I said I was going? No, I never got to that point."
  • Izzo's "a-ha moment" was when
  • "I think it's really funny that people would question my loyalty to this place."
  • Izzo said maybe if he won a national title a few years ago this decision would be different, but "that damn Mike Krzyzewski guy" keeps winning titles, keeping Izzo motivated.
  • Izzo only had parameters before he went to Cleveland, not a contract offer.
  • "If I didn't look, I would always wonder."
  • "This time I looked, and I looked a little more diligently... I had to do my investigative work."
  • "Somebody from Cleveland said this is a decision that's unprecedented." (New coach, new GM, player like LeBron)
  • "The opportunity they offered me - I could have gone to the NBA. That's not the same as going, but thank God I work for some people that gave me the opportunity to look."
  • "The grass is always greener on the other side, and the grass is really greener here."
  • The media infuriated him by calling recruits and all that, but it only served as more motivation.
  • Izzo doesn't think the media gave him a fair shot at times to really look at the NBA.
  • Dan Gilbert was a big reason why he looked hard at this opportunity. Gilbert motivated and excited him and had the same goals and passion.
  • "I felt something there, I really did. I had talked to some of those people when they drafted Shannon Brown. I had been down there at their facility. I guess that's the main reason - just a unique situation, in the Midwest, that was important... legitimate chance to win an NBA championship and maybe there were other things that intrigued me."
  • Lynn Henning pushed back about comments President Simon made that were a "blanket statement" about the media. Izzo responds by saying that Henning has not been "up here" covering MSU basketball on a regular basis and then proceeded to call him out for a column Henning wrote about how it was too late for Izzo to come back after everything that happened over the last week. This turned into a debate where Henning was trying to lecture Izzo about not giving up enough information, and Izzo shot back with how "incessant media reports" got to him, where it was in the news that he went grocery shopping with his daughter.
  • "If LeBron James had stayed, that doesn't mean I would have been there."
  • LeBron was a big factor, but not the only factor.
  • Izzo will make it up to the fans that were offended by his interest in another opportunity.
  • This whole year has been tough for Lupe (his wife) because her father passed away, but she was "very supportive."
  • "A family in learning all of the things you learn in a tough week like it was... they were awesome."
  • On the administration possibly wanting him to hurry up a decision: "I didn't get one negative word said to me."
  • Little hard on the players and the recruits.
  • "This week, whether anybody likes it or not, I was afforded the opportunity to maybe coach LeBron James. You know what, if somebody thinks I can do that - there are a lot of recruits out there that are the next LeBron James, and I'm going to be looking for them. I'm gonna coach them in the NCAA. I'm gonna try to do the best job I can to help make them have the opportunity to live their dream like I have had the opportunity to here.
  • Izzo closed out the press conference by thanking the media for having so much interest in the program.

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