Michigan State University men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo questioned whether politicians can get together “on the same side” in the wake of the mass shooting that left three students dead and injured five others at the university’s East Lansing campus last week.
The coach has put his emotions on display in recent days and got teary-eyed following his team’s 80-65 win on Tuesday, the Spartans’ first victory since the shooting.
Izzo also revealed that his son, Spartans guard Steven Izzo, was on campus and near the Michigan State University Union — one of the shooting’s sites — around the time of the tragedy.
Izzo joined Stephen A. Smith’s podcast on Monday as he looked back at the team’s game against the University of Michigan Wolverines last week, which marked the first game the team played since the shooting.
Michigan fans at the game wore shirts to show their solidarity with their rivals, and Izzo’s team received a standing ovation as they warmed up on the court, ESPN reported.
Izzo noted how the usual “hateful” rivalry was dulled by Michigan’s — and its head coach Juwan Howard’s — care and support before he suggested how the rest of the country could unite, as well.
“I told Juwan after I said, ‘Man, we should get our athletic directors and presidents together and send them to Washington. Maybe we could get the Democrats and Republicans on the same side cause if Michigan and Michigan State can be on the same side on something like this, why can’t the rest of our country?’” Izzo asked.
“Unfortunately, I think a lot of things are more political than they are, what’s right and wrong. People always say as you get older — I’m sure they do to you — ‘Oh, that’s old school.’ And I would say, ‘No, it’s not old school or new school — it’s right school and wrong school.’”