Michigan State coach Tom Izzo looked to balance celebrating a big win for the No. 6 Spartans while also keeping attention on the women at the university who have been subjected to sexual and physical assault.
Speaking after a 74-68 win over Maryland on Sunday, Izzo said he wants his team to be “part of the healing process.”
“We’ve got a lot of things to cover, a lot of things to go over,” Izzo said in his on-court interview. “I just hope that everybody rallies behind this team a little bit, and I hope we all rally behind the survivors, and we make our community a better place.”
Izzo also said there will be a time to make a statement about the allegations against the men’s basketball team revealed in Friday’s Outside the Lines report, “but it won’t be right now.”
“I’m gonna try to figure out how to celebrate this win and still pray for the people that have gone through a lot more than I went through,” he said.
He said in his postgame news conference that he isn’t hiding.
“I’ve cooperated with every investigation. Every one,” he said. “And I will continue to cooperate with every investigation. Every one.”
Questioned by OTL’s Tisha Thompson about Travis Walton leaving the program in 2010 following a rape accusation made against him, Izzo said he wasn’t sure why the former guard left the team as a student assistant coach but noted he went to play in Europe.
The LA Clippers have placed Walton, an assistant coach with the team’s G League affiliate, on administrative leave pending further investigation into the 2010 case reported by Outside the Lines on Friday.