Tom Izzo apologizes for using 'wrong words' in statement about Larry Nassar case

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo addresses the crowd before an NCAA college basketball scrimmage, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo addresses the crowd before an NCAA college basketball scrimmage, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

On Sunday, Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo released a statement which attempted to repair the damage he did last week when he commented on the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. Here’s Izzo’s apology statement, via the Detroit Free Press:

“On Friday night in my postgame press conference, I used the wrong words when trying to express my belief that Larry Nassar and anyone else who broke the law should be held accountable for their crimes. My overall message was, and remains, that I have tremendous admiration for the courage the survivors have shown, and that Larry Nassar has permanently damaged the lives of so many people and deserves all the punishment that he receives.”

Izzo was originally asked about Nassar and MSU president Lou Anna Simon on Friday night, and he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory.


The only thing missing from Izzo’s answer is a stage direction that reads “insert foot directly into mouth.” Repeatedly saying “as a father,” makes it seem like that’s the only way he’s able to understand the absolute evil that Larry Nassar perpetrated on more than 150 girls and women. Saying that he hoped the right person was convicted just showed how little he knew about the case before opening his mouth. And following that with a full-throated defense of the embattled MSU president undercut everything he’d just said.

Lynn Raisman, the mother of Olympic gymnast and Nassar abuse survivor Aly Raisman, slammed Izzo for his uninformed opinion, and wondered whether he was a moron or an idiot. Considering what he said, it was a valid question. Izzo’s statement on Sunday didn’t so much clarify his earlier comments as show us what he should have said in the first place.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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