Tired from off-the-court issues that have painted the school's athletic department in a most unfavorable light, the architect of one of the most successful programs over the past two decades immediately faced pointed questions about a recent ESPN report revealing an assault on a female in 2010 by one of Izzo's former players who at the time was serving on the coaching staff.
Walton left the coaching staff in 2010 and Izzo was asked why.
Minutes after the sixth-ranked Spartans rallied past Maryland 74-68 on Sunday, Izzo spoke softly about what it's been like to prepare his team to play in the wake of an investigation of the program and the school involving sexual assaults by athletes and staff. Sunday began a stretch of six road games in Michigan State's final nine regular-season contests, and the environments figure to be even more hostile than usual. I know he went to Europe to play, and as you know, I'll still say I'll cooperate with any investigation.
Both Izzo and Mark Dantonio were targeted heavily in the report, which "found a pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression" of sexual assault allegations at Michigan State.
Izzo's answers to the questions were consistent.
In regard to Izzo's program, Outside the Lines referenced several incidents that had already been made public.
Izzo: "I don't know what you mean".
Izzo said: "To be honest with you, I don't know why he left".
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Schuette said veteran prosecutor William Forsyth will direct his office's independent investigation of the school's relationship with Nassar, the 54-year-old ex-doctor who worked as an osteopathic physician for USA Gymnastics and was a faculty member at Michigan State. "I think sometimes guys just have to focus on their job and then deal with the other stuff after, and that's what they did".
Walton left the Michigan State program after the season - OTL reported that he was sacked - and spent the next three seasons playing professional basketball overseas.
Izzo didn't "lose the press conference" per se, but he didn't win it either.
ESPN has been accused of taking advantage of the Larry Nassar case by publishing its story the day after the disgraced doctor was sentenced.
The reporter asked whether Izzo had any regrets about how sexual assault allegations were handled by the basketball program. The Terrapins (15-8, 4-6) have lost five of seven, a skid that began with a 91-61 defeat at Michigan State on January 4.
Minutes after he said that, the door to the visiting locker room at Xfinity Center was flung open, and Michigan State's players were subjected to another round of questions from reporters about basketball and everything else happening outside of the hardwood. "Period", Schuette said. "No individual and no department at Michigan State University is off-limits".
In her victim impact statement, Emma Ann Miller, 15, referred to Bridges as a player she could "root for" while still holding Michigan State accountable for Nassar's actions. One of the players refused to speak with police, while the other player corroborated the victim's claims, evening stating "I understand how she would feel that she was not free to leave".