NCAA rules shift Iron Mountain's dinner tab from Izzo to Mariucci

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Tom Izzo opted not to pay for Iron Mountain High's team dinner after speaking with MSU's compliance director.

Before Iron Mountain played in the Division 3 state championship game at the Breslin Center on Saturday, two of the schools most famous alums — Tom Izzo and Steve Mariucci — planned to pay for the team’s dinner on Friday night.

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But a last-minute call from MSU compliance director Jennifer Smith helped Izzo dodge a bullet with the NCAA.

“Lo and behold, the NCAA doesn’t let me do that,” Izzo said on Saturday.

It’s not like many Iron Mountain players would be potential recruits, but it was still a no-no in the eyes of the NCAA. Izzo, not surprisingly, thought it was silly.

“I’m still disappointed we look at it that way from an NCAA standpoint, but Jennifer Smith saved me,” Izzo said. “With all the things going on, I think paying for your hometown meal would be really big on the Richter scale.”

It wasn’t all bad. Izzo just dropped the tab on the former Lions coach.

“Mooch is out the money,” Izzo said laughing. “It’s a double-win for me.”

Twitter: @mattcharboneau