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Dakich responds to Izzo: 'Unreal respect' for MSU, Izzo

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — ESPN's Dan Dakich says he's reached out to Tom Izzo after the Michigan State men's basketball coach took issue with his tweets regarding the university and its fans.

"Always had unreal respect for Coach Izzo, MSU hoops+its fans!," Dakich tweeted Wednesday evening. "Reached out to Tom this AM to clear the air..Look forward 2 that conversation."

Izzo heard the chants on Tuesday night and admitted he was starting to get upset. He didn’t understand why the fans were hammering Dakich, who was courtside calling the game between Michigan State and Ohio State at Breslin Center.

The Michigan State student section known as the “Izzone” was spending much of the Spartans’ 74-66 victory chanting, “We hate Dakich,” usually when Buckeyes were shooting free throws. That came after constant booing during an early timeout when Dakich takes the court to break down something happening in the game.

It wasn’t long after Izzo found out why the home crowd was going after the former coach and father of Michigan player Andrew Dakich, he only regretted he didn’t get a chance to join the fans.

“I gotta be honest with you, I was kind of getting upset at the chants of Dakich,” Izzo said to open his postgame comments late Tuesday night. “Until I got in the locker room and I asked, ‘What was that all about?’ And somebody read me his tweets. The social media.”

One tweet, in particular, was pointed out to Izzo and it came in the wake of last week’s loss at Michigan, a game Dakich called for ESPN. Fans were going after Dakich for what they saw as him being a homer for his son’s team. When he was questioned by Michigan State fans, he had in interesting response for one.

“@loading_ai @SpartanAvenueFS @ofcadamwalters u crazy? Sparty not only whines but now just dumb!! Couldn't get into UM??”

That’s what made Izzo angry.

“If I would have known that before the game, I would embarrass myself almost as much as he embarrassed himself and I would have led the chants,” Izzo said. “Because calling us whiners and that is kind of unprofessional. Classy broadcasters like George Blaha and everybody else wouldn’t think to do something like that on TV.

Surging Spartans pound out win over Buckeyes

“But saying our students couldn’t get in there and he’s doing games for Michigan when his son’s there? That is a disappointment and that is ridiculous. And I think it’s funny because I got no respect for him for that and I’m gonna publicly say it. You can tweet it, you can read it, you can do whatever you want with it. But Twitter got him in trouble and he earned it and I’m surprised ESPN would let somebody say something like that that works for them.”

Not long after the game, that tweet had been deleted, though there were countless more comments calling Spartan fans whiners from Dakich, who now hosts a daily sports talk radio show in Indianapolis.

It was just another example Izzo used to point out his disdain for the social media.

“So that’s off my chest. Another one for Twitter,” Izzo said. “But Danny owes our fans and our students an apology. And I probably won’t get it. I’ve always gotten along with Dan, but as you know it seems like this year a lot of people have been mad at me but I would have loved to get in that Izzone and join those chants if I was on Twitter. Thank God I’m not. Thank God some of my friends are.”

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/mattcharboneau