If there is one thing that Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo has made no bones about over the last few years, it's that he has no love for the social-networking phenomenon, Twitter. On Tuesday, he cemented that sentiment with some additional comments.
Many MSU athletes of all sports, past and present, have become minor celebrities in their own right with their personal Twitter accounts. Players from soon-to-be-NFL running back, Le'Veon Bell, to Izzo's own bright talent in ex-Spartan Draymond Green (now a member of the Golden State Warriors), to former defensive football superstar, Jerel Worthy (now with the Green Bay Packers). Each have made their mark in the new social media world.
On Sunday, the Michigan State Spartans took down the Nebraska Cornhuskers at the Breslin Center with a 66-56 victory. After the game, reporters swarmed to the locker of team captain Derrick Nix to speak with him about his team-high 17 points in the win.
But Nix was already preoccupied... with his phone... checking Twitter for any tweets that may have been aimed at him. There were none, he said.
So far this season, some MSU players, including Nix, have retweeted negative comments made about them in some of the Spartans' more-disappointing losses, and frankly, Tom Izzo has grown weary of how "connected" some of his athletes are to the social networking website.
“I know,” Izzo said concerning his player's obsession with Twitter. “You know, that’s after I talked to him about it. They all think they can handle it. I’m gonna tell you something, guys, there ain’t none of us -- are you ready, not even my man Nick (Saban) -- there ain’t none of us that can handle getting crucified and not knowing who’s crucifying them.”
And it's not just a sports-related issue, according to Izzo. He's against the social media platform on a number of levels; a message he's trying to bring home to his family, as well.
“It’s what I’m gonna write my book on when I’m dead and gone from here,” Izzo said. "But I really think it has some significant and serious impact. You know what? I’m being proactive the other way. I’m talking to my kids about it and explaining. That’s why I always say it’s us against the world, and you’ve gotta hone in here.”
Still, not all of coach Izzo's Spartans are into the world of Twitter and such related sites. Some, like highly-talented guard Keith Appling, have chosen to forgo Twitter in all of its forms and are not members of the site at all.
“The best way to deal with it is to not be a part of it,” said Appling.
You can follow MSU Examiner, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro (... if you should choose to do so... no pressure... of course, right? Though I don't think I'll be seeing anything of mine retweeted by @CoachTomIzzo anytime soon)