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Wednesday / February 22.

Tom Izzo Goes Off on ESPN’s Dan Dakich, Demands Apology

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Following Michigan State’s 74-66 win over Ohio State on Tuesday night, Spartans coach Tom Izzo unloaded on ESPN’s Dan Dakich and demanded an apology for his recent Tweets.

“Danny owes our fans and our students an apology,” Izzo said. “And I probably won’t get it. I’ve always gotten along with Dan. As you know, it seems like this year, a lot of people have been mad at me. But would’ve loved to have gotten in the Izzone and joined those chants.”

The chants referred to the “We hate Dakich” shouts reverberating throughout the Breslin Center on Tuesday as Dakich did color commentary for the game.

Izzo said he wasn’t sure what they were all about at first until he asked his players in the locker room.

“I’ve got to be honest with you, I was kind of getting upset with the chants about Dakich,” Izzo said. “Until I got in the locker room and I asked, what was that all about? Somebody read me his tweets — his social media.”

Dakich, whose son Andrew plays for Michigan, had Tweeted comments about Michigan State students that Izzo found insulting, including a Feb. 8 Tweet that has since been deleted and read: “Sparty not only whines but now just dumb!! Couldn’t get into UM??”

“If I would’ve known that before the game, I would’ve embarrassed myself almost as bad as he embarrassed himself, and I would’ve led the chants,” Izzo said. “Calling us whiners and stuff like that is kind of unprofessional. …

“Classy broadcasters, like George Blaha and everybody else, would never even think to do something like that on TV. But saying our students couldn’t get in there, and he’s doing games for Michigan when his son is there. That is a disappointment and that is ridiculous. I think it’s funny because I have no respect for him for that. And I’m going to publicly say it. And you can tweet it. You can do whatever you want with it. But Twitter got him in trouble. And he earned (the chants) tonight.

“I’m surprised ESPN would let somebody say something like that that works for them. That’s off my chest now. …

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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.