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Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo denies program badly handled sexual assault allegations

October 12, 2018

ROSEMONT, ILL. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has a team favored to win the Big Ten Conference title this season, but he spent little time talking basketball at media day Thursday.

For the first time, Izzo vehemently defended himself and his program against the heavy criticism he faced last season after reports surfaced that Michigan State poorly handled sexual assault allegations against football and mens basketball players in previous years.

Ive kicked kids off for drugs, Ive kicked kids off for bad academics, Izzo said. Im not going to kick somebody off for sexual assault? Thats insulting. Thats insulting to me.

ESPNs Outside the Lines aired a story in February painting a picture that linked the Larry Nassar sexual abuse of gymnasts scandal to the alleged mishandling of information on reported sexual assaults against players in Izzos and Spartans football coach Mark Dantonios programs.

I was appalled, because that picture dragged everything in, Izzo said. It brought it in like hidden secrets, like everythings hidden. There are no hidden secrets.

Izzo said he spoke with sexual assault victims and also had several sexual violence against women groups talk with his players throughout the summer.

I spent more time on that than I do basketball, he said. If it is good, maybe Im doing the right thing. I will guarantee you Im trying to do the right thing. Ive always tried to do the right thing.

Murphy honored again

For the second year in a row, the Gophers have a presence on the All-Big Ten preseason team with senior forward Jordan Murphy.

The 6-7, 250-pound San Antonio native led the Gophers in scoring (16.8 points) and the Big Ten in rebounding (11.3) in 2017-18. He earned All-Big Ten second-team honors.

Murphy, who attended Thursdays media day, was joined by Purdues Carsen Edwards, Wisconsins Ethan Happ, Nebraskas James Palmer Jr., Michigan States Cassius Winston and Nick Ward, Marylands Anthony Cowan, Indianas Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford and Michigans Charles Matthews.

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