Much of this edition deals with our coverage of the recent state tournaments. But in addition, our supportive column about Michigan State Tom Izzo seemed to strike a match under a number of people, pro and con.
Our March 22 blog from the state tournament on the controversial methods of Michigan coach Tom Izzo drew an immediate, and sharp response…both ways:
“I enjoy reading Press Pros because I think you present positive coverage of high school sports, both kids and coaches. But you crossed the line in your comments about Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and I wondered if you wrote that because you really believe it, or whether you were trying to get a reaction. I could not disagree with you more about people with his personality and obvious generational issues. To Izzo and coaches from that era who choose to browbeat, I think we can be better than that now.” … Larry Estes (Dayton)
(Ed. Note: Time will tell us as to what we deserve. But I wonder what you think of Woody Hayes, because he was legendary for giving a forearm shiver, or night stick, up the side of players’ helmets who failed to get his message. And yet, Buckeye Nation idolizes ‘Woody’, and his image on posters still sell.)
“You probably have something positive to say about Hitler, too. Disgusting.” … Merrill Roberts
“Tom Izzo is a bully and you ignore that when you write such garbage defending men like him. I would not read Press Pros again because you obvious like people who saw nothing wrong with what Larry Nasser did with the gymnastics team at Michigan State.” … Thos. Stewart (via Facebook)
(Ed. Note: For the sake of accuracy, Izzo did not ‘defend’ Nasser, he just said he had no opinion BECAUSE he had no facts, just hearsay. So we didn’t support Izzo as a social watchdog, we supported him as a basketball coach.)
“I write to congratulate you on your experience in knowing how coaches make an impression on the lives of those who want to be coached, and want to be shaped as men. Tom Izzo does both and your article was excellent in pointing that out. In addition, bravo on your knowledge of history and the reference to Kruschev seventy years ago. I could not agree with you, and him, more.” ... Joe Bookwalter (Siesta Key. Fla)
“I smiled when I read “there’ll come a day when America can’t fight its way out of wet paper bag.” My father said that all the time and the reference is perfect to what men like Izzo and Woody Hayes teach young men – how to fight and how to win. Excellent read.” … Tom Killilea (Columbus)
“While coaches like Izzo win, there are only certain athletes that are equipped emotionally to play for him. And sometimes that toughness has to be learned on the job, as with Aaron Henry.” … Jeff Venters
(Ed. Note: It’s also why so many young people never play beyond high school and the comfortable culture of home. Nothing defines the difference between leaders and followers better than sports at the next level, where jobs, reputations, and careers are on the line.)
“Regarding your article on Coach Izzo, there’s no excuse for not hustling, regardless of who’s coaching, or how he coaches.” … Craig Locey
Apparently, our time with OHSAA commissioner Jerry Snodgrass and questions posed fell short of expectations with some who have a different view of how to make the tournament better.
“What he didn’t admit to with either interview (video and written) is that people are tired of watching AAU all-star teams pound on what used to be the real Ohio High School Athletic Association card-carrying members.” … Richard Dizenzo
“I’m impressed with Jerry Snodgrass because he’s made it a point to know the state and all those hometown communities. Unfortunately, the state tournament doesn’t remind you much of hometown Ohio anymore.” … Craig Schmidt
(Ed. Note: We’re not sure there’s much that Jerry Snodgrass can do about that as long as ‘hometown’ Ohio (and the legislature) demands open enrollment.)
“When I think of North College Hill and Deer Park, I don’t want to go to the tournament anymore.” … Jack Ries (Springfield)
Finally, our March 13 blog on kids (and adults) who behave badly at basketball games drew this response.
“If you listen to a psychiatrist explain why adults behave that way (badly) at a basketball game it isn’t very pretty, and actually very sad. Bottom line, these are people with some very extreme emotional voids and no other means of fulfillment.” … Michael Dunn