STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — If there’s anything in the world that Tom Izzo hates more than Twitter, I fear for its safety.
Michigan State’s basketball coach loathes this social media tool, seethes as he speaks about it.
In some instances, there’s good reason. When folks take to needlessly bashing his players, sometimes anonymously, Twitter is a wicked device.
But, Wednesday, Twitter helped push MSU’s cringe-worthy story along — into the news cycle quickly, but out of it after Thursday morning.
The hotel tussle between Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne is a one-day story, in part, because of how quickly it became a story and, to Izzo’s credit, how open he was about the incident once it became a story.
If Twitter didn’t exist, if this was even just 2007, the Centre Count Report (a Penn State student-run TV station) doesn’t spread the news that police responded to this fisticuffs as quickly as they did. And, without the Twitter transmission, the rest of the media world doesn’t see it as early. Without that, MSU probably doesn’t release Izzo’s statement and, the players either aren’t punished in the same public manner, or it’s a fresher story come game time.
It might have remained a one-night story. But it definitely is one thanks to Twitter, even if the creators of Twitter shouldn’t expect a thank you note from Izzo.
I thought Izzo and MSU handled this situation pretty well. But, in hindsight, I have an issue with one Izzo statement.
Izzo said, “Don’t take this wrong, if it wasn’t for the Twitter era, it would be just another day.”
I get that he might have meant fights between teammates happen all the time, and they do, and that Twitter was why it was so public. But it also led me to wonder, if it hadn’t reached the public eye, would Dawson and Payne have been punished similarly, if it’s just another day?