The biggest debate from the first day of the 2019 NCAA tournament was about Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo furiously screaming at his player Aaron Henry during the Spartans first-round win, an incident in which Henry’s teammates got between the two.
It has talking heads and fans on Twitter debating whether it was right to act like that toward a player for a teaching moment — Henry himself endorsed a Cris Carter take on First Things First (he was fine with what Izzo did) with a tweet of a bullseye emoji.
Charles Barkley weighed in on Friday’s pre-tournament broadcast, calling out people — specifically, experts “on other networks” — who criticized Izzo:
“One of the reasons Tom Izzo is one of my favorite coaches (is) he coaches his team. I was so disappointed to hear all these jackasses on other networks complaining about a coach coaching his team. Coach Izzo, you keep doing your thing. It’s alright for a coach to yell at a player. When did we get to a point where every time a coach yells at a player, it becomes a national emergency?”
I’m not sure who he’s referring to at “other networks” — I’ve seen Carter and others defending Izzo, many former college hoops players and coaches who did the same (see below) and columnists with the opposite take.