Izzo: Chambers’ suspension ‘joke’

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo went on a lengthy, somewhat rambling rant Monday afternoon discussing the one-game suspension Penn State coach Patrick Chambers received for pushing a player during a game last week.

“That was a joke. It was a joke,” Izzo said of the suspension. “I hate to say it, if my high school coach pushes my son on something that — we don’t even know what was said, we don’t even know what happened — but if we’re that fragile … I mean, if he punched him, put him in prison.”

Izzo, in a video posted online from his press conference, then joked about having to take extra precautions nowadays to not upset players.

“You see the timeouts, I get down on both knees now, genuflect, I say a little prayer, and I ask them if it’s OK if I can tell them what they did wrong,” Izzo said. “I’m cool with that. I’m adjusting to the times.

“But do I think a guy should be suspended for (pushing a player)? Put it this way: I talked to some people in high-up positions — ADs and that — lately that didn’t agree with that. God bless if it was Penn State and that’s what they had to do. God bless the Big Ten if that’s what they had to do.”

Chambers pushed freshman Myles Dread during a timeout in a PSU game last week at Michigan, and the school suspended him for Sunday night’s game against Wisconsin.

Chambers apologized for his actions. Izzo, though, took a more old-school approach.

“We’re supposed to discipline human beings,” he said. “I had an assistant coach, we were talking about the problems of the modern-day kid. His 80-some-year old mother said, ‘We had the same problems when you were a kid. They’re not changed. We had the same problems. It’s just that we had a solution.’

“I said, ‘What was that?'”

Izzo then put his hands in the form of a belt.

“The belt,” he said. “I was part of that. I think the world is too soft, it’s too fragile. There’s too many people that analyze every single thing. I didn’t see it all because it made me sick.

“But I saw (the push). I never heard the kid complain about anything, I never heard any parent complain about anything.

“I know one thing: If somebody pushes my kid on something like that — or tries to get his attention because he’s doing something wrong — I’m going to say, ‘thank you.’ That’s what I’m going to say.”