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Tom Izzo hopes people 'rally behind the survivors' in sexual abuse scandal

Tom Izzo hopes people 'rally behind the survivors' in sexual abuse scandal

Tired from off-the-court issues that have painted the school's athletic department in a most unfavorable light, the architect of one of the most successful programs over the past two decades immediately faced pointed questions about a recent ESPN report revealing an assault on a female in 2010 by one of Izzo's former players who at the time was serving on the coaching staff. On Sunday, Izzo was asked why Walton left the program as part of an intense line of questioning by one of Lavigne's fellow reporters from Outside the Lines.

Izzo's No. 6 ranked Michigan State Spartans rallied from down 13 to defeat the Maryland Terrapins 74-66. ESPN also reported Walton was accused of sexually assaulting a different female months later after the Spartans reached the Final Four that season.

Izzo has been the head coach at Michigan State since 1995.

"It's been hard to focus in on basketball because then I feel guilty", Izzo said, according to Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News.

Michigan States handling of sexual misconduct allegations has come under increasing scrutiny since former university sports doctor Larry Nassar was charged with assaulting scores of girls and young women for years.

Izzo's answers to the questions were consistent.

Izzo: "I've cooperated with every investigation".

Yet Izzo will stick with his open locker room policy, knowing the questions his players will face because of the school name they were on their jerseys. "And I want Michigan State to be the top of the class - basketball, football, all that, all athletics - make things go the right way. He graduated", Izzo said.

"To be honest with you", Izzo said, "I don't know why he left". I did it then.

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ESPN's "Outside the Lines" looked into allegations of assault and sexual assault involving Walton in 2010.

The report also alleged the Michigan State football program did not report three instances of sexual assault and three incidents of physical violence.

Izzo didn't "lose the press conference" per se, but he didn't win it either.

Despite Michigan State outrebounding Maryland by a significant margin in the early going, the Terrapins were able to dictate the pace of the game and prevent Michigan State from getting to the rim.

Schuette described the team he has assembled to lead the investigation, including a special prosecutor and the Michigan State Police, and said there will be a public report when the investigation is completed.

"There's been a lot of talk, a lot of distractions", Michigan State sophomore guard-forward Miles Bridges said. Nassar has been sentenced to decades of prison time.

"None of the players were reprimanded in any way", the letter states.

"I think there's been more life lessons learned this year than ever", Izzo said when asked what he told his players regarding how to handle questions about the issues swirling around the program. Whether you're a supporter and it just kills your pride or whether you're a victim and you're going through the things you're going through, so I wish them well in their road to recovery. "And I will continue to cooperate with every investigation".


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