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March 15, 2010

Lickliter firing 'disgusting' to Izzo

Three years and he's out. Iowa fired its head coach today, confirming the rumors that were swirling around Indy over the weekend.

    This just goes to show that it isn't always a slam dunk to leave a good mid-major for a BCS program. Todd Lickliter would be a No. 5 seed right now with Butler. It'll be interesting to see what Iowa does from here. I've heard the name Bruce Pearl, Tom Davis' former assistant there.
    Yeah, that's just what the Big Ten needs.
    Tom Izzo was informed of the firing at his news conference today. Here's the reaction he gave:
    "It's an amazing world I live in. I mean, I don't know Todd that well, to be very honest with you. But I know this: He's a quality guy. He doesn't cheat. He does it the right way. I feel sorry for some of these guys as I did Tommy Amaker, as I did Dan Monson, as I do Tom Crean a little bit. Guys that take over programs that have been decimated with crap.
    "That right now would be where I would change my opinion of telling a friend to take a certain job. Because I have not seen anybody be successful -- or very many -- on the first time around. Because everybody thinks you can have an academic fraud at Minnesota and a couple years later everything's gonna be cool. Or you can have a scandal somewhere else and a couple years later it's gonna be OK. And it's not.
    "And you know, he loses half that team for a variety of different reasons. I just was watching Georgia Tech, you know they're talking about Paul Hewitt, whether he'll make it or not. I'm on a board with Paul, he's one of the more quality guys in the country. He's had some good players, they've left. He's got academic standards down there that are maybe a little different than some of the rest of us.
    "I'm not gonna say anything insulting about anybody else's administration, but (the Iowa firing) is not because of lack of work, lack of effort or cheating, I guarantee you that. Unless there's something I don't know. And yeah, that bothers me some. ... I'd heard a rumor that they were thinking it and I just blew it off, like 'You've got to be kidding me.' And I think for what he had and the injuries he went through and the suspensions with the alcohol problem and all the things they had, I thought he did a hell of a job to be honest with you.
    "So don't wonder why we have to hold guys as accountable as we have to hold them. And when the day comes when a guy's not held accountable, and I lose too many games and I get fired, I hope somebody says the same about me. Because that's disgusting to our profession. Unless -- unless, I want to preface it -- unless there's something I don't know that he did wrong, meaning scandalistically. And I know, I'm 99 percent sure, that isn't true.
    "I mean, you hear rumors of places calling in players to get their opinion on the coach. I mean, how great is that, you know? Let's call Saddam in here and ask him if the Al-Qaeda network is good or bad. How ridiculous is that? That's ... next question."



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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter

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