Michigan State’s “Izzone” is generally considered to be one of the best fan cheering sections in college basketball. But both Purdue coach Matt Painter and the man who inspired the Izzone, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, agree that one fan crossed the line with a taunt Saturday.
During Saturday’s 83-58 win over the Boilermakers, a fan apparently said to Purdue senior Robbie Hummel, “I hope you tear your ACL again.”
The taunt prompted Purdue coach Matt Painter to exchange words with the student section during the game.
“I was just trying to fight,” Painter said afterward. “I think the Izzone is great. But if they’re going to say, ‘I hope you tear your ACL again,’ I’m going to say something. He doesn’t deserve that. We’ve got guys in our student section that probably say things that are out of line too, but I’m just not taking it. If he hears that … someone’s got to fight for him.”
Hummel missed all of last season after tearing his ACL during an October practice. He sat out the end of the previous season after tearing his ACL February 24th against Minnesota.
Though Izzo said he hears really bad comments from fans at various venues, that particular taunt is unacceptable.
“Robbie Hummel is one of the most respected people in this league, and I want our fans to be as hard as they can be,” Izzo said. “I just don’t want them to be ignorant.
“That would be a very ignorant statement. I would throw the guy out of here that said something like that. If he wants to talk about his grandmother, I wouldn’t like it, but I’d deal with it. But if he wants to talk about an injury to a kid who’s been through so much, I’ll try to find out who it was and make sure that I buy his ticket.”
Here is a video of both coaches’ comments via Mlive.com: