Tom Izzo gave players from his former high school a tour of the Breslin Center, which violated NCAA rules.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo received an NCAA violation for showing a nice gesture to his alma mater, Iron Mountain High School, according to mlive.com.
After Iron Mountain reached the state semifinals for the first time in school history, Izzo wanted to welcome the team to Michigan State's campus. One day before the Mountaineers were set to play in the semifinal game at the Breslin Center, he gave the team a tour of the facilities and Michigan State's locker room and let them watch the Spartans' practice.
Izzo discussed his tour with reporters two days later at the Big Ten tournament in Chicago.
"It felt like we were in Hoosiers," he said. "Should I measure the rim? Should I tell them what it's like?"
Michigan State self-reported the NCAA violation the following day. Mlive.com reports that the violation doesn't name Iron Mountain, but its details match what Izzo shared.
Izzo's tour violated NCAA rules because high school players cannot tour facilities or meet with college coaches if they're at the arena to play in a game. According to MLive.com, the violation says Izzo was unaware of the rule, and the school could have filed a waiver beforehand if the compliance department knew about the tour. It also said the university is not currently recruiting any Mountaineers.
Michigan State did not self-impose any penalties for the violation.
NCAA rules also kept Izzo from treating his alma mater for a second time. After Iron Mountain advanced to the finals, Izzo planned to buy the team dinner the night before they played for the state title. Michigan State's compliance director, Jennifer Smith, called Izzo about an hour before the meal to say he would violate NCAA rules if he picked up the tab. The NCAA prohibits coaches from providing high school prospects with benefits, which could potentially include a meal. Izzo's friend and Iron Mountian alum Steve Mariucci paid for the dinner instead.