EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Michigan State’s basketball coach Tom Izzo has tested positive for COVID-19.
The athletic department released a statement around 3 p.m. on Monday that Izzo received a presumptive positive test, which was then confirmed by a PCR test. Izzo later confirmed on a Zoom call with reporters that he first learned of his positive result at 7:30 a.m. but he’s been “beating my brains out” trying to figure out where, how, or when he may have contracted it.
“I think I’ve been as diligent as anybody, which just goes to show, and tells you maybe even more how serious the virus is,” said Izzo. “I know for a fact that I wasn’t at any big parties. Didn’t visit any frat houses or sororities. I’ve just been sitting in my own house and going to work.”
Since the Big Ten started its daily antigen testing on Oct. 26, the athletic department said no other members of the MSU basketball program have tested positive, including Izzo who has tested negative each day until Monday.
Izzo can return to the team in-person following a 10-day isolation period on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the earliest, but while he’s away associate head coach Dwayne Stephens will run practices during Izzo’s absence and Izzo thinks it going to be good for the Spartans.
“I have a lot of faith in DJ (Dwayne Stephens) and the guys getting their job done and I’m hoping that my team grows a little bit when they don’t have me there,” said Izzo. “I think it really is a good trial run for them to see how they adjust. To see how the juniors and seniors bring along the freshman and sophomores and hopefully that will make us stronger when I get back.”
Izzo released the following statement:
“This morning I tested positive for COVID-19. Although I have some minor symptoms, I remain in good health. I’ve been extremely diligent for many months now, wearing my mask in public and around the office, while adhering to social distancing guidelines. I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out if there was a time where I let my guard down for just an instance. And while I haven’t identified any area of exposure, what I have determined is that this shows the power of the virus. You’d be hard-pressed to find a coach who’s taken more precautions than I have, following all the protocols put in place by our medical team, and yet I still contracted the virus.
“Technology will allow me to stay connected with my staff and our players, and I’ll have plenty of time to watch film. I’ll listen to our outstanding medical staff, and follow their directions and take all the steps necessary to return as soon as possible.
“I appreciate the support from my family, my team and the Michigan State fan base, but if I could ask for one favor, I’d urge everyone to continue to listen to the medical experts and follow their advice. I’m proof that no one is immune, but I still believe that there are steps everyone can take to reduce their chances of contracting the virus.”