Barnstorming Tour 2018

Feb 6, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play during the 1st half of a game agains the Penn State Nittany Lions at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

What will Izzo do next? How about travel to and from games with North Carolina, Florida, and Texas. Yep, all on the same plane. Athletic Director Mark Hollis said, “So many of these kids know each other from AAU and everything else that we felt this would be a great way to travel.”

The four teams are planning to play in a three-city Barnstorming Tour in December 2018. The teams have decided to play three games over an eight day period, during Christmas break. The teams will each play a game in New York City on December 15 at Madison Square Garden, in Chicago on December 18 at the United Center, and finally in Los Angeles on December 22 at the Staples Center. Who they will be playing is yet to be determined.

Some highlights of the trip to New York include visiting Freedom Tower for the 9/11 memorial, a visit to Wall Street, and seeing Motown the Musical on Broadway. While in Chicago the teams plan to eat a pizza dinner (I’m already jealous if it’s Geno’s East), and see a Second City comedy show. While in Los Angeles the teams will head to Disneyland and a dinner. They also will tour Warner Bros. Studio and the Grammy Museum.

Izzo seems to be excited to add a couple more big games to his pre-conference schedule, “”It’s a very cool idea. At first I thought it was crazy, but it’s during break so we don’t miss any school. It’s three big games in a row, and with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and other events [Champions Classic] we could have six or seven big games.”

My Take:

It’s comical that college athletes want to “get paid” to play sports for their school. They claim the schools are “taking advantage” of the boys, or its “modern day slavery”. I guess I missed the parts in history class where the slaves got to go to Disneyland. This trip alone shows that these athletes are not normal college students, and they do receive many benefits outside of a free education for playing a sport for the school.

As for the Spartans, it’s just the next in line in a series of Izzo type of events, or games if that’s how you see them. Recently, in 2011, the Spartans played a game outside on an active aircraft carrier. These events bring attention to the program and will hopefully help attract big name recruits, something the Spartans are in desperate need of recently. It seems like it will be a great event for the players and everyone involved. The players will enjoy traveling, and competing with some of the best teams in the country.

Topics: Basketball, Florida, Michigan State, Michigan State Basketball, MSU, North Carolina, Texas

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