Izzo Holds Court, Sharpton Does The Right Thing

While it’s easy to second guess or ask why when witnessing a communications or media gaffe, it is so much more rewarding to comment on instances when someone gets it right. It happened twice this week—in the world of basketball.

First, Michigan State Head basketball Coach Tom Izzo held a first-ever media “practice” where 20 print and broadcast writers and reporters who cover the Spartans, including the Detroit News’ Dave Dye, were put through a 2-hour session at the Breslin Center. This included film review, drills and a scrimmage. Coverage of the event was incredible and exuded a new appreciation for Spartan preparation and conditioning. As Izzo said to those in attendance: “In some ways, this brings us a little closer to understanding each other.” A brilliant guerilla P.R. move.

I was similarly impressed with the Rev. Al Sharpton’s “calling out” of the New York Knicks’ Isiah Thomas, saying he must apologize for comments he made indicating a double standard between black and white men using a derogatory term toward black women. You’ll find more in the New York Times.

Considered by many a walking double standard, Sharpton instead demonstrated consistency of message a few months after his public “beheading” of Don Imus for similar indiscretions. Sharpton’s latest high-profile “watch-dogging” was the right thing to do and helps both his image and credibility for the future.