When Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo was at Fort Wayne Country Club earlier today to participate in a fundraiser for IPFW, he suggested that the city should get behind the university if it wants an improved basketball program.
"It's what comes first, the chicken or the egg?" Izzo said.
He said in his tenure at MSU, the basketball team has won a lot of home games, "but our fans have won us two or three or four a year. Those two or three or four end up championships.
"If the fan would say, `If he (IPFW coach Dane Fife) gets this thing going, I'm going to support it.' I'm going to say the fans help get it going, and (Fife is) going to be better. And that's the Catch-22, and I understand it; it's all part of building a program."
Izzo's appearance was a favor for IPFW coach Dane Fife, whom Izzo tried to recruit to Michigan State.
Two seasons ago Izzo's Spartans came to Memorial Coliseum to play the Mastodons. Afterward, he also urged Fort Wayne to support IPFW.
"What I felt like is if they aren't supporting them 200 percent, it's going to be hard to build this thing."