When the NCAA shifted gears this summer and said that players would be able to use the numbers 6,7,8 and 9, it was immediately clear that some guys were going to challenge the unspoken prohibition on wearing 69.
Turns out one of the first to try it was Michigan State’s Steve Izzo, son of you-know-who.
He put the request in and naturally his dad, coach Tom Izzo, would be the one to approve it and unfortunately for the younger Izzo, his father said no.
That’s not a surprise of course. If anyone wears that number, they’re going to hear titters in every arena and lots of bad jokes and the like. It’s totally understandable that Izzo would say hell no, not least of all because his own kid is yanking his chain.
He was apparently the first player to request this but he won't be the last. Most coaches, like Izzo, will say no. But what happens when that gets more difficult?
What if Victor Wembanyama said “I really want to play ball for your team but only if I can wear 69.”
How many coaches would say, in essence, whatever you want, kid!!”
The best number now though is going to be 6. Too bad Izzo didn't request that.