OPINION: Hart's Comments Show Lack of Class
Mike Hart
Mike Hart
GoSpartans.net
Posted Nov 5, 2007


"Whether they want to mock us or not, they can say what they want, I saw them on the sidelines. If they don't consider this a rivalry, they looked pretty scared. I didn't see anybody laughing. This is not over, it will never be over, this is just starting." --Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio

EAST LANSING - The postgame comments of Michigan running back Mike Hart continues to resonate in East Lansing following Michigan's 26-24.

Hart said following the game, "I was just laughing. I thought it was funny. They got excited. It's good."

"Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you're playing basketball and you let him get the lead. Then you come back and take it from him."

While trash-talking on the field is a common practice, usually those remarks are not aired in public by players following the game.

However, Hart's remarks poured gasoline on a simmering rivalry and ignited a firestorm of reaction from Coach Mark Dantonio and quarterback Brian Hoyer at today's postgame press conference.

Dantonio was asked about the comments of Hart at his weekly press conference. At first, Dantonio said "I didn't really see the comments so I'm not going to comment," but then reversed field saying "who am I kidding?"

"Whether they want to mock us or not, they can say what they want, I saw them on the sidelines. If they don't consider this a rivalry, they looked pretty scared. I didn't see anybody laughing. This is not over, it will never be over, this is just starting."

Dantonio continued, "Whether they mock us or not, this game will be important to Michigan State."

"They want to mock us — I’m telling them, it’s not over. They can print all that crap all they want over their locker room, it’s not over and it will never be over."

The disrespect is what seems to have bothered Dantonio the most. "You don’t have to disrespect people. We’ll come to play—you don’t have to disrespect people. If they want to make a mockery of it, so be it. But time will tell.”

Dantonio added, "The one thing I'm proud of is that even though my guys lost, they lost with respect and they don't need to be respected and I can't wait until 363 days from today."

"It just goes to show you what a classless guy Mike Hart is," said MSU quarterback Brian Hoyer.

He continued: "Sooner or later the little brother, if you want to put us that way, you get pushed around enough, the little brother fights backand kicks the other brother's ass."

It would be understandable if the remarks came from a freshman or a sophomore, but Hart is a senior who should no better. No matter how heated a rivalry becomes, the game should be played between the lines and when it's over, players should shake hands and give respect to their opponents.

Hart leaves the University of Michigan as a four-time winner, undefeated by Michigan State University, but his image and his persona took a huge hit with his classless remarks.

ed note: Joe Torok provided quotes for this article following Mark Dantonio's press conference on 11/05/2007


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