Michigan St.'s Derrick Nix reinstated
Michigan State center Derrick Nix has been reinstated after a brush with the law and will remain with the team as long as he meets certain conditions, coach Tom Izzo said Thursday.
Nix had been suspended since shortly after his arrest stemming from an April 3 traffic stop in East Lansing. Nix has pleaded guilty to a charge of impaired driving, according to court officials. A marijuana possession charge has been dropped and Nix will be sentenced May 11.
Nix averaged 8.1 points this past season and his improvement was a big reason why Michigan State tied for first in the Big Ten and won the conference tournament. The Spartans lost in the NCAA round of 16 to Louisville.
Nix, who would be the lone senior returning to the Spartans next season, was expected to be a team leader. Now he will have to meet not-yet-determined social, academic and other conditions to remain with the program.
''I am going to challenge him,'' Izzo said after Nix issued a public apology Thursday. ''I am going to definitely make life miserable for him, because I want him to be successful.''
It's not clear if Nix will miss games next season as part of his discipline. Izzo said he took Nix's entire development since his arrival on the Michigan State campus under consideration before making his decision.
Nix was emotional and apologetic, calling the situation embarrassing.
''I let a lot of people down,'' the 6-foot-9, 270-pounder from Detroit said. ''From this point on, I've got to become a man and make all the right decisions for me and my future here - just try to walk the straight line.''