Gators, Among Others, to Play in New “Barnstorm Event”

By Amanda Borges
Assistant Digital Editor

FL MBB

Athletic Director of Michigan State, Mark Hollis is known for his unusual marketing tactics when it comes to sports. Now, he has come up with another wild idea.

ESPN.com is reporting a four-team “barnstorming event” that will involve Michigan State, Texas, Florida and North Carolina — to take place in 2018.  It’ll be an eight-day, three-city tour. New York City (Madison Square Garden), Chicago (United Center) and Los Angeles (Staples Center) will also host the event, with each city getting a different match-up.

The plan will be to showcase UNC vs. Texas/MSU vs. Florida at one venue, Texas vs. MSU/Florida vs. UNC at another, and Texas vs. Florida/MSU vs. UNC at another.

It’s scheduled to start Dec. 15, 2018, per the report.

Hollis told ESPN.com Wednesday that all four schools, their coaches and athletic directors have confirmed their participation.

“It’s a very cool idea,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Wednesday. “At first I thought it was crazy, but it’s during break so we don’t miss any school. It’s three big games in a row, and with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and other events [Champions Classic] we could have six or seven big games. So many of these kids know each other from AAU and everything else that we felt this would be a great way to travel,” Hollis said. “I worked with [ADs] Steve Patterson at Texas, Jeremy Foley at Florida and Bubba Cunningham at North Carolina on this. They and the head coaches are all excited about the opportunity for the student-athletes.”

The teams also will have tours of each city’s attractions which helps make this a nice bonus recruiting tool, too.

It also indicates on some small level that all of these coaches hope to be coaching at their programs in 2018.

For more on this story visit: Matt Norlander, CBS Sports

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