CHARACTER COUNTS

Ishbia’s $30 million donation to Michigan State football gets rave reviews

Aug 5, 2023, 2:56 PM

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2015 file photo, former Michigan State players Mateen Cleaves, left, and Ma...

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2015 file photo, former Michigan State players Mateen Cleaves, left, and Mat Ishbia laugh as they are introduced with Michigan State's 2000 national championship team during halftime of the Michigan State-Florida NCAA college basketball game, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

(AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Two years after announcing he was donating more than $30 million to the Michigan State University Athletic department, Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia’s cash is exciting the school’s athletes.

The 65,000-square-foot Tom Izzo Football Building includes a new indoor field, a new weight room and a cafeteria for all student-athletes.

All past and present Michigan State sports programs and student-athletes will also have the opportunity to benefit from the advent of the Spartan For Life Fund, another idea of Ishbia. The fund is designed to launch and enhance their post-sports careers.

“From the first day he joined our basketball team and in the years following, I’ve watched Mat continue to make an impact for the betterment of others, taking the lessons he learned at Michigan State and instilling them in his company,” Izzo said in a statement in 2021 announcing the donation. “Every day, as a member of the team, Mat wanted to improve himself and others around him, knowing that on every successful team, just as in business, everyone has a part to play. He has never relented that attitude.”

According to MLive.com, of Ishbia’s $32 million donation to MSU in February 2021, $20 million was earmarked for expansion of the football facilities and named after Izzo, the Hall of Fame basketball coach whom he played for from 1999-2002. Other donors and the university made up the difference for the total $78 million price tag for the facility.

Completion of the facility is anticipated this fall.

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Ishbia’s $30 million donation to Michigan State football gets rave reviews