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Saturday, December 31, 2011 Rexrode and fans unload

December 30, 2011

Higher learning, sports, power and Izzo

Yeah, this post was planned for Thursday morning. Stuff kept happening. Finally, we can talk about this Steve Weiberg piece in USA Today about concern over coaches who are "deities on their campuses." And this Christine Brennan column asking why we should buy this reform talk. And our contribution to the package, a look at MSU's resident icon -- whose long-term relationships with his athletic director and president give Michigan State a unique situation. It gave us a happily cluttered cutting-room floor.

    Helping out on this provided me with three very interesting interviews. Here's every word. It may seem like a lot, but there's some good stuff in there. Squint and bear it. Notice that the "icon" question served as the ice breaker. Also, take this as confirmation that the university and athletic department don't agree on everything. Lou Anna Simon may be a sports-friendly university president, but she's still a university president. Conflicts between those branches are inevitable -- unless you have a doormat for a president. That's not what MSU has.
    Do you view Tom Izzo as an iconic figure?
    "I cannot use the word ‘icon’ to describe people who are part of Team MSU. He is extraordinary. He is obviously a very visible part of Team MSU and to represent our values. But I don’t typically use the word ‘iconic’ to describe anyone who’s a part of our team. And I think that’s one of the mistakes that we make. Because you can celebrate greatness without making people an icon.”

    Whether you call him an icon or not, would you agree that he’s been arguably the face of Michigan State over the past several years?
    “I would because, essentially, there’s not 24-hour academic radio or TV to give visibility to other people who do extraordinary work. So I think in the nature of the entertainment industry, it’s individuals who are part of athletics who tend to get the biggest public exposure, given the nature of the
entertainment industry. And I think Tom has represented Michigan State in those ways by reflecting on always where he has come from. And the sense of privilege he has for the success he has achieved. And he’s also reflected what many would call family values around his team and his association with the university.”

    What do you think athletics does for a university? What has it done for Michigan State University?
    “Well I think as we’ve learned from recent circumstances, athletics is something that is the lens through which many view the university and its values (and) how successful it is in other areas. But it isn’t what defines a university. So you have that very important lens that is very positive for the university as long as you believe that you’re part of something bigger. And I think you saw Tom’s attitude about that on the carrier game, and the attitude of Michigan State and athletics. The carrier game could have been defined differently. But it was genuine what people felt, that it’s about being part of something bigger. And doing what Michigan State athletics could do to advance a bigger purpose.
    “And we’ve been very fortunate with our coaches and the leadership in athletics with Mark (Hollis), to have people not just say it because it’s convenient at some alumni event, but to try to live it. And I think you saw that with Tom and Mark and everybody else who participated in the carrier game. And I think you have to cultivate that attitude, about being something bigger for the university. And I think maybe it’s Tom’s Yooper roots, the fact that he’s still very proud of them, and the connections, the work ethic that’s a part of his team. He always wants to recruit against what you guys would rate as the best, but he also takes great pride in developing the best. And that is very reflective of the university and its values.”

    How do you think his success has impacted the university? 
    “I think if you looked at the enrollment data, that we did have a bit of an up in interest after the national championship. But that has been sustained without winning the national championship, if I can make that distinction. So I think you do get some temporal bumps. But what you have to do is take advantage of that and turn it into an organizational advantage, not simply always relying on the national championship. And that’s what good organizations do. …I think we’ve taken advantage of that, and Tom and his personality have helped us take advantage of that.”

    Is there a danger in having someone this visible in the sports realm at a university?
    “There are always concerns about anything that’s very visible. But I think it’s also important if you can keep the perspective, like I said about the football game, that it doesn’t define who we are or what we do. It defines something that we did. It was important. I want to win. I want to go to the Rose Bowl as much as any great fan. But I try to put that activity in the perspective of what it means for the entire university. And as long as we can get people to understand that the university is bigger than any one of us, including me, and our responsibility is not to simply our program but to the whole, then I think you begin to minimize the dangers that go with people who have earned such great respect.
    “And I think Tom has earned enormous respect. And should because of who he is and what he has done. But for all of us, it is a part of what we have done. And I think when people, in your branding if you try to make that who you are, totally, then you keep reinforcing some of the bad tendencies that cause people to believe that they have greater latitude to do things that we might not think collectively is a good idea.”

    Did the public outpouring and intense media coverage surrounding Izzo’s near jump to Cleveland surprise you at all?
    “It’s hard to judge the social media in all of that. Because the social media now fuels a lot of that outpouring. But what I think it means is that people believe that Tom has been not only good at his work as a basketball coach, but people see him as embracing the values of the university. And so when you have faculty having an outpouring of support for the coach, it’s not because they spend all their time watching ESPN. It’s because they see him and they interact with him. He’s very accessible. They see him in that context, as somebody they want to continue to be a part of Michigan State. And I think that’s a good thing.
    “There was a little bit of intrigue with Dan Gilbert and some of the things that were going on, and Tom took probably a bit longer to decide than some and that kept fueling the speculation, but it’s clear that people care deeply about him and respect what he’s done – respect him as a human being. And he accepts a lot of that outpouring extraordinarily graciously. And you’ve known him, seen him afterward. He’s still the same guy, right? I mean, he didn’t use that to become a different person. Some would. Think about others you know in the sports world, some would have used that outpouring to their personal advantage. He accepted it and was very gracious about it and is still the same Tom.”

    Are you concerned about how salaries for college coaches continue to rise?
    “It is a difficult market. Particularly with athletic departments, many of which are subsidized by student fees. It’s a challenge. I don’t think you can ever control coaches salaries. What you can is try to be sure that you’re spending enough of the budget on things that matter for the student athlete, which includes their health and safety and their academic success. And when I look at some of the numbers of issues that are facing athletics in general, I think we have to make sure we take care of those things first and then worry about how much we pay a coach.”

    A big thing with Izzo has been easing the time burden on him, not just the money, right?
    “I think it’s important because to do that, it makes it possible to do the work longer for someone we want to keep at Michigan State, and should be kept in the coaching profession for a long time. I think he’s good with kids. And so I think that’s a natural part of making those adjustments and it’s all built into the support. Hopefully as the NCAA looks at reform, we collectively can get rid of the rules that don’t make a lot of sense and focus on the ones that do. But also worry about coaches time and the time they spend with student athletes. Because in some ways, the way we’ve gone about his has pushed students into third parties that have become problematic for intercollegiate athletics. And we’ve restricted access for coaches to their current players. So we have to look at some of those balances and see if the world can be re-balanced and make better sense.”

    How is Izzo’s relationship with the university at large, and with you?
    “For me, Tom and I knew each other when nobody else knew who we were (laughing). I think we have a relationship built on mutual respect, and I hope an understanding of the roles we need to play in the institution in order for the university to be strong, and for the basketball program to be strong within the university. And he will tell me his frustrations and I will tell him mine. And we’ll try to work through them. Because you have to have genuine conversations. And I think over the years, we get relatively high marks for that. Nothing’s ever perfect but relatively high marks. And that takes two people, it’s not a matter of just one of us wanting that. And we meet to talk about bigger issues. So I understand the basketball issues from his perspective. I don’t always agree with him, I tell him that. He doesn’t always agree with me. But we try to make the place better. And it’s not just making basketball better, it’s making the place better.
    “It really is about the grounding of the person. If you look at some of the things everyone is worrying about now, it’s about the sense that you’re part of something that’s bigger than you are. And while everyone externally wants to make you the thing… I think also the way in which Tom has worked with his players, he’s cared for them as individuals. That’s come through. And we’re also, as I said, a very family-oriented atmosphere.
    “I think if you look at some of the other basketball programs, the relationship between men’s and women’s basketball is a good indicator of whether you think you’re an island unto yourself or whether you think you’re part of a team. The fact that Tom wanted to be part of the football coaching decision, you look at other coaches around the country and how many of them would do that? Or how many of them would go over and be with a new baseball coach? There are small things that I think give you an indication of feeling you’re a part of a whole.
    “And one of Tom’s biggest frustrations over the years is feeling we weren’t all on the same page. Whether we agreed what that page was, one of his biggest frustrations is that academics, athletics, the university weren’t moving in the same direction. And if that’s what your biggest frustration is, then again, it’s an indication that you care. And it’s not just the lip service that folks do.
    “The final thing I would say is, on the accessibility side, Tom’s been very accessible to the media. I think you guys know more about what happens. You’d like to have a conversation with a player held more confidential for a little bit longer, but that’s an information sieve over there. That’s not the way it is at other programs. OK, and from my perspective, that openness provides a pretty good protection to the university, that if there are things that are problematic, we can get them at an early stage. As opposed to some programs that close off communication. Where you as a reporter you don’t feel the information you’re receiving is genuine and truthful.
    “Tom speaks his mind. And you’ve got great access to the information. We don’t cordon off the hallways and all the things that other people do. You don’t need a retina scan to get into the building. Right? And there are basketball programs like that. Those little things contribute to this atmosphere. They seem trivial as you and I talk about it, but all those little things contribute to this sense of both openness as well as not being this insular program that defines the university by what it’s decided within those walls.”

    One last thing to follow up, did you feel the same way as Izzo did about athletics and the university not being on the same page? And how do you feel now?
    “I think that each of us would agree that we have a sense of directional truth and values that we share. We’re still gonna argue over (things), but I think people generally feel that we’re on the same page, in this broad set of values and directional truth. You’re better people to judge that than I am. Because we still argue over things. I hope we always do. Because if we’re not doing that, we’re not being honest with each other. And no organization runs that smoothly.”

    Is 'icon' an appropriate term for Tom Izzo?
    “Do I look at him as an icon? No. I think he’s somebody who’s very much a face not only for Michigan State and East Lansing but I think for the state of Michigan, which I think makes him a little bit different than maybe some other coaches where they’re really just focused on the institution itself. I think Bo Schembechler was very much the same way. If you want to call it iconic, he was iconic beyond the boundaries of campus.
    “And I think some of the things that come along with that are obviously a lot more pressure for success, but also a lot more transparency in what they do. So I think there are pros and cons to it.
“I always try to look at boundaries as campus, state, national and how those affect how people think about individuals, and also how people act. So with Izzo, I believe his popularity extends beyond the state of Michigan as far as popularity. When you say you’re from Michigan State, people go, ‘Oh, Tom Izzo’s a great coach.’ If you say you’re from the state of Michigan, people say, ‘Oh, Tom Izzo’s a great coach.’ And I think that’s kind of that different mark, if that makes sense.”

    What do you mean by more pressure but more transparency?
    “I think if you’re within the boundaries of your campus, starting with the transparency part of it, it’s very easy to respond to things in ways where it can be protected within those borders. I think if you’re iconic beyond those, you’re accountability in all of your actions is much more visible.”
    So you’ve got to be more careful?
    “I think more careful is kind of a negative way to say it.”

    Izzo has said in the past, for example, that he’s afraid to take a picture in a place where people are drinking beer.
    “Very good point, absolutely. And it’s making those decisions, being smart. Living the good life, that kind of process. I think more pressure, there’s an old adage that once you get on the pedestal everybody below you is looking to knock you down. And I think that comes with that pressure. It’s demands by people of your time and being able to balance that in order to keep the success that got you there in the first place.
    “Fisher DeBerry was speaking at the (College Football) Hall of Fame in New York and he made a comment that he always told his kids, ‘If you’re on your way to study hall and you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, he didn’t get there by himself.  Somebody helped get him up there.’ And I think that’s where Tom’s done an extremely good job of reaching out, being appreciative, being a part of so many people that helped get him and the program to that success level. He’s never forgotten that; therefore he’s always willing to do things for people. But as he does that it just becomes more and more a stress on his time and being able to keep the success at that same clip.”

    Did you ever look around in disbelief at the public outpouring for Izzo during the Cleveland situation?
    “No, I kind of anticipated it. Tom was receiving a lot of expressed love from the Cavaliers when they flew into Cleveland, and I think folks in East Lansing and Michigan State fans wanted to demonstrate that that same appreciation has always been here. It was just their way of expressing that in a grass-roots, public way. I knew most of the guys who were engaged in the planning of that. I do think it comes back to, if you want to talk about that iconic figure, you want a person that the world that the world can relate to. The reason you have athletics is to be a positive attraction to the university and all the academic components that come with it. That gets kind of pushed to another level when you have a face to go with it.
    "Tom Izzo has been that face for so many years. At the same time, there’s gonna be a time that comes when Tom Izzo is not the head basketball coach at Michigan State. And it’s how do you keep him engaged in the program? How do you keep Ron Mason engaged in the (hockey) program? So they continue to feel valued but they also continue to be a value back to the school. I think that’s gonna be a goal of Tom’s over the next however many years it is that he continues to coach here. What’s that transition look like and how does he continue to be part of this community?”

    In terms of athletics as a front porch for the university, what about the explosion in salaries for coaches? How does that change or complicate things?
    “I think there are two schools of thought there. And you’re seeing it a little bit right now with our football program. People say you have to do whatever it takes to keep Tom Izzo from becoming a Cleveland Cavalier. Then once you keep him here it’s ‘Wow, he makes a lot of money.’ You get it from both ends as an AD and I think that’s part of the process.
    “What we’ve tried to do is look at market values the best we can, but the market values are continuing to rise at a clip that is very concerning. Coaches want to be paid what their value is, and their value is judged by what’s out there on the market. I think some coaches are, probably won’t admit to it publicly but are embarrassed by what they make. But their stature and their ego, as an institution you can’t really afford to be compared to programs that you are better than, and not be in the ballpark with what those figures are. So that’s the toughest challenge here.”

    Do you think Tom Izzo is conflicted, wanting to make market value but embarrassed by his salary? Is that related in any way to his $1 million gift back to MSU?
    “I think he’s always been somebody who gives back. When you talk about the appreciation, I think Tom has done some things with the number of hours of commitment, the number of hours he’s on the road. Sacrificing the way he travels a lot of times, relative to how other people travel. It was important to everyone at the table to get the compensation at a number that (matches) his success. And then he’s sitting there, ‘I’m making this money, it’s time to give something back.’ And like with (Mike) Krzyzewski, he’s seen examples of that.
    "And I think that’s part of the legacy that both he and Lupe want to bring back to this community and campus. Lupe has lived here all her life and she’s very much a part of the gift, as much as Tom, in giving back to this community.
    “So I think it was a combination of the two of them, appreciating what they have. They have a very nice home. Part of the reason they moved from one house to another, just around the corner was to have a location where almost I bet three times a week they’re entertaining somebody from athletics, Michigan State, charitable organizations within the community. It’s almost become a place of outreach, whether a charitable organization or the university. Those are things that go into the equation as well. Everything that Tom and Lupe have done, they’ve been giving back all along. This $1 million gift was that next step.”

    From your perspective, there’s concern about keeping up with the market but you’ve done other things to ease pressure – the recruiting van, more private plane hours – so how important are those factors in keeping him?
        “Time is the most important commodity in a coach’s life. And if you’re able to bring things to balance it, if he can knock off some work while he’s sitting in a van being driven to Ohio or Chicago, that eases what has to be done when he gets back. The capacity to fly somewhere with his family, or bring his mom and dad here, that becomes an asset. Listening to Tom, we said, ‘What do you value more than a paycheck?’ And those are the things that came to the forefront.”

    What is the downside of having an iconic figure in a position like this? Do you see dangers for a university?
    “Yeah, when you put a lot of trust, a lot of faith and confidence in one individual, the potential to fall from grace is great. If what you’re valuing is not the reality of that individual. So as this institution and athletic department put so much value into Tom Izzo, that has to be understood. That goes into a lot of conversations we have, Tom and I. We discuss rumors, we discuss allegations, we discuss things we read on Twitter, we discuss things kids are saying. Because we know it’s one issue and times change quickly. We’ve done that for years. That’s not a new thing.
    “But it’s important that you communicate. We’re very transparent with making sure President Simon, if there’s a rumor out there, something about the program or an individual, we make sure she knows about it. We make sure she knows we’ve talked about it. And that’s part of that transparency thing. I think this community engages in a lot of conversation and I think it’s important we’re aware of what’s being said and what’s out there.”

    Have you tried to quantify what Izzo has meant to the university?
    “I don’t know what the number is, I don’t think you could pay Tom Izzo what his value is – not only to this university but to the state of Michigan. And I think that’s the best way to put it. We’re paying Tom what that upper echelon of coaches make in NCAA basketball. But when I see what Tom does 12 months out of the year, and what he gives to other people, you can’t really quantify that. It’s almost impossible to quantify that.
        “You could almost take it to a point that, what’s his impact been on our football program? How much of the success there is because of the relationship between Dantonio and Izzo, how do they feed off each other? And vice versa. How much success of Suzy, Jake, because we’re all very well-connected together. And he’s very supportive of all those programs, unlike any coach I’ve seen. As far as that support to 25 sports.”

    What’s the importance to him of having you as his athletic director?
    “Contrary to what most people may think, we have the ability to be extremely honest with each other. We call each other out a lot. It’s almost a brother relationship, and I think that’s positive for Michigan State. Because you don’t get caught up in what you’re reading or seeing on SportsCenter. How great you are, how wonderful a job you’re doing. He has the ability to refocus me at a moment’s notice, and I feel like I have the ability to refocus him on issues that are impacting his program. Or if there are things happening on campus that are gonna have a negative impact, making sure we’re both aware of it. And we talk about everything. That’s critical. If there’s student-athlete behavior, things that are happening at the Big Ten level, things that are happening at the NCAA level. We talk about drug testing, we talk about social media and banter back and forth on the pros and cons of everything that’s out there in society that impacts our student athletes and our coaches. It’s almost a daily conversation on one of those topics.”


    Do you consider yourself an icon, do you buy that?
    “I think any time you’re staying anywhere a long time, mine isn’t as long as a head coach but just because I’ve been here as a GA, I’ve been here forever. Boeheim’s been both, he’s been there forever as a player, kind of worked his way up. Mine’s a little different but with some of the opportunities I’ve had to leave, I think that changes it if you don’t. And maybe the six Final Fours makes it a little bit more like we’ve accomplished a lot. I look at wins, I think of iconic figures as guys that do something nobody else does. Krzyzewski’s 904 wins. Boeheim’s up there, got to be around 900. (Joe) Paterno, what he did. Bobby Bowden, what he did. And then (Gene) Keady and (Bobby) Knight are iconic. Knight won three national championships, Keady won an astronomical number of Big Ten championships.
    "So I think when you stay somewhere 20-plus years and you do that – I haven’t been here 20 as a head coach – but I think all those different situations and different offers maybe helps put you in that thing. But I don’t know. I think we’ve got a ways to go before I get iconic or hall-of-fame status. I really do. I think 380-some wins, that’s not iconic. I don’t know how you weigh that.”

    Right, but isn’t it more than wins? The way people reacted when Cleveland came after you? When people list the best coaches in the country, your name is often mentioned. What about the visibility factor?
    “And I allow myself to be visible. I don’t do a quarter of the things I could do. But I think because I think I’m somewhat media-friendly, people-friendly, accessible is the best word, when some coaches aren’t … but that’s just who I’ve been the whole time I’ve been here. That’s how I was brought up from my parents, that’s how I was brought up from Jud. That’s how I am. So I look at myself in this town and I feel like another guy who goes to church, goes to pump his gas, goes to the grocery store. I still laugh when people ask what I’m doing in those places, like I’m not supposed to. But it’s kind of a bizarre topic for me. It’s hard to talk about yourself in that. I can see some of it but I can see the other side of it, where have we really accomplished things that put you in that category? I think more than one Final Four does. I think so many wins does. But staying in the same place helps, I’d agree with that. And then, whether it’s good or bad, I don’t feel – and this is a definite – I don’t feel like I have great power here. I don’t feel bad by it and I don’t feel good by it. I don’t feel it’s like ‘Whatever Izzo says goes.’ I never feel like that, and I don’t think they treat me like that. And I’m OK with it.
    “If they ask me to be on a search team for the football coach, to me that’s a privilege. Plus maybe I can help. But it’s not like I’m pulling strings to get somebody in. It’s not like I have the pull to say ‘Do this.’ Or ‘I want a new building, go out and build it.’ I mean, I don’t have that at all. And Jud told me 100 times, ‘Don’t ever think you’re bigger than the program, or this or that.’ There’s been times I say, ‘God, maybe I should use some of the power I’ve earned.’ Because I don’t think I do. And I’d be curious to know what those other people, the powers that be, think, you know?
    “I’m not sure it’s good to have that much power. I don’t think it’s good for the university. Believe it or not, I’m not even sure it would be good for me. Because they can blame me what my team does now. If I had that much power, they could blame me for everything else that went on in the university, or the athletic department. ‘It’s his fault, the football coach lost at Wisconsin.’ I don’t think that’s good. I think you’ve got a big enough job. It’s like the guys that try to be offensive coordinators and head coaches. It’s hard. You’ve got a hard enough job to be a head coach. Trying to run everybody else’s job, everybody else’s department, I don’t think is good.
    “If something goes wrong here, when we have a problem, I don’t have the pull to call the chief of police and say, ‘Hey, wash that under the carpet.’ I wouldn’t even consider doing it.”

    What about the public? Even if it isn’t something you’re doing or want to do, the public spoke when you almost went to Cleveland, right?
    “I was surprised by that, I really was. I was surprised how it was covered. I was surprised by the outpour. Part of it, I was tickled to death. I felt great that it mattered that much to people, but I think part of that is, I guess I’m not sure what iconic means. I think I’m a part of this community. I’m a part of this university. Just like Jack Breslin was. Just like Biggie Munn was. Just like President Hannah was. People that stay a long time and have some success, they become more a part of it. I’ve been involved with charities around the community, things like that. I’m at a position where my kids are still young. I’m probably eight, nine years older than most people that have the same age kids. So I’m still going to PTO meetings, still going to little league games and soccer games. And that keeps you more in touch with people, where a lot of the people that have gotten to the position I’ve gotten to (have older kids).”

    When it comes to money, is there a conflict between wanting fair market value and feeling bad about where the market is? Is that fair to say?
    “It’s 200 percent fair. I know we’re hired to be fired. I know what I’ve given up, my family and parents. I know what you go through in these jobs. I know you’re probably not gonna live as long as other people in other jobs. It’s just the nature of the beast. So the money, I have been uncomfortable with it. Because I think people look at you differently. And no matter what, I’ve always believed this: The longer you stay, sometimes the more enemies you gain instead of the more friends. Because people always want you to be successful, but when you are, people want you to be like they are. Everybody wants the people that live around you – in your community, your subdivision, whatever – to be like you. And so when you start making more and more money, it’s like being in the lower bowl or the upper bowl. It becomes a class thing.
    “That’s why I’ve tried to do charities. Not just giving back but giving my time. Sometimes I’d rather give my money than my time, if you want the truth. But I’ve tried to stay involved in the community, to say, ‘You know what, I’m just one of you that makes more money than, unfortunately or fortunately, most people.’
    “But I will say this. I did quit apologizing for it six or seven years ago, when it really bothered me even more. Because I have a better appreciation for what sacrifices you have to make in this as my kids get older and things like that. And I really believe I’ve earned my money. I think I’ve given what I’ve gotten. In other words, it’s a two-way street. If we have more success, the university makes more money and this and that.
    “And the market value thing is something that, when I started out Peter McPherson was very fair with me. When I didn’t win, had one of the top recruiting classes but we were 17-12, I got a minute raise. He said, ‘If you win, I’ll take care of you,’ and that’s kind of the way it was. It was such a fast thing. And then I think you’re right, the culture changed. And coaching salaries just started skyrocketing. And there was a time for a couple years I said, ‘Man, I’m not worth this.’ I really did.
    “And then, when you run into problems and you go through things like last year, you say, ‘Yeah you are.’ Because every job has its pluses and minuses. And if I got paid by the hour last year, the number of nights I was in this building until who knows when, it wouldn’t have been as high an hourly wage as some people think. The whole thing is interesting, but it’s hard to talk about because you’re either talking about yourself and saying ‘I should get this’ or ‘I don’t deserve this’ and right now I think I deserve fair market value. Whatever that is. If market value goes down, that’s what I deserve. Because I think we’ve accomplished what I’ve been asked to accomplish. Both academically and athletically. And I think the things I do for the university, because I think I’d do anything for this university. And I think everybody knows it, whether it’s other (teams), whether it’s academic programs, whether it’s the president, whether it’s the board, whether it’s the alumni association. I mean, I’ll go just about anywhere and do about anything. I think as accessible as I am to the media most of the time, I think I’m just as accessible to the university on things they need.”

    How did the $1 million gift figure into that?
    “It started 10 years ago. When I went to Atlanta and interviewed for that job, part of the thing I worked out in that contract is they were gonna give the university a decent amount of money. Because I thought I owed them something then, just leaving like that. I think it was $1 million, a lot of money back then. Then about three, four years ago I really wanted to do something then. I thought about a half million and we talked about it. And then all those things happened. A couple job offers. Minnesota was in there, it seems like every offseason there was something. And when I turned down the (Cleveland) job I said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna stay here, I’m gonna do something here, I’m gonna give back.’ And it went from a half million to a million just because I thought that’s what I should do. I thought they gave me a lot. And I want to try to keep it, I swear, that it’s a good deal for both sides. I think not only is it a million dollars but I think when a coach gives it, it will influence other people to give that maybe wouldn’t have given, and I think that’s a good deal.”

    You mentioned how valuable time is. Has MSU lifted some burdens in that way with the private plane time and the van?
    “I think I’ve used one hour of the private plane. But (my family) can use it and that’s a good deal. My wife and daughter and a couple friends can go to New York, go to some plays. And that’s a big deal because I feel like I’m on the road for a month in the summer. They can do something, you know? My parents, it makes it easier (to get them here) because it’s just a convenience. But everybody kept telling me, from Saban on down the line a long time ago, time is money. You should have more plane time for recruiting. Time is money. You don’t value your own time, you know? And I probably haven’t because I wasn’t brought up that way.
    “What I found out is you do wear down more, if you’re just driving everywhere and doing everything. A crazy thing like the van, that is just smart economically. For anybody. Any coach. Because I get a lot of work done in that thing. Just going to Detroit I can get three hours worth of film watched. I can get phone calls made. I can get emails to people. I can do some things right there that I wouldn’t be doing if I was driving. And there’s less wear on you if you’re not driving. You’ve got a GA or someone driving. I never had an appreciation for that. That has definitely helped and, you know, I think it’s been well-served the other way too. It benefits, I’ve been out more this year and last year for various reasons, but I definitely have worked, in my mind, more hours. And I feel better and have more energy.
    “Not that I ever thought about leaving, I really, honestly haven’t. But now I’ve almost guaranteed myself I’m not going anywhere. That’s probably a burden off my shoulders, I don’t have to think about that. And now I can get around a little bit better. I take a plane recruiting somewhere and get back. I’m doing more recruiting. Because I’ll fly to Chicago and back, fly to Indianapolis and back, and still be at practice. I’m not gonna change what I believe in, that the head coach doesn’t miss a practice for this or that. But I’ve got to get those things done.”


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Thanks for sharing this. It is quite interesting & knowledgeable. There is lot to be learnt from this. Keep continuing posting such articles.

Very poor advertisement of you product, actually terrible.

mikeV said...

Thanks, Joe. Well done. You're iconic!

Jim said in reply to mikeV...

I agree, mikeV. Thanks, Joe!

Bleedingreen said...

Some heavy reading at 6am... Good job Joe! Tampa here I come!

Mike said...

Seems some very candid thoughts there.

Spartan 81 said...

Very good piece Joe, we are lucky to have you in this market thank you for not going Hollywood on us.
I am shutting down my email at 9pm eastern tonight 5am wake up call for the airport tomorrow, assuming you need till 3 or so for the Hey Joe rendevous, Gost8go hopefully has a smartphone that can pick up your blog tomorrow if you post the time then. A lot of the regulars can get there for Lions Packers at 1 and wait on your arrival. We have a Lt.Colonel with a SUV who can provide you with a military escort from the presser to the bar.

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to Spartan 81...

Yea, but you'd have to man the BOFors and my siren is down.

bostonspartan said...

Extremely interesting comments from all three. I like the candidness that they do not always agree but are always willing to discuss. They all seem to take pride in keeping one another accountable. There seems to be a lot of mutual respect and admiration. Thanks for sharing everything that did not make the article.

Jeffrey Lubeck said in reply to bostonspartan...

I agree.
The timing for placement is almost perfect. MSU and the Athletic department are quite visible because of some repeated success. And... instead of publishing the results of a set of interviews laden with softball questions and answers that only speak in platitudes and generalities Joe wisely goes for something that yields 'a little meat on the bone.'

ChuckfromSt.Johns said...

School of Journalism requirements:
Step 1 Read: Higher learning, sports, power and Izzo
Joe Rexrode, Lansing State Journal, December 30, 2011
Step 2: Print it:
Step 3: Keep it with you at all times, for future reference.

RollininGreen said in reply to ChuckfromSt.Johns...


West Coast Steve said in reply to ChuckfromSt.Johns...

For years few of us could read a coherent vision for MSU into its leadership...certainly not an integrated identity between athletics and academics. The last five years or so have changed that landscape indelibly.
And, I've had the new leadershiop perspective "printed" in my mind for many, many months now. I hope, as you suggest, that many of us internalize the message of authenticity and humility the best leaders carry.
I'm also thinkin' reinforcing their commitment to this vision in my mind somehow slightly eases decades of accumulated fury toward the clunky, hateful and pompous of AA.
Stepping back for a moment, we are just fortunate in the extreme -- and certainly not perfect or innately superior as falsely taught down the road a bit.

postUP said...

Izzo makes a case for making big money. He's paid his dues he's proven to be a winner. He's brought in more money then anyone will ever know. He's loyal to the university and its values. Time and time again he won't let the program think it's bigger then the university. He knows what respect means and inturn he's respected.

Pops said...

Now THAT is an excellent piece of sport's writing. Tough direct questions answered honestly from a variety of perspectives. You've always been good, Joe, but this piece has, dare I say, moved you up the scale towards "iconic".

breadtruck86 said in reply to Pops...


Brave Dave said...

Thanks Joe. With all of the time you spend writing articles and Hey Joe (24 and 7), maybe the LSJ should get you a van too?

WestendUP said in reply to Brave Dave...

I'll drive it for him...

MSUinIL said in reply to Brave Dave...

LOL. +1

79 Spartan said...

A great way to end the year with one of your finest BLOG entries of the year, Joe. Outstanding; to make the links and follow up with the full text of the intervews.
Thank you very, much !
We have good people who hold themselves and each other accountable to things greater than they are: the community, university and their programs.

Transparency, is a tough thing to do. Just as Stieg Larsson says, everyone has secrets, no matter how small. This Spartan edition of the 3 Musketeers has most assuredly bought into the all for on and one for all approach to having the institution succeed.
Others have said it above and will below, but this and the accompanying article is some of the best Journalism I've ever seen. (not that the Stars and Stripes is laced with it) Thanks for dedication and professionalism, Mr Rexrode.

The Richman said...

Coach Izzo is worth every cent ! His efforts have kept the sports dept. at MSU in the nations spotlight even when there was not much else going well.
A rising tide lifts all ships : Look at the overall programs at MSU now ! With Big Ten(?)championships and national contenders in nearly every sport and along with brilliance of Mark Hollis we are in great shape. Kudos to all the teams and the whole Spartan Nation for never backing down from all the challenges.
2011 was a very Green year and one of my favorites in quite a while but the future is very ,very GREEN and White !

SpartanCharlie said...

Terrific article, Joe. Once again, your depth puts Detroit-area paper coverage to shame. Many thanks and Go Green!

Sic Em Dawgs said...

Go Dawgs! Go UGA!

breadtruck86 said in reply to Sic Em Dawgs...

Hope it's a good game that everyone comes away from healthy (particularly your quarterback - he's in for a long day!). I hate to break it to you, but Bulldogs are a little smaller than Wolverines - on the other hand, they're better looking and smell better, too....
Our defense will be the difference, again. MSU 34, UGA 24

Trophy said...

MSU-34 UGA-21

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to Trophy...

The illiterate do make it so easy, don't they?

Joe Rexrode said...

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone, they were fun Q&As to do. Speaking of fun answers to questions, Pat Narduzzi had some really good stuff before practice today:

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to Joe Rexrode...

Very nice piece and it tells a lot about the culture at Michigan State. There was a time in recent history where the smoke was tainted, they tell it like it is now and the players and other programs have to appreciate that. (and no wonder you like having Coach Narduzzi around, quote machine extraordinaire) lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way.

spartanfan64 said in reply to Joe Rexrode...

We are fortunate to have you, president Simon, AD Hollis, and all of our stable of excellent coaches and fine people. I have followed Spartan athletics since the early fifties and I don't recall a time when everyone was on the same page and working together for MSU as now.

drmuffin said...

MSU 41 Georgia 17.
I swear, if I wake up with a missing tooth and a Tyson tat, married to a hooker, I'm calling the Marines

Ben Green said in reply to drmuffin...


NorthForkRancher said in reply to drmuffin...

Could his secret be that he has a dragon tattoo?

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to NorthForkRancher...

No, but I have kicked a hornets nest a time or two.

NorthForkRancher said in reply to USMCSpartan(Ret.)...

Jes wanted ya to know I was payin' attention.

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to drmuffin...

I'll be your sober wingman, as you know, and promise photos and video clips before they go up on youtube or are linked here. (not that you will be able to change their posting, but as George Washington (yes that one) is not so famous for saying, "The neccessity for good intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged." (and to all you spell-a-holics, that IS how necessity was spelled in 1775)

breadtruck86 said in reply to drmuffin...

"Relax, doc - it's the Hour of Power, what could possibly go wrong??"

79 Spartan said in reply to drmuffin...

Hey, Doc, truth is stranger than fiction !
30 years ago when I worked at Harrah's Club in Reno, I had guy in my employ who did that (a tat, but not the Tyson kind and not the hooker, but some gal from overseas looking to become a US citizen by marrying the guy) and he never could locate her again during the time he worked for me at Harrah's...

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to 79 Spartan...

If you have ever spent time "overseas", the first thing you learn is that ALL the working girls want is to go to the land of the big Px. I saw more than one crestfallen face after telling a youngster that no he couldn't get married. (please note, I am not lumping women together here, just those living and working a particular trade outside the gates of various military establishments not located in CONUS)

79 Spartan said in reply to USMCSpartan(Ret.)...

Don't doubt that a bit, USMC.
This poor guy just got too wasted and did what he did and really didn't remember any of it, except he did have the photo from the Wedding Chapel as a momento of the "blessed event"... Doc's post reminded me of him for the first time in a loooong time.

breadtruck86 said in reply to USMCSpartan(Ret.)...

USMC - it's not nice to talk about Georgia girls that way...

Decatur Spartan said in reply to USMCSpartan(Ret.)...

Hmmm; Po City?

Ben Green said...

Great stuff, Joe! Thank you for your in-depth interviews. Very revealing information on the advantageous relationships between Tom Izzo, President Simon and AD Hollis.

Eeyore said...

Joe: Excellent work. Love the Q&A ... asking the same questions to get a side-by-side perspective. All seem very grounded. And I get the impression that President Simon can be a bit of a cutup in the proper setting / context. Her sense of humor came through in a couple of her responses.
Thank you for continuing to provide quality information without an agenda.

Eeyore said...

Don't forget to watch the MSU women's basketball team in its Big Ten opener tonight at Indiana on the Big Ten Network. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
AND at 7:30, the MSU hockey team battles Michigan for the Great Lakes Invitational title. is streaming the game live.

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to Eeyore...

Thanks for the info!

Here is why I always take what anyone writes about a college team in any sport with a chunk of NaCl. (until proven otherwise, Joe, and hope he's not a friend)
Noey Cupchan writes for the AP, ".....Keith Appling comes out with another strong all-around display. The 6-foot-1 guard, usually recognized for his defensive prowess, posted a career-high 25 points to go along seven assists and six rebounds Wednesday."
I have no idea who a Noey is, so will use the androgynous he and say that he seems to know absolutely nothing about the Michigan State Spartans by implying that Kieth Appling is only a defensive stopper. I hope he is doing the scouting for the Cobs. This guy looked at averages and took quotes from other stories.

NorthForkRancher said in reply to USMCSpartan(Ret.)...

He probably read the AP story on the game that included this: (The last 2 sentences are Appling's quote.)
Keith Appling scored a career-high 25 points and sparked a 20-0 second-half surge to help the Spartans (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) hand the Hoosiers their first loss of the season, 80-65.
"We got a lot of basketball out of a lot of players," Izzo said after Michigan State's 12th straight win, a game of wild swings. "I thought Keith did a great job of pushing the ball. And he came back strong when he really needed to."
Appling, who had 18 points in the second half, had seven assists, six rebounds and played some snug defense for the Spartans (12-2, 1-0 Big Ten)
"I've always been able to stop a man on defense," Appling said. "That's one of those things that's God-given. On offense, Coach has been telling me all week in practice, 'You need to shoot the ball more.'"

MayoSpartan said...

Wow, Joe. I didn't expect a Q&A and wondered why Hey Joe needed this topic. Now, I am appreciative Joe posted it. It reminded me of the saying; "The fish rots from the head back ...", there's little need to worry at MSU. It's a good time to be a Spartan.
Narduzzi's article is what I expect, but his answers make it understandable why he's a good interview, and re-enforces why it's a good time to be Spartan. I wonder about the context in which Johnny Adams' interest in the NFL became public domain. I'd like to hear what coach Barnett thinks about the subject ... he's not been in the news to often of late.

Joe Rexrode said in reply to MayoSpartan...

It became public domain because I walked up to him yesterday and asked him, and he told me.

MayoSpartan said in reply to Joe Rexrode...

Why did you ask him if he was considering the NFL? Did you have feeling, or did you hear rumors, or you ask every junior if they're considering foregoing their senior year?

Joe Rexrode said in reply to MayoSpartan...

Uh, no. I don't ask every junior. I had a feeling, I had heard rumors, and Adams is a guy I think can play in the NFL at some point.

79 Spartan said...

Hey Joe, those recording devices are like skinny little gizmos aren't they? If so, I understand Duzzi's humor. LOL...
Money carries weight, for sure, but being happy to come to work and enjoying the company surrounding you is hard to put a price tag on.
Interesting that when it came to money, both Iz and Duzzi referred to their spouses (somewhatin jest, I'm sure) but still falls into the category of things that make you go, "Hmmmm..." LOL.

Kindle said...

Here's the link to the "Letter from DeAnthony Arnett to members of the media."

drmuffin said in reply to Kindle...

And coaches can pack up and leave anytime they want. I guess if life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.

MSUinIL said in reply to drmuffin...

Unbelievable. The last two sentences are spot on.

Kindle said in reply to MSUinIL...

Years ago, Joe Crawford, a high school basketball player from Detroit signed with Tubby Smith and Kentucky. After his freshman season he wanted to transfer to MSU, but Tubby wouldn't release him. Two years later, Tubby left UK for Minnesota. Coaches leave recruits behind and never look back, but players aren't allowed to change their mind without penalty.

Kindle said in reply to drmuffin...

True. Ben Green was hot on this topic last night. I just caught the letter today.
I understand Tenn. is recruiting a kid from Flint Powers right now, Danny O'Brien. Do you think he might reconsider? Dooley/Tenn is making a mistake.

MSUinIL said in reply to Kindle...

Is there anyway you can push this letter into the spotlight? Irregardless of whether or not the kid plays for MSU, he deserves more respect than what he is receiving at UT. After reading that letter, USMC's "meat market" comment about SEC players isn't too far from the truth.

Kindle said in reply to MSUinIL...

I like your thinking. Also like that the kid decided to take his case to the media.

Ben Green said in reply to MSUinIL...

Real good idea. The more press about this the better for Arnett, his family, and the injustice being perpetrated by Tennessee.

Ben Green said in reply to Kindle...

DeAnthony is correct. "Therefore as a student athlete i feel coach dooley is trying to hinder my success by not allowing me to compete at a bcs level! And he's neglecting the fact that my father is severely ill." Mike Valenti, a Spartan grad and Detroit radio sports talk host suggest he apply at MSU or UM and see what happens. Call their bluff. A Cinci player did that and ended up and MSU.

Kindle said in reply to Ben Green...


drmuffin said...

I changed jobs and moved nearer my parents when my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was one of the best choices I made in my life.

Kindle said in reply to drmuffin...

“There are always two choices. Two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it's easy.”
You didn't make the easy choice. You made the right choice!

drmuffin said...

Great stuff Joe. Is it available in audio for those of us with short attention spans?

Joe Rexrode said in reply to drmuffin...

No, I suppose I could figure a way to transfer my recorder onto audio files, but you know me -- technologically limited to say the least.

drmuffin said in reply to Joe Rexrode...

That was a cockeyed comment on the length

Joe Rexrode said...

In case any of you guys missed it, here's the alligator story and some other notes. Cunningham had me laughing with how relieved he is to avoid being hit by Taiwan Jones this season.

Ben Green said in reply to Joe Rexrode...

Thanks Joe. I hadn't seen it. Good stuff! I've been impressed with Dantonio's methods of motivation this season. This is yet another example of his creativity.

Kindle said...

Hey Joe,
1) Is your mom posting here now?
2) See MSUinIL's question to u above

Spartan 81 said in reply to Kindle...

Joes private life is private, he has a birthday tomorrow and we get to buy him a round on Sunday, and maybe give him a limo ride from the presser to the Brick House.

Kindle said in reply to Spartan 81...

Spartan '81----That was a joke.
Further, I'm sure Joe knew and is why Joe didn't even bother to dignify the query with a reply.
I never expected him to.
There was an impostor here last night in case you missed it, pretending to be his mom.
When you all hook up on Sunday, be sure to place a round on me. I will send you the recompense. Check your email.

MSUinIL said...

Edmonson named defensive MVP of a high school show case game...

Nuge said...

Great report Joe. MSU sports IS the meal ticket for Lansing area media and you are the head chef!!

Eeyore said...

Spartan women defeat IU 63-49. The game very much mirrored the men's game. MSU racing out to a 12-point lead, which IU cut to 4 by halftime. Taylor Alton had 12 points and five rebounds. The visiting team has won 9 in a row in this series.

MayoSpartan said in reply to Eeyore...

THANKS FOR THE HOCKEY TIP. 0-0 after one. Unfortunately the announcers are UM twerps.

Eeyore said in reply to MayoSpartan...

I noticed they had to emphasize that Michigan was playing in the BCS bowl.

MayoSpartan said in reply to Eeyore...

I muted the homers after I heard them whine a bout a charge ... that was after a few blatant cross checks in front of Hunwick weren't mentioned .

Eeyore said...

Spartans and Wolverines are 0-0 after one period at The Joe. MSU outshot Michigan 11-7 in the first period.

Nuge said in reply to Eeyore...

are you able to watch the game and how?

Nuge said in reply to MayoSpartan...


MayoSpartan said in reply to Eeyore...

Twice the UM d has bumped the net off the moorings while underpressure.

MayoSpartan said...

Marc or Ben Green,
Are kids using longer hockey sticks these days? It's hard to tell, but the stick handling just doesn't look that good and a longer stick explains that.

Ben Green said in reply to MayoSpartan...

Good question. We'll have to investigate. If you watch pros much, that may be the difference. Or it could be the stick. I'm not aware of a difference in length.

MayoSpartan said in reply to Ben Green...

Thanks... our Spartans are the better even strength team so far, and the kid who scored MSU's goal has a nice quick release.

'89 Chemistry said...

Joe, you structured an exceptional triplet of interviews here. But there was something TI said which I can't make sense of in its immediate context.
It was the second sentence to your question:
"Right, but isn’t it more than wins? The way people reacted when Cleveland came after you? When people list the best coaches in the country, your name is often mentioned. What about the visibility factor?"
Izzo replied, “And I allow myself to be visible. I don’t do a quarter of the things I could do. But I think because I think I’m somewhat media-friendly, people-friendly, accessible is the best word, when some coaches aren’t ... but that’s just who I’ve been the whole time I’ve been here..." {Emphasis mine.}
How, in anyone's imagination, could Izzo triple or quadruple his visibility, assessibility, or productivity ?!?!?!?!?! Was he talking about giving more money to MSU? It certainly doesn't seem so from context. (And geez--a million bucks is probably about seven months of his after-tax income.) Neither, from context, did he seem to be implying he meant things that would've been abuses of his visibility.
Or was he? I recognize that going back to that line would've been total anathema to the story you were getting. But if I had the chance, I'd ask him what he meant by those many things he "could do".

'89 Chemistry said...

Per-Minute Statistical Player Evaluations for Pre-B1G Basketball Games:
Part III: Performance Against the Best Seven of 13 Teams
Check Part I for explanation of terms. It’s ~60% down the page here:
Part II covered all 13 games; and made some comparisons with last season; it’s here:
(~25% down).
Is Draymond Green a stat-stuffer? Answering questions like that with stats might seem impossible (or tautological), but a hard look at play without lumping in the fluffiest of cupcakes might have some value. I’ve chosen RPI rankings to decide which MSU opponents are better teams. Four--UNC, Duke, Gonzaga, and Florida State--are in the Top 50 and thus in position to vie for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth. Lehigh and UW-Milwaukee are in the Top 100--ahead of three B1G teams [including UNL] and likely NIT, CBI, or CIT-caliber.
MO-Kansas City was of that caliber [#124] when I compiled data, so it’s in these results, too. It’s ranked well above the other six opponents--and well above Iowa and Penn State. So it won’t surprise me if these results are close to MSU’s B1G results (despite needing 12-13 B1G wins to match W-L %age).
[So in case I’m not clear: This is like Part II, but excludes the six weakest opponents in State’s pre-B1G schedule.]
Summary Comparison to 13-Game Results: Almost everyone looks worse against better-than-average competition, but Appling showed no significant drop in either individual performance [PPI] or in a team-players’ metric [c(+,-)/min]. At the other extreme, Gauna’s--and especially Byrd’s--metrics broadly plummeted by comparison. Some relative resilience of either PPI or c(+,-)/min was shown by all core players [plus Kearney & Ianni] except for Dawson and Nix. Thornton’s PPI degraded substantially, but his c(+,-)/min was among the team’s best. (Vice versa, basically, for Ianni’s nearly minute-per game.)
PPI-component highlights I’m basically just listing player-components that are significantly different than in Part II. (One unit [e.g., points] = 100 c(units).):
cpts/m: Wetzel 150, Gauna 34, Byrd 11, Wollenman 0.
creb/m: Chapman 0.
casst/m: Sweeny 50, Byrd 11, Thornton 3.4, Kearney 0, Chapman 0.
cto/m: Ianni 0, Wollenman 0, Payne 3.8, Thornton 4.2, Kearney 6.5, Gauna 7.3, Byrd 11.
cblk/m: Nix 4.4, Byrd 0, Kearney 0, Ianni 0.
cstl/m: Ianni 17, Kearney 6.5, Nix 6.1, Gauna 2.4, Byrd 0.
cfl/m: Sweeny 0, Ianni 0, Byrd 3.6, Dawson 4.6, Kearney 16, Gauna 24.
cmfg/m: Payne 7.6, Byrd 17.9.
PPI: Wetzel 150, Sweeny 115, Green 70, Appling 59, Wood 56, Dawson 54, Nix 50, Ianni 50, Payne 49, Trice 43, Thornton 28, Gauna 20, Chapman 12, Byrd 12, Kearney 2.4, Wollenman 0.Sweeny & Wetzel played two mistake-free minutes apiece; hence the high PPIs. Somewhat significant drops in PPI for Thornton, Byrd & Gauna vis-à-vis the 13-game results; insignificant such drops for Appling, Wood, Green & Trice. Scant correlation between PPI & minutes played may be due to few, but non-zero, court minutes from the far bench.
Seven-game (+,-) Totals: Appling 76, Green 72, Payne 59, Wood 46, Thornton 39, Dawson 28, Nix 22, Trice 22, Kearney 4, Chapman -3, Wetzel -3, Sweeny -3, Wollenman -3 , Ianni -9, Byrd -12, Gauna -15.
Seven-game c(+,-) per minute: Payne 45, Appling 38, Thornton 33, Green 31, Wood 24, Nix 19, Dawson 18, Trice 15, Kearney 13, Gauna -37, Byrd -43. Ianni et. al. -150 each. Big drops vis-à-vis the 13-game results for Byrd & Ianni; the values for Payne, Kearney, Appling & Thornton imply remarkable quality maintenance against the tougher half of the schedule. The negative correlation between c(+,-)/m and PPI is a little surprising.
RPI Top 50 opponents will be the focus of Part IV.

Eeyore said...

Tanner Sorenson puts the Spartans up 1-0 with a slapshot from the top of the right circle.

Nuge said in reply to Eeyore...

Tanner is on fire!!!!!!

Nuge said in reply to Nuge...

Could not resist...

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to Nuge...


Eeyore said...

1-0 Spartans at the second intermission. MSU is dumping and chasing more than it has all season. Probably because of the big ice.

Eeyore said in reply to Eeyore...

Boston College defeated Michigan Tech 2-1 in the consolation game.

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to Eeyore...

gotta say it again, thanks for the streaming site!

Eeyore said in reply to USMCSpartan(Ret.)...

No problem. Wish the announcers were better.

USMCSpartan(Ret.) said in reply to Eeyore...

They are not really very good, are they.

MayoSpartan said in reply to Eeyore...

It also wears down the opposing D, and since the skated last night... a good tactic.
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