Thamel reports Fickell interviewed with Michigan State officials at his home on Sunday to replace Mark Dantonio. Fickell was not officially offered the job, but "there was an understanding that if Fickell wanted the job, it was his."
Fickell appeared to confirm his decision to remain at Cincinnati on Twitter on Monday morning.
Fickell was considered a favorite to replace Dantonio given his familiarity with the Big Ten from his time at Ohio State. His decision to return to the Bearcats is great for the program, which checked in at No. 12 in SI's Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2020. Fickell has gone 22–5 the past two seasons at Cincinnati.
MSU has been searching for a new head coach after Dantonio announced his retirement last week. Colorado coach Mel Tucker was also considered for the position, but he said on Saturday that he will stay with the Buffaloes.
The Spartans are left at a crossroads following Dantonio's decision to leave the program. MSU is still dealing with the fallout of the Larry Nassar scandal and the allegations made against the football program in a recent lawsuit.
Last week, former Michigan State recruiting director Curtis Blackwell filed an update in an ongoing lawsuit claiming Dantonio and the Spartans committed multiple NCAA recruiting violations.
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