Hey Hondo! Answering Your Michigan State Spartans Questions

Sports Illustrated’s Hondo Carpenter answers the general emails and questions of Spartan Nation regarding Michigan State Spartans Athletics.
Spartan Stadium
Spartan Stadium / Dexter Ernest Wayne Carpenter, Sports Illustrated

The Spartan Nation is fortunate to have a legitimate athletic director in my friend Alan Haller. Each week, we answer some of your Michigan State general athletic questions.

Michigan State University is fortunate to have Alan Haller at the helm, steering the Spartan athletics ship. MSU has a storied and glorious past in athletics, with multiple national titles in football, basketball, and hockey, among many other notable accomplishments on and off the competitive field, rink, or court.

Each week, we set out to answer some of your general athletics questions about the Spartan athletic program.

Hondo, with MSU hockey on the upswing with “Nights” in control, do you think that we have anything to worry about with him jumping ship?  Daniel T.  St. Johns

Adam Nightingale is a terrific talent developer and potential evaluator. As long as Michigan State takes care of him, he will remain at Michigan State. He might leave for an NHL head coaching job, but as long as the Spartans do their part, that is the only hockey coaching job, for now, that I could see him leaving for.

Hondo, do the Spartans have any plans to expand Spartan Stadium at some point?  I hear rumors of such.  Cassie W.

When he retired, Greg Ianni was a great loss for the University. He was Mark Hollis’s right-hand man, and he had a detailed plan for the expansion of the High Cathedral of the Spartan Nation: Spartan Stadium.

That said, things are changing in college sports and pro sports as well, and you are going to see a trend of shrinking stadiums. Not only at MSU but in most other places, I don’t see a major expansion of seating. Amenities and other goodies, bigger seats as well, but not major expansion at already large schools like MSU.

Hondo, what is the biggest enemy Alan Haller has to face with MSU Athletics?  Vince O.  Birmingham

Getting the NIL money for his teams to compete is the biggest issue, as fans are no longer loyal, for loyalty's sake.

The playoff expansions, eventual basketball tournament expansions, and the elimination of traditional conferences and rivalries have brought in potentially hundreds of millions more, but as the NCAA and conferences have chased money, they have set a mindset in their fans that it is all about money and only winning.

The fans have been marginalized. College athletics, while growing, has set their sports down a dangerous cliff. If you aren’t winning, your fans won’t show up.

Hondo, I read in the Detroit News that the Michigan State Board of Trustees is going to vote to limit public comments at their meetings.  What do you think?  Gene Y.

I think rather than trying to silence their bosses, the state of Michigan’s citizens, perhaps their bosses should demand they release ALL of the Larry Nassar information, including all BOT correspondence and emails.

Hondo, if you could wave a magic wand and fix college sports, where would you start? Todd A.

I would abolish the NCAA and create four-, sixteen-team, or eighteen-team super conferences that govern themselves and abide by an aforementioned set of pre-determined rules. 

By the way, I reported years ago that this is coming, I just would push the timeline far ahead.

Hondo, my nephew saw you up at the Grand Traverse Resort, he said he wanted to get a picture, but you were golfing.  I know you used to hate golf, do you play now that you are covering the NFL?  Rob F. Jackson

Although I am not a golfer, my terrific father-in-law is, and we took our parents up there for a Father’s Day/Mother’s Day gift. He rocked it, getting applause from the other golfers and accolades from the employees. Besides being a rock star father, he is an amazing golfer. I drove the cart, kept score, and bought lemon-lime Gatorade. It was fantastic. I cherish my time with him.

Hondo, thank you for addressing Mark Hollis, and his study about the Spartan helmet.  I hate, I mean hate seeing a block S, or State on things.  Perhaps people will listen.  I felt like Hollis would stand up to Nike, and now  it seems like they can do whatever they want with us.  O. Dent

I have zero concerns with Alan Haller standing up to anyone. Unfortunately, decisions can be made above the head of any MSU AD, and they can’t control that. Please see Mel Tucker's Deal.  I think there are some at Michigan State that would let Nike do just about anything for enough money, but not everyone.

If you have a question regarding Michigan State football, basketball, or the athletic program in general, please send it to, and when you do, put in the subject line MSU Q & A

Don’t forget to follow the official Spartan Nation Page on Facebook WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE, and be a part of our vibrant community group Go Green Go White as well WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE.

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Hondo Carpenter