One Thing in All the Izzo-to-Cleveland Talk that Can’t be Ignored

Hondo S. Carpenter

 

Tom Izzo has risen to ICON status in the Spartan Nation.  When he leaves the Spartan Nation should applaud his service.  Photo courtesy of Kevin Krzeminski.
Tom Izzo has risen to ICON status in the Spartan Nation. When he leaves the Spartan Nation should applaud his service. Photo courtesy of Kevin Krzeminski.

I am amazed as Tom Izzo contemplates a move to the NBA at some of the reaction among fans. Anyone who cares about Spartan athletics, of course, wants Izzo to stay. That is a given.

 

What surprises me is how many can’t step back and think about him. Tom Izzo owes the Spartan Nation nothing. He has given far more than he has taken and no matter how many zeroes his paycheck has, he is underpaid.

 

He raises tens of millions of dollars for the University outside of athletics, let alone for the athletic department. He is a driven, mid-fifties coach who has essentially accomplished all that he can in college. Whenever he walks away, he has earned the right to do so on his own terms. When that day comes, he deserves nothing from the Spartan Nation than respect and applause.

 

I told him yesterday that as a fan I wanted him back, but as a friend I wanted him happy. When this is all said and done I don’t expect him to leave. I think he will stay. If I am wrong and he goes then the greatest Spartan of all time will hear nothing from me but thank you.

 

For all of the Spartan Nation I understand the selfish desire to keep him, I simply hope that people also take time to reflect on what he means to the school. He is the face of MSU. Sadly, I wish some outside of the athletic department accepted it and embraced it. If Izzo were to leave (for Cleveland), I will expound on that statement. 

 

I don’t think he will, but when the day comes the Spartan Nation needs to stand and applaud a man who is bigger than the University. You always hear coaches say that no player or coach is bigger than the team. In this case, they are wrong. Izzo is bigger than the program and the University. He is MSU. His face is known around the world, and his success we all got to enjoy.

 

Tom Izzo may or may not leave, but this I know: He has earned the right to leave on his terms and when he wants to. That fact can’t be ignored.

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