Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

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Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

Hondo, it seems with regularity every year in the spring and summer camps that Mark Dantonio doesn’t let the media attend scrimmages and then sends out a notice that a certain side (offense or defense) wins and by the end of spring or camp it is a tie. Is that real or manufactured and how do the players feel about that? Kyle

They hate it. There were a lot of frustrated players last year when the defense dominated the offense and the “release” was sent out differently. I reached out to one senior on this past year’s team who didn’t want to use his name but gladly emailed an explanation. “I think Coach D really wants to keep both sides hungry and doesn’t want fans and media complaining about one side or the other. Last year the defense owned the scrimmages and then we would read Spartan Nation or MSU Spartans and it was a win for the offense. Well, if you take players out or hold them out for the practice you can say it was against first team or second team and it was for that day, but not really. Or if you let the offense have a ton of field goal kicks that are within range, or several red zone chances. It all serves his purpose, I guess, but it can be frustrating. Is the first team offense running against the 1st team defense?” There you go Kyle. I know for a fact during a scrimmage that a kicker missed nearly double digits field goals. It was brutal and the release came out saying he had made a few. What it didn’t say was how many he had missed. I am not ripping those releases, but they are exactly what the program wants you to know and not necessarily what happened or in what context it happened.


Hondo, a few weeks ago you had an article with questions and answers and someone asked about Max Bullough. You questioned his credentials for saying Max Bullough owed the fans an explanation. I disagreed with you and wish you would explain more. Dennis

Sure thing Dennis. Max Bullough doesn’t “OWE” anyone anything. Period. It is arrogant to assume that he does. Should he? Yes. I think Max should have come out immediately and addressed it. He chose not to. He has told the NFL teams who asked what happened and it is going to come out. If you look at Max’s scholarship paperwork he owes nothing. He did more than his obligation. To say someone “Owes” you something is very strong words. Why don’t people ask the players who underperform for an explanation? How about those that don’t perform in the classroom? There is a difference between owing something, that implies obligation, and deserving something. Part of this rests on the University who can’t comment, but also was not an advocate of him commenting. I would also add, Max’s issue was not criminal and he was not suspended by the NCAA. He owes nothing.


Hondo, the staff rotated 8 or 9 OL this last season which traditionally is unusual without injuries. With this success do you think this will become the standard? Probably helps with getting recruits knowing that better chance to play. Thanks Ray

Ray, to his credit, OL Coach Mark Staten has been in favor of that for a few years and I expect it to continue for the foreseeable future.


Hondo, I wanted to compliment you on the top shelf football information. Dates, events, position changes, you do a great job and I don’t want you to think it isn’t greatly appreciated. Marc

Hondo, I just wanted to tell you that I hate your guts. Stephen


Hondo, have you talked to Max Bullough recently? Care to share any comments that he may have made about the suspension? What was his mood? Corrie

Yes, I have. No, I will not and his mood was upbeat and ready to take on the NFL. He can’t and shouldn’t sit around in sack cloth and ashes crying about what happened. He needs to move on and he has. Time for the fans to.


Will you be coming out with a 2014 recruiting summary with comments on each recruit and where they rank in the class? If so, when might that come out? Thanks David

Yes, it is very detailed and it appears in the February issue of every Spartan Nation Magazine. If you are not a subscriber, it is 100% free and you can do it by CLICKING RIGHT HERE.


I noticed the comments on the Mike, Star, and Will designations for linebackers. I know you’ve explained these designations before, but they make little sense to me and I can’t keep them straight.  In the recent Q&A you mentioned “Mike” is “Middle.” OK. Maybe I can remember “M for Middle.” Would you mind explaining again, or steer me to a place where I can look this up next time I forget—as I’m sure I “will,” as I’m no “star.”  Bill Kerans

This is a great question we have answered many times, but I reached out to former Spartan great LB Eric Gordon. He was a great player in this defense and I thought you would all enjoy hearing from one of my favorite Spartans of all time. He is now the Business Development Manager for MCM Staffing in Southfield. Here is how he explained it:

STAR: Typically to the WR strength and is the toughest position on the MSU defense. Usually some good in pass coverage and can play the run. They will be bumped out of the box often, but must read and see the run and with farther to go react quickly.

MIKE:Â Always in the middle.

SAM: Typically lined up to the run strength of the offense which usually means on the side of the tight end.   

There you go Bill and that was just for you from Eric.

Hondo, always enjoy opening my mornings with Spartan Nation-anything new on Malik McDowell? Do you see him wearing green and white next year? What happened with Darius Slade? Keep up the great work-Paul Buschke

New? I wouldn’t say that. I have maintained that I expect Malik in Green and White and feel stronger about it now than ever. As far as Slade, he is a great kid and when word got out that McDowell was going to pledge to MSU, that gave the Spartans FIVE defensive line (DL) commits in the 2014 class and a loaded roster of athletes already in house. So he switched. Can’t blame him. OSU, UNLIKE MSU, can sell immediate playing time and the Spartans can’t.

Hondo, as an attorney I am very familiar with laws as they matter within what an organization can and can’t say when it comes to employees, students, and others. Basically, I am referring to privacy laws.  I have heard you say numerous times that MSU couldn’t comment on the Max Bullough situation. If that is there stance, then I suggest they are opening themselves up to a major lawsuit. Simply watch the press conferences from many of their coaches, Izzo and Merchant come to immediate memory and they comment on health/privacy issues all the time. All of the coaches do. They can’t hide behind those laws when convenient for the Bullough story and not when it is normal every day issues. I could care less either way, but as a Spartan, if accurate that they “Can’t” comment on Bullough they are foolish to do it on many other areas that they shouldn’t as well. Not speaking to the specific case, just in general based on public comments. Paul

Since I am not an attorney and I did not spend last night at a Holiday Inn Express, I will tell you that I received this basic email from three different attorneys and will address it this week on our sports and law segment with Jeff Michalowski.


There you go everyone. That is this week’s question and answer article. If you have a question never hesitate to email at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.comand put in the subject line FB Q/A