Answering your Michigan State Spartan Football Questions and Emails…

Hondo S. Carpenter

Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

Hondo I realize you and others have been critical of Mark Dantonio and Spartan football, but I think there is one area no one is talking about. With the abrupt departure of Mark Hollis, do you think that hurt coach emotionally? Kerry in Milford, MI

Mark Dantonio and Mark Hollis at the time of his (Hollis) departure were not close. While Hollis didn’t want to go, I think there was some relief not to have to deal with Spartan Football anymore. That relationship went sour after the Rose Bowl and before the start of the next ensuing season.

I like my analogy that Coach Dantonio merely rearranged the deck chairs when he should have found a new navigator to chart our way out of the fog (offensively). Possibly many others agree with that perspective. Tim Price

Hi Tim! I have heard that assessment often. Coach Dantonio rolled the dice; he’s earned the right to do that. With ANY offensive improvement, this team will be better, so we shall see.

Hondo do you have any thoughts on raises for some of the offensive coaches and Dave Warner and Mark Staten staying at the same wage? Chris is Athens, GA

I think they better produce. Giving raises were fair, but to not do something to the other coaches that were demoted, made zero sense.

Hondo as a donor who has given in every football project since his arrival, Coach Dantonio firing no one made me skeptical, but no pay cuts convinced me they don’t need my money. You know me, but DO NOT use my name.

I do know you, and you have been a major donor. Not sure anyone is listening to you.

Hondo with the sudden departure of John Beilein to the NBA, who do you think Bill Beekman would hire to replace Mark Dantonio? Mike in Perry, MI

Bill Beekman WILL NOT be making the next hire for a football or basketball coach should he be in office when that happens. The Board of Trustees will. In fact, about the above question about Mike Tressel, one board member told me, “That is great if he thinks that, but he ain’t making a choice.”

Hondo...thanks for the Great area of concern I see in the recruiting class of 2021...I live in Clarkston and have watched Dillinger and Spindler for two years and will enjoy the next two as they take Clarkston back to Ford Field...Long story short they have been offered by a huge number of schools...MSU was the first. I follow the tweets put out by these two...most recent both dressed in UM uniforms on a visit to UM...I hope MSU keeps the contacts would be a shame to lose these two. Go Green!! George

Michigan State Football recruiting is struggling in the state right now, George. Garrett Dillinger is a young man that I have covered and know well. Super kid from an amazing family. He is close to a lock to Notre Dame, and Rocco Spindler right now is UM one day and Notre Dame the other, but I would project the Wolverines are first with the Irish a distant second. Both top tier in-state players, the Spartans are way on the outside with right now.

Hondo, To me, this is the bottom line question for the 2019 MSU football team: Who will have a better year in 2019, MSU or UM?

That outcome will answer all the questions about Coaching Staff changes, talent, player development, and most importantly, the direction of the Programs. I can see the pieces falling into place for UM with 3 NFL caliber WR's and a new OC preaching 'speed in space'. If they throw the ball consistently to those WR's, they should be very productive on Offense. For MSU, I don't see it so clearly. MSU has a wounded QB (physically & psychologically), no Felton Davis, a recovering Cody White, and Jalen Nailor. No established RB and questions about the capability of the OL. Will the MSU Offense be anywhere near 'good,' kind of hard to imagine that after last Season? Barring injuries, the MSU Defense could be top ten again, but I expect a dropoff to top twenty-five since last year was so good. So 2019 does not seem like it has the components of a 'bounce back' year for MSU, especially if Brian Lewerke struggles and Coach Dantonio will stay with him regardless of his on-field performance. It is possible that everything that went wrong in 2018 goes right in 2019 for MSU and it is a bounce back year.

There is an old saying, you are either getting better or getting worse. I am concerned MSU is looking at the beginning of the end for Coach Dantonio. Brian Schultz

Interesting take and watching both teams as a barometer this year.

Hondo I heard from a major donor that a leading member of the Spartan Fund told him that Bill Beekman had commented to him that he really likes Mike Tressel and would consider him as a replacement. Had you heard that? James W.

Yes, I have been told by TWO MSU employees that they had heard Bill say that. I have not discussed it with him, but I heard it while at the Bowl game the first time and shortly after the second.

Hondo Do you think any coaches will leave before the season starts? I guess my point is we all including me are upset that Coach D loyalty keeps the O staff but don’t we have to admit it’s the same loyalty that keeps our great D staff in place? To me, there are two sides to Coach D’s system good and bad. -Brian C

No. I know that two tested the waters. One is not a good coach, in my opinion, one is, but because of the MSU futility had trouble getting a solid look.

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