CMU Head Coach Butch Jones Has Multiple Teams that Want Him: Does CMU Want Him Bad Enough?

Hondo S. Carpenter

When you are a school like CMU life is never easy. Unlike the BCS schools, you have to make decisions and calculations about entire programs and not just one. At MSU, football and basketball get whatever they want. They are the cash cows.

 

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The same is true at CMU, but with a different caveat. Football doesn’t always get what it wants in order to help the other sports even more. That is the dilemma that AD Dave Heeke finds himself in today.

 

Because of the incredible job that Butch Jones did as his head coach, multiple suitors have come calling for his head coach. SpartanNation.com has learned that three jobs have him squarely at or near the top of their list.

 

Kansas, Cincinnati and Marshall are those three schools. Losing Jones to Kansas or Cincinnati is nothing that should make Heeke or the fans hang their heads.  It also shouldn’t make them angry with Jones. If a man has a chance to increase his pay four or even FIVE times to a wage that would financially set he and his family for a lifetime, you can’t argue with him.

 

That job that should have Heeke and all of the Chippewa Nation in fear is Marshall. I can tell you, based upon a personal friendship with Jones, that he doesn’t want to leave CMU.

 

Last year a school came calling and offered Jones their head-coaching job with a SIGNIFICANT raise. He just couldn’t do it. He loves Mt. Pleasant and he loves being a Chip. Can he pass up another school again? I highly doubt it if some things don’t change.

 

If Jones leaves for Marshall then the Chips administration and fans should be embarrassed and forced to ask themselves some serious questions.

 

 I got this email from a Chip fan on Wednesday:

 

Hondo

I know that Coach Jones is your friend, please tell him he can’t take a lateral moving job like Marshall. What is wrong?

Anthony

 

That is a great question Anthony. It is one that I won’t answer right now. If Jones does leave for Marshall I will answer it and you won’t like the answer about what went wrong. Suffice to say that CMU needs to make a choice.

 

I remember Brian Kelly bemoaning to me one day in his office about having to literally get on a hand held loudspeaker begging fans to come into the stadium and not just stay out tailgating.

 

Jones and his success has boosted revenues and set CMU firmly on solid foundation. He inherited a program that needed emphasis put on healing player relationships and an emphasis on the classroom. He has done it.

 

CMU needs to think about the immense loss of revenue should they lose him to a Marshall. Chip fans will be outraged if they do. It is up to CMU to make sure that Marshall is a lateral move. They have some catching up to do. Again, I won’t get into the details of why until later. For now, CMU needs to make a choice.

 

The fans are waiting for their answer. Jones was paid in the lower part of the MAC with the number one buyout in the MAC this past season. After CMU made an “embarrassing offer” according to a source IN THE ADMINISTRATION they now have one on the table that moves him into the top three.

 

Fans sometimes only see that. They don’t see the ancillary things that coaches do on the side. What about pay for assistants? What about other issues I will tackle if they lose him to Marshall? Big things that eat up coaches time and force them to take their eyes off of just coaching football.  What about decisions that have been made (not by Jones) that other MAC schools are using against him in recruiting. Jones shouldn’t be forced to recruit when the actions of HIS administration are being used against him.

 

Jones loves being a Chip. He bleeds it. He doesn’t want to leave. The big issue is whether CMU wants him bad enough to keep him. If you think things were bad for CMU football when DeBord was the coach, you haven’t seen anything yet.

 

To Anthony and the rest of the Chip Nation, you lose him to Marshall and things could get a lot worse. Trust me. If it happens, I will tell you.

 

This I know. Marshall wants him badly. They realize that a lot of people will see it as a lateral move. They also know the kind of man Coach Jones is. 

 

A source at Marshall told me this morning, “We just want to talk to him. To show him what we have. I don’t think Butch would leave CMU over money. Don’t get me wrong, we know we have to pay him, but he has earned that. He is the best young coach in America. I am sure CMU could play him what we would. We need to show him that a winning program in football is just as important to us as him. From the outside we don’t know if he has seen the actions of the folks at CMU in the administration back that up. They have talked it, but we at least want a chance to ask him if they have walked it. We will.”

 

 

I have family and friends that presently attend CMU, have attended CMU, and that are donors. One significant donor told me moments ago, “If we lose coach to Cincy or Kansas I understand. That is the nature of the beast. If we lose him to Marshall, then I need to find another football team and athletic college athletic department to support. That would be a joke.”

 

I like Mount Pleasant. I like Dave Heeke. I hope for them they do the right thing for their athletic department and fans and don’t lose Jones to Marshall. They have a good thing going, why throw it away.

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