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Tom Stays Home

The Spartan Nation can breathe a sigh of relief. The man who put Michigan State Basketball firmly as the program to beat in the Big Ten will lead the Spartans next season. Much has been made about the ‘Izzo fiasco’ as nearly every Spartan has found their heart bleeding the past eight days over the prospect of losing him.

There are a ton of questions that need to be asked. There are just as many questions that deserve an answer after we share a sigh of relief by all in the Spartan Nation. One cannot fault Tom for looking. He cannot be faulted for dreaming about the possibility to coach and win a championship with LeBron. It is hard to know how close Tom was to pulling the trigger, but in the end I believe all will be forgotten by the MSU fan-base.

Thirty-million big ones is a lot to walk away from. So is another NCAA championship. I think MSU is destined for another when the tourney ends next season. Tom has spent the better years of his life building MSU basketball. He is an icon. He is the face of Michigan State. His NBA flirtations inspired posters, blogs, t-shirts and large gatherings. He has been debated in every household in America this week that remotely cares about basketball. We always knew Tom cared about people. Now Tom knows just how much his people care about him.

Sure some of you will merly dismiss this as greedy fans excited about more potential wins. There is truth to this piece of the equation. Let’s not forget the number of people that e-mailed us drawing comparisons to their fathers, talking about Tom as a piece of MSU history, referencing his meaning to their time at MSU or the fact that he was a part of their family every time they watched MSU basketball.

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We stood bye our prediction that Tom would return to MSU. We never wavered. Some have suggested that Tom’s heart is not at MSU and the week that it took him to decide clearly shows that he is conflicted and wants a change.

I think you have to hurdle the fence every once in a while and see what is on the other side to truly know what you have. If Tom were not committed to being the coach at MSU, he would have moved on. I think he wants to be appreciated. I think that the love that MSU fans showed throughout this process will be rewarded. Hondo and I have never thought this was about money. We certainly think there is a large piece of it revolves around respect. Should Tom be the highest paid coach in the Big Ten? My answer is simple, six Final Fours in twelve years. He should be the highest paid college coach in America. There is no one better.

More questions will arise as the dust settles on what was such an unsettling story. I have voiced my displeasure with a number of things that are happening at the newly formed elite ‘world grant’ in East Lansing. If we could do anything to keep Tom happy at MSU, shouldn’t we be doing everything in our power to see that he retires a Spartan? Were the right people asking the same question?