Answering Your Michigan State General Athletics Email and Questions...

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Hi Hondo, Saw your Q&A about softball. I can tell you I am pretty deep in the travel softball world around here (high school is pretty irrelevant when it comes to softball....colleges recruit at the showcase softball tournaments not at high schools) and the travel folks who help get the good players into colleges view MSU and Jackie as a joke. Hutch takes any of the top players she wants at Michigan. Most of the players Jackie takes are borderline D1 players. Until she is out, the program will go nowhere. Dave

I promised you all that I would dig on the MSU softball situation and here is what I have learned and I will give my thoughts at the
end. This season stunk. 0 for the B1G. 

They did lose their top pitcher. Coach Joseph made the tough choice to let her go prior to the season. Additionally many times they were promised a new stadium because the old one was at a high school level. Because so many promises had been made and not carried out by the administration in the past they didn’t recruit to the new facility until it was built. They didn’t want to lie to recruits and once again have it fall apart. 

What I am hearing from the inside is that they are VERY disappointed with the performance of the program and that no one anticipates a change in
leadership this season. I did hear from more than one person in the power shuffle at MSU that this program must become competitive and relevant next season or there will be change. No one could give a definition of either competitive or relevant. One high ranking MSU official did say, “We aren’t talking about a couple wins.” There is no doubt the leash is short on the team next year for marked and SIGNIFICANT improvement.

Now for my analysis, if your season falls to crap because you lose one pitcher that tells me you are not in very good shape. You should have been able to pulls a couple of wins out I would think. That said, Coach Joseph has won a B1G title while using facilities that were an embarrassment. Now that they are up to par I go back to her and I talking about this just before she moved it to that facility. I think she has to be given the chance to recruit to the new facility. Whether that is next year, two years or three years I have no clue. I do know that the 2012 class is loaded and
the 2013 class appears to be even better. Those are the first two classes truly recruited with the new stadium.

I do trust Hollis if he ALONE makes the decision. I am digging on that. Coach Joseph has been very loyal to MSU for many years when the school could care less. She was given many promises over the years that the school didn’t honor. Asking them to honor her for a short time to
show what she can finally do with the facilities seems very fair to me. 

I will add this. I like her. If this program fails in the new stadium she has enough love/respect for MSU I doubt they would have to fire
her. I would guess she would leave. Now whether or not her timeline of when you judge that matches Hollis I don’t know.

I trust Mark Hollis if he alone is making the decision. Let’s all hope that next year is significantly better so there is no need for this.  Let this be a warning to other non-revenue sports.

MSU and essentially the fan base ignored Jackie and her program for years. I think new facilities brought new light and new expectations. Despite
abysmal staff salaries she has a good staff and I think they turn this around.

Hondo,

Can you enlighten me on how the big ten baseball playoffs work? Only a few teams make the tournament and then winner goes to college world series? At large teams? I'm confused but really interested. Thanks Dan Moss

Great question Dan. The top six teams make the tourney and the top two seeds get a first round bye.

OK everyone, there you go, our weekly general MSU athletics Q and A article. We will continue them, so if you have a question (not about basketball or football) here is a simple way to get it here.

Send your questions to SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and put in the subject line general. If it doesn’t get answered in the article you will get a personal response. Thank you!