The MSU athletic department is in good hands with Mark Hollis, as he keeps expanding and touching the Spartan Nation. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

The MSU Football and Basketball Question and Answer articles have been a major success.  Because of that, we have started to get a lot of questions about the rest of the MSU athletics in general.  Not enough to do just one sport, but when placed together more than football or basketball.

 

So starting this morning we will have a weekly (Tuesday mornings) general MSU athletics Q and A article.  Covering all sports other than football and basketball and all things MSU athletics in general.  Thanks everyone.

 

Hey Hondo,
The Women’s College World Series is here in OKC. I was wondering if we will ever see the Lady Spartans here. I have met the coach and she seems like a lovely lady, but they always finish about .500. Any hope for the softball ladies or is this a backwater sport at MSU?  Is this your first question ever about Softball?
Doug Oklahoma Spartan Alumni

Hi Doug, it is a first ever softball question for this column.  It is a great question.  Coach Joseph is a super lady.  Being frank, she has had to compete for years as the MSU head softball coach with her hands tied behind her back.  From many perspectives, but for today we will address the facilities.  MSU had essentially ignored the program with what many have called less than high school at times.  She has the facilities now.  She and I talked about this last summer, but I said that her true clock to judge her started with this past year.  She agreed with that.  She is on the clock now and I think she will do it.  She will need to compete for a Big Ten title.  As far as seeing her in OKC, she has a lot more issues to fight including the NCAA that put northern schools behind the 8 ball.

 

Hondo, I have heard you on TV and the radio talk about how many varsity sports MSU has compared to other schools.  I also read in your magazine about the administration at MSU needing to work with Mark Hollis, the athletic director, and not against as you laid out your case.  Will he eventually have to cut sports, and if so what one or ones do you suggest?  Ricky

First, let me thank you for reading, watching, and viewing our multiple platforms at Spartan Nation.  Secondly, I can tell you that I don’t think for the long-term viability of MSU athletics that Mark Hollis can do anything other than cut some sports.  As far as what ones, I don’t think it would be fair of me to point fingers.  For many reasons, but the first being some would take it as me not caring for certain programs and that isn’t true.  It has to be what is best for MSU and not any one program.  Football is king.  Basketball, for the men, is second, and although it is the second revenue producer, it is a far second to football.  Hockey used to be a moneymaking program and it slipped under Rick Comley.  It is to be resurrected.  Football is the big dog and as long as a program makes money like basketball it should get what it wants and needs.  Here is a different question for you to ponder.  If heading into a season a sport can’t be fully funded and that coach and athletic department know that they have no chance to compete, is it fair to keep it?  If people don’t go watch and don’t care, if they know before the season starts like the Kansas City Royals that the will do nothing do you keep it?  Do you take from football to fully fund them, but then hurt your big dog and frankly the sport that the fan base cares exponentially more about?  MSU has into the mid-twenties on varsity sports, while other programs have significantly less, in the teens.  Is it better to have less sports, but fully funded and able to give the athletes and the fans the honest view that they can truly compete?

 

Hondo, I realize that MSU is not a perennial power in baseball, but how can the co Big Ten champ not make the NCAA tournament.  They screwed us and Jake Boss.  Kevin

Great question Kevin and I plan on getting into the nitty gritty in the July Spartan Nation Magazine.  So for now, let me answer it this way.  Jake Boss did a better job than you OR I thought he did at the end of the season.  I have been working on an investigative piece that will run in July and when you learn what I did, you will no doubt understand that the NCAA hurt him, but not in the way you think.  MSU had an RPI of 86.  They needed to be at 50 to have a legitimate shot to get an at-large bid.  If they had won the BTT, they would have got an automatic.  Jake did a phenomenal job and I will lay it all out for you in July as well as give you a look at how he has to compete not only with an opponent on the diamond, but other things on his back.  I think it will really shed some light on the process of college baseball.

 

Hondo, I hear a lot about the women’s golf at MSU, but not much about the men’s golf.  Will they ever compete like the ladies do or is that program not able to get a lot of talent?  Didn’t we have a guy in the Masters in the recent past?  Mary

Mary, we did have a Spartan in the Masters named Jack Newman.  In my opinion, the men’s golf program needs change.  I know of people that have reached out to help and have been rebuffed.  I would have to guess that if you are good enough to help the stars on the PGA you must not be good enough to offer your help and have it accepted with the MSU men’s golf team.  That program should do well and needs to do well and isn’t in my opinion.  Change there would need to come sooner rather than later in my opinion.

 

OK everyone there you go.  Our first general MSU athletics Q and A article of the year.  We will continue them every Tuesday morning so if you have a question 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!