Would Tom Izzo make a good athletic director? Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.

Good morning Hondo.  I thought it was really special to meet you on your radio show tour this summer when you came out here.  I have a really simple question.  When Tom Izzo retires, what would you think of him taking over for Mark Hollis as the athletic director?  I know that Hollis has done a good job, but to keep Tom engaged with the program what would you think?  Brandon

Since you are asking my opinion I will give it.  That is a terrible idea.  We all know that Tom can coach, but in my opinion I think he would be a terrible athletic director.  Look at the Ron Mason regime.  On top of that, why would you want to move out the second most critical figure in MSU sports histories development in Hollis?  He stands only second to John Hannah and you should hope that unless he takes the President’s job at MSU that he stays there for a long time.

 

Hondo, you have called so many things right like the golf coach getting canned and the new one being hired that I wanted to ask who you think at MSU is in the biggest threat to lose their job?  Are there any coaches on the proverbial hot seat?  Thomas

That is a great question and out all over the country this summer on the radio tour I got asked that or a variation of it often.  Let me just say before I answer that question that just because I name someone who is under the gun it doesn’t mean that I don’t like them.  It just means that their performance has them under the heat.  I think that there is no doubt that Cathy George the head volleyball coach is the next one up.  She is a wonderful lady and I like her very much.  This is not however a popularity contest and she needs to get the program moving.

 

Hondo, I love that a self professed soccer hater like you is showing the love to the game and MSU with Coach Rensing on your show. I can’t get enough.  I just wondered why we don’t hear Coach Saxton, the woman’s soccer coach, on?  Not complaining so please don’t hear that.  Just asking.  Carl

Hi Carl. I don’t take it that way at all.  The purpose of these articles is to be a question and answer format and that is what you did.  I did a live radio show last year from the athletic offices.  It was co-hosted by Shelley Appelbaum the associate athletic director (she was and is awesome) and based on all the email the show was a very big hit.  I told the Olympic sports folks that I would help them any way I could to keep engaged and let me know what is going on.  Coach Rensing (again based on the fans calls, comments, and emails) has already built an incredible following and has helped build and maintain that relationship.  I am in no way implying I don’t like Coach Saxton, I do.

 

Hondo, you wrote something in your column that I can’t get out of my mind.  Not a good thing as an attorney who is supposed to be thinking about other things so please help me digest what you said.  In your column you talked about some sports being “propped up” and that’s causing some issues.  What do you mean and why would that be?  Cliff

Great question Cliff.  What I meant is that there are some sports that are targeted for promotion.  If you were to look at the level of interest based on promotion it would be disproportionate.  For example, football is the cash cow at MSU.   The money rolls in from that program winning or not.  Right now they are riding a wave of success.  You could spend tens of millions promoting football and they would be worthy of it simply from an economics standpoint.  They don’t need to spend anywhere close to proportionately with football as some other sports.  One example would be women’s basketball.  There has been MORE THAN ONE non-revenue sport coach at MSU who has been frustrated with how much is spent promoting that program when they do not produce, nor in some eyes ever can profit.  That is what I mean by being propped up.  Now I agree with Mark Hollis that having a strong women’s program in basketball can reap benefits beyond just dollars and cents.  Whether or not I agree with him is irrelevant.  That is the direction the University will go and wants to.  That is why volleyball, as I mentioned above, has to step it up winning.  They can’t keep hovering around a .500 season.  Will it make money at MSU?  No way, but it does have a big enough following, and the potential for a bigger following to be significant on the landscape of women’s sports at MSU.  They want more notoriety from women’s sports and after basketball, volleyball is the next logical sport in which to get it from.

OK everyone, there you go, our weekly general MSU athletics Q and A article.  We will continue them every Tuesday morning so if you have a question (not about basketball or football) here is a simple way to get it here.  For this week only we moved the general MSU athletic column to Friday and we will have the basketball Q and A this evening.  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!