While Michigan State is riding high after their hard-fought victory over Tennessee winning 70 – 69 in the Elite 8 Midwest bracket to reach the Final Four, it only took less than 24 hours before a team had to taint Sparty’s big celebration.
As Tom Izzo was doing an interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, she gave him a live update and let him know that Oregon was preparing an offer to make him the highest paid coach in college basketball history.
Tom Izzo responded by saying that if he doesn’t comment it looks bad and if he does comment it looks bad. He said that he had not been contacted by the University of Oregon, but he was happy where he was at.
This could simply just be a scheme for Oregon to let people know that they are serious about their program and want to land a big name coach even if it’s not Tom Izzo.
On the flip side, the timing is absolutely awful. Oregon must be thinking Tom Izzo is going to pull a Brian Kelly and resign from the team right before the biggest moment of the season.
This stunt is comparable to 2007 when the University of Michigan tried to land LSU’s head football coach Les Miles right before the BCS National Championship game, the biggest moment of the season. If they had just waited, they may have had a realistic chance. Couldn’t Oregon have waited 10 days to ask?
Just last week, St. John’s University offered legendary Florida coach Billy Donovan a higher salary at $3 million a year and he turned it down. Legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was offered a large contract a few years back by the Los Angeles Lakers, which he eventually turned down.
Izzo has no reason to leave MSU for Oregon just as Donovan and Coach K had no reason to leave their programs. The money would be bigger, but when you can already buy everything you already need, the presence of a great program takes front stage. Why leave a Top 10 program to go to a Top 50 program?
6 Final Fours in 12 years is nothing short than amazing and speaks volumes for Tom Izzo and the whole nation has their eyes open. The only other thing missing from his coaching resume is one more national championship – at Michigan State.