Tom Izzo, arguably the best active college basketball coach, has been enticed by the Cleveland Cavaliers with a contract that would double his current salary from $3 million a year to $6 million. The big question is, as posed so rockingly by The Clash back in the 80's is, "Should he stay or should he go?"
There are thousands of news reports out right now trying to guess at what Tom will do. SpartanZone.com is here to tell you straight up, with absolute certainty he's staying in MSU for at least one more season and here are the five reasons why - read on...
FANS : There isn't a more loved coach in college sports anywhere. What Tom has built on so many levels brings people under the tent like no other coach. Calipari? Please. He would sell the tombstone to his Grandma's grave if the price was right. Coach K? A bit creepy for my taste. Roy Williams? Kind of like that uncle you sorta like but can never seem to get too close to. Spartan Fans will do anything for Tom, including second guess every substitution he makes. Simply put, they care. Start losing in Cleveland and those NBA fans will turn on a new coach like Piranha on a baby calf.
THE TEAM : Izzo has always preached undying commitment to each other and the team. What message would it send to his returning class of athletes to bolt just because of more money. When Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers and every other pro-ready player spoke with Tom in the past few moths about choosing whether or not they should stay or go, what do you think Tom said? One more year. We made it to the final in Detroit and one game away from that this year. Three is a charm. Walking away from the team that has the most talent, experience, cohesiveness and potential would not only kill his best chance for a second Title, it would scar every kid he has promised and preached undying commitment to for four years. Tom will not walk away from these kids. No way.
FAMILY : Simply put, why would someone uproot his family and young kids from all of their friends and schoolmates and move to Cleveland? There is no bigger reason as to why he won't go. Tearing a young kid out of their safety zone and established environment can have a huge effect on their psyche and development. For a man that puts family above everything, he won't let that happen.
HISTORY : No one wants to go out a loser. Though he's come close in the past two seasons, he has lost a Title game and a Final Four game. Being one of the most tenacious competitors and fighters in the cage, Tom has likely lost a lot of sleep over this and has an empty spot in his gut to match the one in the floor of the Spartan locker room that needs filling. The team he has practicing right now at MSU can fill that void. History teaches lessons also, and Tom is big on learning from our own and other mistakes. Does anybody remember Nick Saban? Just ask any Spartan what they think of him.
GREED (OR 100% LACK THEREOF) : Tom Izzo is not a greedy man, at least for money. Greedy for success, yes. Greedy for helping high school kids mature into successful young responsible men, guilty. Greedy for watching the faces of Michigan fans as they get another smackdown at Crisler arena by his warriors in Green, absolutely. The only reason Tom Izzo would leave MSU for Cleveland would be greed pure and simple. Greed for Green and not just the color of his Bike coaching shorts. $3 million a year in Okemos is like $10 million in Cleveland. Tom, what can you buy for $6 million that you can't buy for $3 million? Money would be the last thing to make him give up everything he has at MSU.
There you have it, SpartanZone.com's take on why Tom Izzo will stay at MSU. We think he will say he has a commitment to his Seniors next year, commit to at least one year and base any future move on the results of this year's season.
As they sort of say over at Nike, "Just Don't Do It".
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Scott Westerman, Executive Director of The MSU Alumni Association, just announced that Tom Izzo will be staying at MSU. He announced this to the Southwestern Michigan Alumni Club at their annual MSU Steak Cookout at around 7:20 PM. There was never any question. SpartyOn!