For Michigan State basketball fans, we find ourselves getting caught up in the mid summer of Tom Izzo's career. Every summer it seems there are rumors of Coach Izzo leaving, but it turns out that this summer those rumors had teeth, very big teeth, in the form of Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Tom Izzo is being heavily courted by Gilbert and the Cavaliers to be their next coach. Gilbert is an MSU graduate and is very excited about the possibility of bringing Coach Izzo into the fold. Generally, he has laughed off NBA rumors and stated his allegiance to Michigan State. However, this summer he has officially flown down to entertain the offer.
After giving us six final four appearances and a NCAA Championship, Izzo certainly has earned the right to decide his own future without being accused by the fan base of chasing the money. As a competitive guy, the challenge of coaching at the highest level of basketball, and working with athletes already at their peak (vs. athletes who are still learning), would be very interesting, and a challenge worthy of consideration.
Perhaps the only people he owes an explanation to if he does leave are the players he recruited to come play for him this fall.
That said, he still has the desire to bring this university another NCAA Championship, and good reason to stay here—stability, mentoring bright young players, and, lets face it, East Lansing is a definitely a step up from Cleveland.
Personally, as a fan, I really want Coach Izzo to stay. He has been a classy and very successful coach. Heck, he even got this Canadian hockey fanatic excited about college basketball (no small fee). Not only has he been successful on the court, but he runs a tight ship off the court.
He enforces a personal code of conduct for his players and has a graduation rate of 84 percent.
Quite frankly, to those who accuse him of trying to leverage this coaching opportunity into getting more money from MSU... I say all the power to him. This university has been stingy and mean in virtually every way, they deserve to be jerked around a bit, and he is the man to do it.
When you have a young family involved, and are weighing the pros and cons professionally and personally, it is quite understandable that it will take time to come to a decision. The system in place is pretty strong, and provided he doesn't take everyone (coaching staff) with him, MSU can withstand the indecision and still be successful for at least the next year or so.
There does come a point where taking too much time becomes selfish and the instability is not good for the morale of the players and fans. However, I believe that point has not yet arrived and hope he makes a decision before that point is reached.