Sports with Bob McFlurry
I’ve been watching the Cleveland Cavaliers courting of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for the last week or two. It may be a surprise to you that I’m not most interested in whether he accepts the job and stays on to coach Lebron James. I am most interested in whether or not in the near future Michigan State is brought up on some sort of NCAA violations/sanctions. With high profile coaches like John Calipari and Pete Carroll leaving their programs for other jobs right before they were brought up (publicly) on NCAA sanctions it makes me wonder if Izzo might have some of the same motivation to relocate.
I do not have any proof of anything and I am not accusing Tom Izzo of any wrongdoing, however, it seems weird that after all this time at Michigan State that he might to opt for a pro coaching gig. Money I guess would be one factor, change of scenery may be another, but there are so many “don’t do it” reasons to stay put in the college ranks where you are (hopefully) comfortable and successful. NBA players aren’t always “coachable”, they don’t necessarily need to listen to the coach to stay on the team and you are stuck with these players until their contracts expire or are traded. In the NCAA I think Izzo more or less looks to reload talent every couple of years, things stay fresh and the kids are looking to win a championship, hustle and play well enough and desperate enough to get drafted. There is obviously a higher level of motivation for the average NCAA player to work hard than the average NBA player who already signed a multi-year contract.
I wish the best for Tom Izzo, if he wants to jump to the pro’s for a position he wants he’s allowed to do so. I just hope it’s not a decision resulting from a pending investigation into NCAA allegations. I don’t think it’s just coincidence that John Callipari and Pete Carroll walked away from their positions right before being sanctioned and because of that we can’t know if Izzo to the Cav’s is any different unless we don’t hear anything in the next year or so.