The Time Has Come for Michigan State To Step Up and Act Like They’re Elite!

Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits. Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.

The landscape of college football has changed forever.  Like it or not, college football is a big multimillion dollar business and it requires updated facilities, a big coaching payroll, top-notch recruits and a rabid fan base willing to spend money.  MSU has not always had everything it has needed to compete on an elite level, but resources are finally starting to reach the level of the “big-boys.”


The Clara Bell Smith Center along with the Daugherty Building renovations give MSU a huge campus presence that helps recruit and maintain top level player and coaching talent.  MSU’s commitment to football has really paid off giving MSU a national reputation as a football destination.  The fan base has wanted this for more than forty years and the Dantonio era has proven MSU can play and compete nationally at an elite level.


Consistency is the key.  Much of what Dantonio has been able to accomplish at MSU has been the result of a good formula that revolves around consistency.  Mark has been able to maintain his staff.  He has been able to fill the cupboard with strong regional talent recruiting both Michigan and Ohio.   When Mike Tressel or Harlon Barnett show up at your high school you know they are there to represent Michigan State.  They are Michigan State for so many high school recruits and coaches.  This is how kids like Jerel Worthy, William Gholston and Kirk Cousins end up in East Lansing competing and ultimately winning championships.


The events surrounding defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi have the Spartan Nation all revved up.  Pat is arguably the most important person on the MSU staff outside of Mark Dantonio.  When it comes to the campus pecking order, Izzo is still clearly #1, Dantonio is #1B and Narduzzi is right behind them.  Nobody brings more tenacity and cohesion to the Spartan players than Pat Narduzzi.


The Spartan Nation has spoken.  Fans from all over the country called the MSU switchboard, e-mailed trustees and voiced their opinions on message boards when it became known that MSU’s prime time defensive coordinator was looking at other programs.  That’s what happens when you’re good; other coaches come calling.  Make no mistake about it; Narduzzi is good.  His defense and energy have had a direct impact turning MSU from a forgotten “little brother” and into the brute-force tramatic green giant that has bested the Wolverines four years in a row.


While Michigan celebrates their Sugar Bowl win, complete with signs reading “Spartan tears taste sweet as sugar,” the Narduzzi story is the biggest thing happening this off-season in Michigan football.  The MSU defense returns everybody, but Pickelman, Worthy and Robinson with more than enough talent to fill every hole.  The man in charge of those Spartan Dawgs is trying to make enough money to set himself and his family up for life so he can do what he does best, unleash a hellish storm on anyone stupid enough to think they’ll protect their quarterback.


The football program has been held hostage by poor administrative decisions for years.  Nothing has unveiled the administration’s lack of economic sense and leadership quite like the Pat Narduzzi situation.


Sure the Narduzzi situation is about money, but it is also about respect.  Wanting to bring his salary to 300K was a joke that was exposed when A & M came calling.  It is irresponsible, foolish and frankly disrespectful.


The administration loves that our Spartans have gone to five straight bowl games.  It makes the  money roll in.  I guess the administration thinks it is time for Michigan to finally win one.  After all, the four years of Wolverine beatings couldn’t have generated any merchandise sales or helped fill the stadium.  They must think that 300 pound men that run 4.8 forties are just going to arrive at the Daugherty Building and simply say… “plug me in.”


No, this is the result of a cohesive staff that believes in one another, doesn’t take short-cuts and recruits the type of men that can win football games, be good students, be community servants and will ultimately fill the stadium and win championships.  What was the administration thinking?  Mark Hollis must be set free from the bureaucrats.  As long as Hollis has a department that wins and makes money leave him alone.


Even if they pay Narduzzi what he is worth, the fact that it took this long to make it happen is unforgivable.  He would have never gotten on a plane Wednesday and flown to College Station with his wife had they done the right thing.  Why must it reach crisis mode.  Why must it become thousands of phone calls and e-mails before they act?  Hondo has been writing and Tweeting for over a year about the pay situation.


No, Pat isn’t going to be the annual PC award winner at MSU.  Last I checked that wasn’t his job.  It is his job to go out, fire up his kids and get them ready for “60 minutes of unnecessary roughness.”  Agree with his verbal eloquence or not, Narduzzi makes that hungry bunch of green giants ferocious and you can bet your bippy (or the farm for us CANR grads) that a certain QB wearing a winged helmet will fear the green giant when MSU rolls into Ann Arbor next season.  This is what Narduzzi is paid to do.  He is paid to win games.  The last time I checked, his Spartan defense has been responsible for winning quite a few of them.

Thanks to the help of the fans that e-mailed and called, Michigan State is going to step up and make a very competitive offer to Narduzzi.  You have spoken.  Let’s hope it doesn’t take this type of effort again to make MSU do what is right.  We are all sick of it.

I took Econ 210 while at MSU.  I can proudly say that I received a 2.5 in this particular course attending the lecture about 60% of the time.  Needless to say, I am not some world-renowned economist.  I do know enough about basic economics and what makes an enterprise profitable enough to know that Narduzzi should have been paid long ago.  Why can’t an administration, charged with running a multimillion-dollar public university, seem to understand basic economics?

About Mike the Governor Henne

View all posts by Mike the Governor Henne
Mike THE GOVERNOR Henne is a senior writer for Spartan Nation across all of the platforms. You can read and see him on a regular basis. He is incredibly connected to the MSU community and is well respected in the State of Michigan agricultural community. He resides in the Washington D.C. region.

8 Responses to “The Time Has Come for Michigan State To Step Up and Act Like They’re Elite!” Subscribe

  1. Jim P January 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Excellent Article and I could not agree with you more. As Izzo says, MSU is a football school and football is what brings in the top $$$. State has more than enough resources to pay Narduzzi and the rest of the staff exactly what each is worth and I hope they do. It would send a horrible message to any incoming coach or player that MSU will not compete with they big boys when it comes to spending $$$ on its program. Here is an idea, instead of spending $8 million on a new scoreboard, spend $6mm and pay the staff what they are worth.

  2. JJ January 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Pat Narduzzi just named Texas A&M Defensive Coordinator per multiple sources.

  3. John Johnson January 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Just informed, Pat Narduzzi will be the new DC and Assistan Head Coach at Texas A&M University.

    • JARTAN77 January 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

      Browsing the TexAgs website, JJ is an Aggie fan, linking this back there for a great many laughs. Ignore him – JARTAN, ’77

  4. Paul Raymond January 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Pat Narduzzi was reached for comment, only said he wished Michigan would have hired him years ago as he always wished he was a Wolverine and was getting tired of wearing green.

  5. Justin January 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Which are what sources?

  6. Phil January 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    What sources? All of them.

  7. john a January 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    yes, Paul. That’s credible. PS, perhaps if he would have went to U of M, you could win some games against us.