Answering Your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

Can William Gholston contain the edge?  Photo courtesy of Mark Dantonio. Can William Gholston contain the edge? Photo courtesy of Mark Dantonio.


Hondo, I am a long time season ticket holder.  I am so far beyond angry at Mark Dantonio for scheduling Furman to come to Spartan Stadium in 2016.  Can you give me one good reason why?  I am sick of the crap games against automatic wins while I keep getting asked for more and more money and MSU cries poor.  Rusty

Rusty, it is not my job to talk you out of or into being angry.  I will say that on the surface I don’t like it either.  On the surface being the key phrase there. I didn’t like it at first also. Let me explain.  MSU has a tough schedule that year.  They would already schedule for that game shall we politely call it an easier win with Alabama and Notre Dame on the slate for the non-conference.  So let’s assume they want a MAC team.  Well, most MAC teams now get paid $1,000,000 to travel and play MSU.  Let’s pick an easy win there and call it Ball State or UMASS.  If they schedule a Furman they may get them as low as $400,000-500,000.  MSU doesn’t have over 100,000 sold tickets each week like PSU, OSU and UM.  They can’t even sell our Spartan Stadium on senior day with a team that finished with 11 wins last year.  If they can save that additional money that comes with scheduling a Furman, that is a very big deal for Hollis and the MSU athletic department.  Do I like it?  No.  Do I understand it?  Yes.  With Notre Dame and Alabama in the non-conference and a BRUTAL B1G schedule MSU has to be prudent and as with all things it comes down to money.  I see your frustration, but raise your reality.  It makes sense upon further review.

 

Hondo, Coach D often refers to the importance of consistency and taking care ($) of coordinators and assistants.  I have heard that every coach and player gets a grade for every practice and game. How does coach D rank the results of these grades? What would he do if a coach consistently scores lower grades than the rest of the staff?  Tom

Mark Dantonio doesn’t fire staff.  He would for moral reasons, but not for coaching.  It is his philosophy as the head coach that he has to develop people.  I am going to talk to him next week not about specific coaches, but about the philosophy as a whole.  I agree with Coach that sustaining a staff over the long haul is important.  I also think that the loyalty of a head coach has to be reciprocated by a position coach who shares the same.  If someone doesn’t carry the weight then the program as a whole must be looked over.  I think you must in every way take care of your best assistants.  I also believe you don’t protect those that are not producing at a high level.

 

Hondo, could you share with us what happened with Arthur Ray?  You were emphatic he would not play long before anyone else picked up on it.  I have heard a lot, but no one has said anything.  Aaron

Yes Aaron, I am going to, but after the season.  This is about the 2012 season now, in the off season we dig in to the nuggets that are more on the side.

 

Hondo, I could care less if MSU wins the last three games.  To me a season of this much promise has been thrown away.  Is there anything good that can come of this season?  Deon

Well, of course there is.  It is not my job to be a therapist, but it is to tell the truth.  By the way you say three assuming a bowl, not a guaranteed assumption right now.  There is a big thing to look at.  When Mark Dantonio arrived this fan base would have went crazy for six wins and a bowl game.  He now has the ability to show that when this program has terrible seasons that the new “Bottom Floor” is seven or eight wins.  I think six wins or five makes this a very bad year.  They are still fighting for seven or eight and based upon pre-season expectations that would be disappointing, but clearly shows us how far the bar would have been raised.   I think that is a very big thing they are playing for.

 

Hondo, what is the problem with MSU fans staying home?  I just don’t get it.  We say that we want a great program and we boo our team and the stands are empty?  Jim in Perry

Jim, I think this is a great question.  When UM had their hard years with M Rod the stands were still packed.  When Nebraska went through the dark ages of Callahan they were full.  Last year, MSU on a season that ended with 11 wins wasn’t even close to full on the final game.  Not even close.  I know for a FACT that one recruit visiting that day for this 2013 class was told by another school that when he came to MSU, “Look how empty that place is and they are winning.”  I know because the recruit and his father were up here on a non-official visit and he told me that and the school that pointed it out to him.  I also had a recruit ask me about the booing.  You NEVER heard the booing in Nebraska and I went to several games in the lean times at UM and they weren’t either.  Let me point out one other thing.  With PSU, OSU, and UM each and every week they have nearly or more than 30,000 people in the stands.  That translates to either 1 million or 1 million + more dollars a game JUST in ticket sales; let alone all the ancillary money that comes in from those extra 30,000+ people on campus.  I get the frustration this season with the football results.  I have never gotten the attitude of some in the Spartan Nation.  I know times are tough economically, but when sold seats go unused it baffles me.  There is a lot more and I do think the MSU administrations many years of handling football and athletics like a political football have added to it, but that isn’t now.  That isn’t this team.  If someone has to make a choice between feeding a family and a MSU game there is no picking.  The unused student seats just floors me.

 

Hondo, does DeAnthony Arnett moving up the depth chart tell us something?  Dan

DeAnthony hasn’t moved one bit up the chart.  Not sure where you saw that.  He has consistently remained at the same spot.  I agree with coach that not red shirting him was a major mistake.

 

Hondo, do you think we will have any transfers after this season?  Would you like to share any names if so?  If you don’t want to say that, could you estimate whether it would be just one or more than one? Alex

Yes, no, and more than one. 

 

Hondo, what did you think of Andrew Maxwell’s comment about not caring about a bowl game because he has Jesus?  Why should we care and donate?  Sorry, I get the Jesus stuff, but how does that make his teammates feel?  How do you think it makes us donors feel?  Evan

Well, first I think you are mistaking his comments.  Here is what he said and the question:

Q. You discussed your faith and conviction. With all due respect to that though, is there any way you could consider this season a success without going to a bowl game?
ANDREW MAXWELL: Absolutely. Personally for me, I could consider it a success because the way I look at it, I’m lucky and blessed enough to still be playing this game at this level. I used to‑‑ when I first started playing football, the field we played on Saturday mornings at 8:00 o’clock in the outfield of the middle school baseball field.
Now I look, and we go to these places and I’m stretching and I don’t want to make it sound like I’m star struck. But I have a perspective of I’m blessed to play this game. I used to play in the baseball outfield, and now I’m playing in Spartan Stadium or up in Madison, all of these places I grew up watching on TV.
God put me in an awesome position here. I can go to bed at night and put my head on the pillow at the end of the season knowing I gave it my all, and our team gave it all. Chips fall where they may, bowl game, no bowl game, championship or no championship, I can be content because I have a scope and identity that’s bigger than all of this.

 

I can tell you that nowhere in that entire quote does Andrew say he doesn’t care.  I can tell you that I have known him for a LONG time and he does deeply care.  As far as his teammates, they buy into and respect him.  That quote won’t change it.  Had he made the quote you alleged that would have raised some eyebrows among his teammates. Did I like his comments?  I don’t think they were like or not like, I respected them.  Do I think he could have been better served to maybe have reworded it?  I sure do.  I also think that as a young man stepping in front of 60 media members and be thrown questions Andrew has done a good job representing the program with class and character.  Again, I would have worded it slightly, not a lot, but slightly differently, but I am old and have a massive amount of more communication experience than Andrew does.  Trust me, he cares and this has been tough on him.

 

 

OK everyone, there you go.  Our weekly Q/A article.  If you would like your email to be considered for this article, please add to the subject line Football Q/A.  Email me at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com

About Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.

View all posts by Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is the founder and publisher of SpartanNation.com and all of the family of services. The idea was birthed when overseas he ran into a Spartan not native to the United States who was wearing his Green and White proudly. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest information about Michigan State and Detroit Sports News every day. He resides in the Mid Michigan area. Follow Hondo on twitter here: @hondocarpenter.


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