Michigan State, one of Michigan football’s top rivals, finally has a new head coach in Mel Tucker. Here’s why that’s both good and bad.
Admittedly, it was sort of fun for Michigan football fans to watch Michigan State struggle to find a head coach, however, it all came to an end late Tuesday night as the Spartans hired Mel Tucker.
Yes, the same Mel Tucker that turned down Michigan State just a day or so prior to that, but hey, that’s how things work in college sports. It usually only takes a boatload of money for a coach to change his mind and that’s exactly what did it for Tucker, who was offered twice as much to take over for Mark Dantonio at Michigan State.
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic was the first to report. And essentially, it all comes down to the fact that Michigan State offered Tucker, fresh off a 5-7 campaign in his first season at Colorado, double what he makes in Boulder to lead MSU. So naturally, he accepted.
Mel Tucker began his coaching career at #MichiganState on Nick Saban’s staff in the late 90s and now will be returning home to the Big Ten… How this unfolded is a prime example of the growing financial gap of resources between the BigTen/SEC and the rest of college football. https://t.co/hPnCn8bUmg
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 12, 2020
It’s easy to criticize Tucker but it’s hard to blame him. The job is probably better at least Michigan State has had more success recently and if anyone offered to double your salary, it’d be tough to say no.
But in the world of college football recruiting, you have to believe Tucker’s reputation is going to take a hit and his opponents will use that against him.
While I am flattered to be considered for the HC job @MSU_football, I am committed to @CUBuffsFootball for #TheBuild of our program, its great athletes, coaches & supporters. #UnfinishedBusiness #GoBuffs
— Mel Tucker (@Coach_mtucker) February 8, 2020
No matter how you slice it, it’s a bad look and it’s another example of everything wrong with college sports. Coaches can leave whenever they want to chase money, but players can’t even transfer freely. Give me a break.
Beyond that, it’s a solid hire for Michigan State, although Luke Fickell or someone like that would have been much better or just someone who didn’t turn the job down, only to take accept it two days later.
Tucker has all the experience you would want and he even spent time coaching at Michigan State and Ohio State, so he knows the Big Ten. He’s a solid recruiter and he fits the mold of what Michigan State wants in a head coach.
A good football guy who is sort of dishonest. That was Dantonio. Now it’s Mel Tucker.