Among all the fun comments from Tom Izzo on why he decided to stay at Michigan State, and how happy all the administrators at Michigan State are that Izzo did not run off with an NBA mistress, came this interesting thread.
Izzo didn’t like the media coverage.
He said the coverage of this was hard on his family. Check out this quote from Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon:
“Unfortunately during this period of time, rumors became stories and Tweets became facts. It was quite amusing if it didn’t happen to you.”
Let’s be blunt — Izzo and pretty much everyone involved not named LeBron handled this poorly.
There was a complete misunderstanding by seemingly everyone involved in the courtship of how today’s media is going to work, the immediacy of it in a world of twitter, and how people react to news when they are emotionally invested in something. And you want people to be emotionally invested in Michigan State Basketball. You want them to be passionate. This is part of that package.
True, this is a far more invasive media and one that will nationally put out news instantly with few filters. Go ahead and have a debate about whether that is good or not. That’s a fine academic discussion. You don’t have to like it — you can long for the days when Babe Ruth can be a total bastard and the media will cover it all up and paint him as a fun-loving, good hearted guy. Wish for it all you want.
That is not reality anymore. And you have to deal with reality.
That might involve being a little more subtle in your attempts to get information on LeBron rather than calling everybody you know in the game. That might involve the university releasing a statement and speaking some on the issue. It might involve giving the press something to fill the vacuum besides the seemingly countless people in and around Michigan State Basketball who were willing to talk on this issue off the record. Yes, there were a lot of people calling and prying, but there were also a lot of people talking.
Other NBA teams and colleges have handled coaching searches more professionally and quietly. Maybe give them a call and ask for advice. It can be done. There are always now going to be some leaks and rumors, but you can choose to handle this well, or not.
You did not. You drew the process out over a week in the public eye. Blame the media all you want, but you have to deal with this reality.
Or, you know, just make a quicker decision.