Spartan football: committed to success

11-07-2006

Last Wednesday, we announced that head football coach John L. Smith will not be returning next season. We determined that new leadership is required after very careful and thorough analysis of our expectations, our direction, and our current potential to have a sustained nationally competitive football program. As I have told friends and supporters of our University and our athletics programs, all of us—the MSU administration, the Board of Trustees, and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics—are committed to a football program that is built on the right values and that has a sustained record of success for individual student-athletes and for the team.

We intend to complete the search process as well as we can and as soon as we can. We are fully aware of the effect of timing on our ability to hire a new head coach, to recruit student-athletes and assistant coaches, and on other aspects of our program. But due diligence requires us to be thorough, consultative, and rigorous. Our primary challenge is to hire the best possible leader for Michigan State University’s football program.

The integrity of the process requires that we focus on the search and selection without publicly reacting to rumors or news reports from near or far. We recognize that others might have motivations for publicly expressing opinions or suggesting candidates. But I will not comment on potential candidates, nor will others close to the search, until a selection has been made.

As we prepare to move forward, it is important to the program, and most especially to our student-athletes, that we visibly and vocally support the Spartan team and coaches during this period of transition. I hope that you will attend the Minnesota game this Saturday and join us in saluting the seniors who will be playing their final game in Spartan Stadium. Please wear your green and white as a visible indicator of support for the present players and coaches as well as for the traditions of Spartan football, both historically and those yet to be made.

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