There is no "I" in team when it comes to Michigan State - integrity
But my point is, regardless of what happens Saturday, it's wrong, and has put an unnecessary scarlet letter on this season, which has otherwise been a source of great pride, and the university as a whole.
Rucker didn't go to jail for his DUI. He went to jail for violating his probation. He is a really good player, but clearly put himself ahead of the team. And the "team" apparently feels that is fine. It's utterly amazing Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said it is Rucker's decision whether he wants to play Saturday.
Sorry to be skeptical, but I doubt it would be the case if Rucker weren't a very good player. Same with running back Glenn Winston getting re-instated to the team so early after his release from jail last year. The Spartans needed a power back, and Winston did perform well until he was injured, but ultimately the short-term gain wasn't worth the long-term pain. Remember Rather Hall?
Same here. The message sent is that at Michigan State, football players can do whatever they want off the field - and still be able to play. Jail time? It's just like an injury. If you're a good enough player, it's out of jail garb and into a green and white uniform.
Where's athletic director Mark Hollis on this? Basketball coach Tom Izzo and Dantonio are his bosses, not the other way around. Doesn't mater what it says on the university employment structure. University president Lou Anna K Simon? Same thing. She has about as much control of the school's football and basketball programs as the librarian. They should have stepped in here, but they wouldn't dare.
There is clearly a lack of institutional control at Michigan State University in regard to its revenue-producing athletic programs.
So while the Spartans may win Saturday at Iowa, the decision to bring back Rucker is setting up the university to lose something much more important than a football game.
- I must admit, I was surprised the Lions-Redskins game Sunday fell so far short of a sellout. The economy is obviously still tight, but people went to the Tigers' games this past summer in good numbers, and the Red Wings are drawing OK. There are no other home football games this week among the Big Three football entities in this state. Michigan and Michigan State are on the road. Maybe it's the Halloween factor. Perhaps it's that people aren't buying into the Lions just yet. I do feel bad for the TV blackout. This is a game people, I would think, would want to see. And I believe this a game the Lions are going to win.
- I think the Rangers will win the next two games in Texas to even the World Series. I bet the Giants win when the series returns to San Francisco. I see the home team winning the first six games in the series - and a Game 7.
- Poetic justice: The Giants winning the World Series after Barry Bonds retires.
- In the no excuse department: Piston coach John Kuester not playing lottery pick Greg Monroe in the season-opener Wednesday at New Jersey. We'll see if it is different tonight.