Mariucci whispers getting louder at MSU

Rumors and now published reports have the Spartans very interested in former University of California, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions head coach Steve Mariucci.

EAST LANSING - Unless John L. Smith can steer the Michigan State football team out of its nosedive, expect the Spartans to be looking for a new pilot at the end of the season.

Rumors and now published reports have the Spartans very interested in former University of California, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions head coach Steve Mariucci.

Who could blame them?

Prior to heading to Detroit, Mariucci was a proven winner on both the collegiate and professional level. He possesses a charismatic, charming personality and piercing blue eyes sure to make him a winner in recruit's living rooms all over the country.

His close personal friendship with MSU head basketball coach Tom Izzo make him a natural fit for a Spartans program that needs someone who'll stay put long enough to build a winner. The two could form a dynamic duo that could power MSU back to the top of the collegiate sporting world.

Still, even if Michigan State wanted Mariucci and he wanted Michigan State, there are some hurdles that would have to be overcome before a marriage between the two parties could be consummated.

***Can Athletic Director Ron Mason convince the a segment of influential MSU alumni that Mariucci is the right guy for the program?

Some of them are sure to want an "MSU" man - someone who attended the University to run the program. Others will want a hot name like Rutgers' Greg Schiano, Miami's Randy Shannon, Texas Tech's Mike Leach, Michigan's Ron English or Idaho's Dennis Erickson.

***Would Mariucci assure the University that he would stay in place for at least five years?

That's about the time he would need to put the Spartans back in the thick of the Big Ten race and make them a consensus top-25 team.

***Agreement on an exit plan:

The last thing MSU can afford is to alienate Tom Izzo, one of the premiere basketball coaches in all the nation. If Mariucci didn't work out or if he wanted to leave to go elsewhere, all parties need to agree ahead of time on a concrete exit plan. There can be no messy divorce between the two and Izzo would need to sign off on the deal to ensure he stays happy and put in the Breslin Center.

***Is Mariucci really ready to get back into the recruiting game?

If he is, he'd likely be a great salesman for State, able to stem the tide of players who give East Lansing a cursory look before heading to Ann Arbor and Columbus. But recruiting is hard work and takes a relentless approach. Is he ready to take the plunge?

Michigan State and Steve Mariucci could be great together, but only if all the conditions are right, the "t's" and crossed and the "i's" are dotted.

Does MSU have what it takes to bring together a dynamic duo of Izzo and Mariucci? Wouldn't it be nice to find out?


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