If ever the Spartans needed a strong unifying voice to keep all sides on board, its right now. MSU president Lou Anna Simon appears to the point person atop the search and also appears to have tapped associate athletic director Mark Hollis to head up the interview process.
It appears the current athletic director Ron Mason, who in his first major move in the post, settled on Smith will not be a major part of the search. MSU suffered a very public black eye when ESPN learned that Smith, who was coaching the Louisville Cardinals in the GMAC bowl had agreed to take the Michigan State job during halftime of the game.
Making matters worse, Smith received an unprecedented six-year deal for $6.5 million per season annually, tops among Big Ten coaches after losing his first choice, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, to Cincinnati.
At the time, Smith stated the job was like a dream come true for him. "Michigan State-Michigan, Michigan State-Notre Dame, Michigan State-Ohio State — for me, this is like a dream come true," Smith said.
But the dream turned into a nightmare as Smith never beat either Michigan or Ohio State and the final nail in Smith's coffin appears to be the come-from-behind loss to Notre Dame in week four of the season.
Sources have told GoSpartans.net that Michigan State begun negotiations to oust Smith over a week ago and at that time, made feelers to former Spartans quarterback and current Miami Dolphins assistant head coach Charlie Baggett about taking over the program, but were rebuffed.
Baggett apparently didn't want to seriously interview for the job because of his concerns over infighting among the various factions that have characterized Michigan State football since the early 80's.
Let's hope MSU gets its act together and hires the right person this time around.