The Michigan State athletic department has been the subject of significant turmoil, stemming from the Larry Nassar scandal, allegations of sexual assault in the football and men’s basketball programs, and other issues. With the recent resignation of Bill Beekman, the school remains without an athletic director, a role some wanted basketball coach Tom Izzo to take.
According to the Detroit Free Press, a group of trustees at the university approached Izzo to take on the interim AD role, until the school could fill the role full time. Izzo had reportedly agreed to do so, while making it clear that he still plans to coach the men’s basketball program for the foreseeable future.
Michigan State president Samuel Stanley has other thoughts, though. Per the paper, he has blocked the appointment of Izzo to the interim role.
“The major roadblock to that is Stanley, who has nixed that plan and hopes to present a candidate for athletic director to the board, possibly as early as next week,” Chris Solari reports. “Sources say Stanley does not want to appoint an interim athletic director and has not actively involved the trustees, Izzo or football coach Mel Tucker in the search process.”
Michigan State president blocks Tom Izzo as interim athletic director https://t.co/T8kMOg6B6n
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) August 20, 2021
One of the most popular names for the job: former Michigan State and NFL defensive back Alan Haller. He has worked at Michigan State since retiring from the NFL, and was promoted to Associate Athletics Director in 2010. He has the endorsement of some influential former Spartans players.
Players from the @MSU_Football 1965-66 national championship teams, including quarterback Jimmy Raye and team captain Clinton Jones, have endorsed on a video Alan Haller as the school's next AD. https://t.co/PfHTZTAEAW
— Tom Shanahan (@Shanny4055) August 20, 2021
While Tom Izzo does not plan on following in the footsteps of contemporaries like Roy Williams, who retired this offseason, and Mike Krzyzewski, who is set to coach his final season in 2021-22, he has expressed interest at moving into the Michigan State administration when he’s done.
“If I really, really, really thought about what I want to do, I want to get this whole place back on track. Because we’re not,” he said in June. “I’d like to get football back up there, I’d like to get some of these other sports back up there, I’d like to get our athletic department back. And I’d like to get our university to where we can go out and say, ‘Hey, we are good.’”
As of now, he’s holding off on those potential plans for a while.