I am not writing this because I don't like Rick Stansbury. I"m doing it because I love Mississippi State. As an alumni of MSU, I want the best for it. And I believe a change in the basketball program would be best right now.
To be brief, Larry Templeton kept Mississippi State athletics in the black, and that was his one and only goal. He was not a bad athletic director, but he was not a real good one either. He limited our potential, but many people thought he was doing a great job because they underestimated themselves, they underestimated MSU. Greg Byrne and Scott Stricklin have since come in and proven Mississippi State can do great things. I'm not saying LT didn't do anything good, he was much better than his predecessors, but he squandered a lot of potential.
Displaying Larry Templeton values is allowing good to be the enemy of great. It's settling for acceptable when you should be striving for exceptional. It's being happy with a 'C' when you are smart enough to get an 'A'.
Mississippi is a great place. I grew up outside the state of Mississippi, and I can vouch that outsiders view the state as a bunch of rednecks who live in trailer parks. That's fine I say, let them say what they will, we know it isn't true. But the problem I see is allowing their misconceptions influence Mississippian's self-view. Believe me, Mississippi has just as much to offer as any other state in the south. Areas of Madison and Flowood are as nice as any I have seen, and I've been and lived in many areas of the southeast. I would argue that Mississippi is greater because of the exceptional quality of people who live in the state...you don't find good folks like that everywhere.
So, I don't agree with all this 'small-budget', 'we're not as good' attitude. That is Larry Templeton thinking. That is the mindset my generation is trying to overcome, and I think we're going a good job so far. Led by Dr. Keenum, Stricklin, Mullen, etc., MSU is achieving some of the great things we've always been capable of, but we held ourselves back for so long.
So many Stansbury apologists talk about how he has kept us 'good'. That's like how LT kept us in the black. Great job, way to go, nice job going par for the course.
Mississippi State doesn't have to settle for good. We can be great. It's funny how the same people who fight for Stansbury were fighting for Croom 3+ years ago. But we hired Dan Mullen and we've won three straight Egg Bowls and two straight bowl games (much better than Croom would've ever done).
LT never thought 'out of the box'. $6.1 million jumbotron? Not with LT. Football only practice facility, stadium expansion? Not with LT. He never heard of fund-raising, he just sat back and hoped a big donation would come in while he operated within the budget.
A team that competes night in and night out? Not with Stans. Goals that are more than 9-7 in the SEC? Not with Stans. Recruiting players that will stay on campus? Not with Stans.
Mississippi State is a great program. We are in the SEC, we have the facilities, the fans, everything you need to succeed. There is no reason to accept mediocrity. There is no reason for good enough to define our existence. There is no reason for Rick Stansbury to be the coach of Mississippi State next year.