Over the course of the past several weeks you've noticed fellow writers here at For Whom the Cowbell Tolls Justin R. Sutton and The Croom Diaries argue back and forth the pros and cons of the enigma that is MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury. While each side has done a fantastic job representing both sides of the argument, I myself feel the need to chime in a bit on the subject.
One argument that I've seen FOR keeping Rick Stansbury as the head men's basketball coach at Mississippi State is that "we couldn't do any better anyways." Many feel that we're lucky to have a coach such as Stansbury, being the smallest SEC budget and one of the smallest budgets in the entire southeast (of major colleges). But I feel this is simply an excuse conjured up by the same masses that said we should simply promote Tommy Raffo in-house because we couldn't do any better than that; the same people who said we should keep Larry Templeton and that he was doing all he could. Let me tell you this: that is the attitude that keeps Mississippi State athletics from advancing and improving itself.When people generally say we couldn't do better than Rick Stansbury as basketball coach, they mean that we cannot afford financially to go out and get a coach who can do more to improve the men's basketball program than Rick has done. That, my friends, is horse crap. College basketball is a vast world that features many young, talented and hungry coaches. Finding the right coach for your program isn't always easy, but it IS possible. And the money aspect? Well I can guarantee you that an up-and-coming coach at Wichita State or Creighton or VCU or another small school isn't making what he'd be paid at MSU, even as the poorest SEC school budget wise. Even if you get a young coach and he becomes successful and leaves for a bigger school after 4-5 years at MSU, isn't it better to have had him for those 4-5 years and have been successful enough for someone else to want him than to have retained a mediocre coach?
My point is this: If you're for Stansbury as MSU's coach, be for him because you believe he is the best person to lead MSU to success in basketball. Don 't hang your hat on the "we couldn't do any better than him" excuse, because any AD or fan with half a brain can see right through that lie. No I'm not saying State could go out tomorrow and hire Thad Matta or Jim Boehiem. I mean that there are a lot of young and talented coaches out there who would love to take over a program such as ours if that is the direction that our administration chooses to take. We shouldn't just keep Stans because he's the best we can do. Life is too short for settling simply because we have the mindset of "the best we can do"-'s.