April 4th, 2012 12:09 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Mississippi State
Tags: Bill Self, Mississippi State, Rick Ray, SEC
Regardless of how you spin it — “We’ve got a lot of private dollars!” — Mississippi State traditionally has the smallest athletics budget in the cash-happy SEC. Yes, smaller than Vanderbilt’s.
So while many State fans thought their school had enough history to interest a “name” coach — it does — a tough location to recruit to and money were also big factors.
Mississippi State AD Scott Stricklin new this. The idea that State went after up-and-comers, first-year coaches and assistants that most fans had never heard of simply because Stricklin enjoys rolling the dice is ridiculous. If Stricklin could have landed Bill Self instead of Rick Ray, you can bet he would have.
Former MSU AD Greg Byrne — who Stricklin consulted with during his most recent search — told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal the following:
“You’re not going to outspend Kentucky for a basketball coach. And at the same time, too, you need to find somebody that fits well at Mississippi State.”
We all may find that Ray is the perfect fit for Starkville. But please stop with the emails suggesting Stricklin and State chose Ray because they were looking for “upside.” They were looking for a man with upside… who they could afford. It’s no coincidence that Ray will make about half-a-million bucks less than Stansbury did per year.
There’s nothing wrong with admitting that.
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