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Michigan State’s Tom Izzo on coaching contracts, transfer rules

Tom Izzo spoke at the Monday Morning Quarterback Club down in Birmingham, AL, on Monday, where he did an impressive job of eloquently and intelligently speaking about some of the more controversial topics in college sports without saying much of note.

That’s what we like to call coach-speak.

What was interesting, however, was that Izzo admitted that, at times, he feels guilty for getting his $3 million salary while the players that help him earn it don’t cash in as much.

“Yeah, I have [felt guilty],” he said. “There was a time I said to my wife, ‘It’s almost ridiculous.’ But then there are the problems you have to deal with. I used to think I made too much. Now, I think I don’t make enough because the social media added so many significant problems. There’s a price to pay for being a coach. It usually affects your families, your kids, your health. I definitely think there’s double standards on that. We make more money.”

He’s got a point. Being a college basketball coach is not exactly a glorious lifestyle. The travel can only be defined as grueling. July may as well be wiped off the calendar. Road trips, night games and media responsibilities make missing a family dinner a common occurrence. Local celebrity makes going out to eat a tough thing to do.

They’re well-compensated, but that’s because it’s a difficult, stressful job.

That’s not the only topic that Izzo spoke on, either, as he chimed in on transfer rules and the fact that coaches can leave for any job at any time.

“Maybe that should be stricter, too, if you want the truth,” Izzo said. “I don’t move much so that’s easy for me to say. But I don’t think we can harp on one rule and not abide by the same one. ... [But] if a coach leaves, I have a couple-million dollar buyout. There’s some penalty to pay.”

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