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Michigan State could one day play in Greece

Posted on: December 30, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 1:43 pm
 
By Matt Norlander

Michigan State's Mark Hollis (right) is considered one of the most forward-thinking athletic directors there is. He was the brains behind the Carrier Classic, and now because it was such a bloody brilliant success, we'll have two teams play on an aircrafter carrier every season for the forseeable future.

He's tangibly added great things to college sports.

Hollis isn't done coloring outside college basketball's lines. He's on to his next dream: sending Michigan State to play overseas. Greece, specifically. You know, Spartans and all. Greece. Yeah, Greece!

Michigan State adventuring out to Attica ties in with the Big Ten-Pac-12 relationship, which became official earlier this week. Hollis particularly wants Trojans vs. Spartans, USC vs. Michigan State, in Athens.

Are you not entertained by the possibility?

"We've been talking about Greece for a while," Hollis told the Lansing State-Journal, because of course he's been "talking about Greece." When you're Mark Hollis, you do not talk about Evanston, Ill., or West Lafayette, Ind. You talk about Greece. You talk about aircraft carriers. I'm sure Reykjavik is in some other equation. Hollis wants the game at Panathinaiko Stadium, which is too small for a football game, but suited for hoops, especially on TV.

More from the Lansing State-Journal:
Along with the basketball game in Greece, Hollis has other ideas for games and venues. He's thinking about basketball games in the Rose Bowl and Dodger Stadium. He has thought about having multiple basketball games going on at once, perhaps in a venue such as Ford Field -- and perhaps with the Big Ten Network providing coverage one game, the Pac-12 Network another and CBS another.

The TV portion of the partnership will provide "more inventory," Hollis said, and that should mean more money for both conferences.

Mulitple games at once inside a venue seems like a catastrophe, but everything else, sure, why not? The Greek game would have to be the first of the year, obviously, since so much travel and time and production would be involved. It'd be something, though. It might even surpass the Carrier Classic's cosmetic appeal, which seems impossible.

But Mark Hollis looks at the impossible and then eats it for breakfast.

Photo: AP
Comments

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2012 5:53 pm
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

Gotta love MSU hoops attitude. Anybody, anywhere, anytime..... Wish more teams would do this.

Yes, it would be nice but not everyone can afford this line of thinking. Out of all the Div I schools in the country, a very small percentage of them can have this attitude and get away with it.  



Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:26 pm
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

It took you four paragraphs to 'explain' why Michigan State is less than relevant. Protesting a little too much?

I think it must have been a rough decade for you 'Michigan Men'...I'm actually glad your teams are turning it around. You've been emabarrassing yourselves for too long now.



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:55 am
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

Gotta love MSU hoops attitude.  Anybody, anywhere, anytime...... Wish more teams would do this.



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:54 am
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

Gotta love MSU hoops attitude.  Anybody, anywhere, anytime...... Wish more teams would do this.



Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2012 7:56 pm
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

Wonder what Izzo thinks about this gimmicky stuff? I mean it does give the program exposure for recruiting, but generally has to be a pain in the ass. Plus, despite MSU's success over the years they usually ended up losing these games, so USC might be good opponent (since they suck).



Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2012 7:00 pm
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

Money talks and the NBA needs change.  Stern is out soon.  Hollis is a candidate for sure...



Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:40 pm
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

The aircraft carrier game was inspiring because it was unique and it helps inspire our military forces.

Having a game in Greece just because the teams nicknames are Trojans and Spartans is just stupid. Maybe the Alabama Crimson Tide should play the Tulane Green Wave in the ocean.



Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:25 pm
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

Teres Minor, how is Michigan football nationally post World War II? What's the matter, you guys had a lock on national recruiting starting your program before everyone else. But recently 31-32 vs OSU, less national titles than MSU, not the winngest program.  

Now, we get to see how good of a program Michigan really is.  Are they as "great" as the media has made them out to be?



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 1:47 pm
 

Michigan State still less than relevant

For about twelve years, Michigan State had the fertile recruiting state of Michigan virtually to itself.  All Tom Izzo had to do was waltz into a recruit's living room, look at the recruit's parents, say "Fab Five Scandal," and walk out with a commitment.  Now that Michigan's coach, John Beilein, has chaired the NCAA ethics committee, Izzo actually has to work at getting instate recruits now.  The results are beginning to show.  
 
MSU had about a 12-year window to win the NCAA tournament.  Even though Izzo had a lock on instate recruiting for the entire period, he has as many National Championships as Steve Fisher did after six games: one.  When you add the Wonders Hall Cover-up into the equation, along with the emerging reputation of the MSU athletic department as a haven for thugs and criminals, Tom Izzo's job has gotten a lot harder over the last couple of years.  
 
Then, of course, there was his Cavalier Indulgence  a year and a half ago.  When you put it all together, Izzo's program is on the way down.  He lost the locker room last year, and the jury is still out whether his players will listen to him over the grind of a Big Ten schedule.  Izzo's teams were known for toughness and ability to work through adversity, but his team pretty much quit on him last year.
 
Consequently, anything that Hollis can do to grow the Spartan brand and put some of the spotlight on the school instead of on Tom Izzo is a sound strategy.   The next two years are very important ones in East Lansing.  Now, we get to see how good of a coach Tom Izzo really is.  Is he as "great" as the media has made him out to be?  Or is he just Jud Heathcoate v2: a decent coach who stumbled into a goldmine for twelve years?
 
Time will tell. 



Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:15 am
 

Michigan State could one day play in Greece

Love the concept.  I just don't know if its best for a student athlete to travel all that way for 1 game.  Its as if noone cares that most of these kids will have to make money doing something other than playing basketball when they graduate.  I guess travelling abroad is good for a student, but not for 2-3 days.  Its a glorified vacation.  If the did it in late December I guess it could work.  In any event, Hollis will make it work.

O well. 


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