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Archive for Friday, November 9, 2001

Spartans open wallets to Izzo

November 9, 2001

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— Michigan State has created a private fund aimed at enticing Tom Izzo to remain as Spartans basketball coach and discouraging him from jumping to the pros for five more years.

"This was not something Tom had sought, frankly," said Michigan State president Peter McPherson. "The bonus is a direct reflection of the spectacular record we've already seen during the Izzo era here."

The fund could bring Izzo an additional $4.9 million if he stays on through the 2005-2006 season. It consists of a $3.4 million bonus and five yearly payments of $300,000, the university said Wednesday.

Izzo's fund depends on the strength of the market, said Terry Denbow, a spokesman for the university.

"There is some risk," Denbow said Thursday. "It could go down, too."

The school said Izzo will get the bonus and annual payments, and the money from investing them, in 2006 if he remains Michigan State coach.

The 46-year-old Izzo already is one of college basketball's highest-paid coaches, earning $1.2 million last year. The new contract raises his pay to $1.3 million this year, before the bonuses.

"As I often have said, I want Spartan basketball to be recognized consistently as an elite program in every way," said Izzo, whose NCAA tournament winning percentage of .842 is the highest among active coaches. "We have improved on a great basketball tradition.

"This university has been great to me and my family, and with this new contract, (wife) Lupe and I will look to additional ways we can support the MSU mission."

During Izzo's six seasons as coach, the basketball program has generated significant revenue and national recognition for Michigan State.

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