Mere hours after a media tour to explain why he had rejected overtures from Michigan State to remain as Colorado’s football coach, Mel Tucker reversed course Tuesday night and reached an agreement to leave Boulder after just one season and head to East Lansing.
The machinations of the move aren’t terribly difficult to figure out. According to a report in The Athletic, Michigan State will “more than double” Tucker’s guaranteed salary of $2.4 million and will give him significantly more resources to build his staff than he had at Colorado. For anyone in coaching, that’s a significant bump in pay. For someone who went 5-7 in his only season as a head coach, it’s an opportunity you can’t turn down.
Though the optics of Tucker’s sudden change of heart are awkward at best, it would be silly to criticize him for being disloyal. As one coach who recently got a mind-blowing contract told me, you might only have real leverage in these situations a few times in your life so you better take advantage. As Michigan State’s search for Mark Dantonio’s replacement became increasingly desperate, Tucker had it and used it. Good for him.