Report: Campus culture at Michigan State deterred Luke Fickell from taking job
Luke Fickell’s decision to turn down the head coaching job at Michigan State was based on more than just poor timing. According to a report from Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press, the culture on the campus in East Lansing played a role, too.
Per the report, Fickell and his wife, Amy, had some concerns about the campus culture at Michigan State. That includes the ongoing lawsuit against the football program and head coach Mark Dantonio.
Michigan State reportedly did its best to alleviate and address those concerns, sending senior women’s administrator and senior associate athletic director for compliance Jennifer Smith to meet with Fickell and his wife. In the end, however, it wasn’t enough to convince Fickell to take the job with the Spartans.
Plenty of controversy has swarmed the Michigan State campus, dating back to the Larry Nassar scandal. In that case, Michigan State administrators were accused of covering up knowledge of sexual assaults on gymnasts. Later, it was also reported by ESPN that athletes from the men’s basketball team and football team had been accused of sexual assaults, as well.
Fickell became another of a group of major college football coaches to either deny interest in or turn down an opportunity to become the next head football coach at Michigan State. Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Colorado’s Mel Tucker all have denied interest or withdrew their names from candidacy.
Dantonio resigned last Tuesday, just one day before the National Signing Day.