Spartan coaches deserve respect, not demeaning chants from students
This year, Spartan football fans have been treated to lackluster performances by our offense.
Passes have been dropped, blocks have been missed and runs have been stopped too soon. It was only against FCS team Youngstown State that we had our offense in motion.
This is nothing new.
Last year, despite a brand-new (read: inexperienced) receiver corps, we came within 13 points of winning five Big Ten games against excellent offenses and stifling Big Ten defenses. Our defense was in the top five in the nation. We only sent a few players to the NFL, but that is because we had so many first-time starters, sophomores and juniors playing.
In every home game this year, cries of “We want Terry!” have come from the student section. In a majority of games, at least two quarterbacks have seen playing time. In every game, the student section has shown gross disrespect to the team, to the coaching staff in general and to head coach Mark Dantonio specifically.
We are not experts in coaching, staffing or play-calling. We are not even “back-seat drivers” because we are nowhere close to having a “driver’s license” in football.
Dantonio has seen the spark of greatness in true freshman quarterback Damion Terry but has chosen to redshirt him to give him another year to bulk up, improve his game and prepare to be the future face of our offense.
The greatest damage that could be done to Spartan football is the waste of such a promising talent as Terry.
He is less than half a year out of high school, inexperienced outside of practice and a fundamentally risky variable.
Imagine if you were a month into your university studies, still learning your way around campus, and then suddenly tossed in front of 70,000 screaming fans and told to lead an offense against a determined and experienced foe.
Imagine the gnashing of teeth among the Spartan faithful if Dantonio rolled the dice, tossed in the “highly mobile” Terry and he was either a flop or (far worse), got a season- or career-ending injury.
Dantonio has led our team to fantastic years since he became head coach. He has brought us two consecutive bowl game victories, as well as a school-record six consecutive post-season appearances, including a Big Ten championship in 2010 and within inches (or less, if you are not a fan of the roughing-the-kicker call) of a repeat performance in 2011.
We beat Michigan for four years running and held its “elite” offense to a pitiful 12-10 score last year at the Big House. We won in every dimension of the game against Notre Dame, and had it not been for some highly questionable refereeing, we would have won that game as well.
Nobody is arguing that Dantonio is a perfect tactician for inserting senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell (whose gameplay on the last drive I call into question), but Dantonio has been brilliant during his entire tenure here.
He deserves our respect in this issue, and in so many other issues as well.
I want Terry, too, but I want him to be ready for four years of starting at MSU, not burnt out or injured to please some discontented fans.
Start Terry next year; I trust Dantonio to start whomever is ready this year.
Sasha Chemey, chemistry and political theory and constitutional democracy junior