Stansbury Couldn’t Walk Away from MSU

Yes, Rick Stansbury had a chance to become Clemson’s new basketball coach. But once he considered everything, he just couldn’t do it.

“It’s nice maybe to have been wanted, it’s nice to have heard some people talk about things, but at the end of the day, there was no way I could walk away from Mississippi State,” Stansbury said to reporters this afternoon in a press conference. “It wasn’t about money; it wasn’t about money at Mississippi State. I’m coming back not expecting no raise.”

Outgoing MSU AD Greg Byrne said at the end of the fiscal year, he will sit down and try to get Stansbury’s contract extended back to the maximum four years. There will apparently be no raise. “We’re on the same page with that,” Byrne said.

Stansbury declined to divulge details of Clemson’s offer or the negotiations, but the timeline went like this: Clemson first contacted him Thursday evening, then AD Terry Don Phillips and the leader of the search, Bill D’Andrea, interviewed Stansbury on Saturday afternoon near Atlanta. Clemson began negotiating with Stansbury’s agent that night.

Stansbury consulted Florida coach Billy Donovan, and his wife, Meo, before finally realizing this morning that he couldn’t see himself getting on a plane to Clemson.

“When another team called, I owed it to my family to listen,” Stansbury said. “And that’s what we did. Through this process, though, by listening and learning, it helped me realize again how special a place Mississippi State is and how special an opportunity we have here and how good these people have been to us. And that’s something that no money and time we’ve invested here can change.”

Stansbury said Donovan asked him, “Rick, are you comfortable, and are you happy?” Stansbury told reporters, “There was no question about either one of those. … We’re happy, and we’re very comfortable as a family.”

Stansbury’s wife and three sons were present at the presser.

There were reports that Stansbury’s buyout got in the way of the two sides striking a deal. He suggested otherwise.

“I can say they made it very intriguing, very intriguing. But wehen it came right down to it, leaving Mississippi State, couldn’t do it.”

Stansbury has a record of 255-140 and has taken MSU to the NCAA tournament six times. He’s never made it past the second round. This past season, MSU went 24-12, won the Western Division, and lost to North Carolina in the second round of the NIT.