Hear the Conversation 10:50 – 6.2 mb mp3
“I felt good about Michigan State, and I thought there was a really great opportunity here. And obviously it turned out good,” late and legendary Spartans hockey coach and athletic director Ron Mason told Russ White in one of his final interviews as athletics director in June of 2008.
In reflecting on his time at MSU, Mason says “we hung a lot of banners, and we were always in the thick of things; we did things right. If you follow the rules and do things right, as George Perles would say, good things will happen.
“I want to represent the university, the sport, our fans and donors in a positive way.”
Mason believes the game of hockey has become better over the years.
“It’s a freer skating game with more scoring chances, but the one big change in the game today is in the recruiting. Players and schools are committing to each other at a very early age. I don’t think that’s a very good trend.”
He says it was a hard decision, but a good one, to decide to be MSU’s athletic director and credits Clarence Underwood with turning over to him an athletic department on the upswing. And he’s proud of placing following-the-rules as a cornerstone of how he operated the department.
Mason was concerned about the “cost of doing business” in college athletics and the challenges he was about to turn over to Mark Hollis.
What it all came down to for AD Mason was “how we treat our student-athletes and the quality of the experience we provide them both in and out of the classroom.”
(photo: From Oakland Hillls Country Club on July 10, 2006 – left to right: Tom Izzo, Geroge Blaha, Ron Mason, Paul W. Smith, Lou Anna Simon, Russ White, Steve Courtney, Joanne P. McCallie)