Before Tom Izzo became the ultimate "Will he be here or not?" guy in East Lansing, Spartans fans were chewing their fingernails over a much less drastic situation: Chris Allen's.
It was only ever just a rumor, but the rumor was this: Izzo was displeased with Allen over some unknown attitude-related concerns, and Allen, whether by choice or not, was considering a transfer away from Michigan State for his final year of eligibility. Izzo even made mention of the situation at a news conference in May, though he wouldn't name names:
“There is still one other player that’s up in the air and I have to make some tough decisions -- and I will -- and he’s got to make some tough decisions,” Izzo said. “So there might be one more coming or going. But to honest with you, that’s just the way it is right now. We should be able to make that decision in the next couple of days because we’ll do it before he leaves."
Since then, Izzo strongly considered a move to the Cleveland Cavaliers before eventually deciding to return to East Lansing. Given the hubbub, it was easy to forget about Allen's potential departure.
We're now two months from Izzo's vague proclamation, and Allen and the Spartans have yet to announce any sort of transfer. That's good sign No. 1. Good sign No. 2 is Allen's participation in the Lansing Moneyball Pro-Am League, a league comprised of current and former Spartans, among others. KJ at The Only Colors is calling Allen's registration in the league an "implicit good sign." If Allen was going to leave Michigan State this summer -- pursuing a transfer that would force him to sit out an entire year just to play out one final year of eligibility, always a long shot anyway -- that time would seem to have passed.
Izzo's 2010-11 roster is so talented and guard-laden rife with veterans that Allen's departure wouldn't have done much to damage the Spartans' chances at an NCAA title next season. But his staying makes Michigan State all the more formidable. Now Allen can spend the rest of his summer clawing his way out of Izzo's formidable doghouse. It's not an enviable task, but it probably beats taking a year off.