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The Ishbia and MSU connection.

Let's just call him the $7.7 billion dollar Spartan shall we?

  • Mat Ishbia is the president and CEO of Michigan-based mortgage lender United Wholesale Mortgage--now UWM Holdings, founded by his father Jeff in 1986.
  • Mat joined the firm in 2003 after graduating from Michigan State and became the CEO in 2013. (Forbes)

He's a former Spartan athlete (basketball, walk-on with Tom Izzo) in addition to being a donor and supporter of Spartan athletics.

Ishbia is also a principal donor/funder behind Coach Mel Tucker's contract extension.

The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday afternoon, citing MSU sports podcast "Inside the Locker Room" and unnamed university sources, that mortgage mogul Mat Ishbia and marketing executive Steve St. Andre are the funders for a proposed 10-year, $95-million contract extension for Tucker, who's in his second year coaching MSU's football team. (Crain's Detroit)

How is Mat Ishbia possibly tied to or interested in the Lions?

There is a podcast on Yahoo! Sports called the College Football Enquirer. In this particular episode with the link HERE, at about the 2:12 mark, one of the hosts by the name of Pete Thamel starts talking about Ishbia and Mel Tucker. Then he spirals off into this.

"In Mat Ishbia, their 41-year-old multibillionaire, former basketball player, they (MSU) have a guy who, quite honestly, I believe would like to buy the Detroit Lions but can't because the Ford family won't sell it. So what's the next best thing if you can't get into the NFL at this age — is effectively own a college football team." (Yahoo! Sports College Football Enquirer Podcast)

As they say on the court tv shows: OBJECTION! Calls for speculation.

And Thamel doesn't cite sources so it could all be just that.

HOWEVER.

We know Ishbia is worth $7.7 Billion.

According to Forbes Magazine, the Detroit Lions are the 30th most valuable franchise in the NFL.

They are valued at $2.4 billion, with an operating income of -$22 million. (si.com)

He could certainly afford it. The only thing standing in his way would be the Fords and their stubbornness reluctance to sell the team.

Let's see how they feel if we have another winless season.

And if one more of you speaks up and mentions that tie against Pittsburgh, I'm taking you out back and we're gonna tussle over semantics.

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