Friday, July 29, 2011

Bielema talks about the NCAA rules


Speaking Thursday at the Big Ten's media days in Chicago, UW head coach Bret Bielema more than chimed in on the recent NCAA investigations involving allegations of major violations at several noted programs, most prominently the Big Ten's own Ohio State.
Bielema took a hard stance against flagrant disregard for the rules throughout the offseason and showed no change of heart Thursday morning. While dancing around questions involving specific programs, Bielema managed to sneak subtle commentary on the situation into seemingly every one of his answers throughout the 15 minute question and answer session.
Beyond the issues involving specific violations and legal technicalities, Bielema expressed a true displeasure for the lack of integrity he and many others have begun to associate with the college football community. Describing the recruiting of Badger transfer quarterback Russel Wilson, Bielema noted that he could not have much contact with the former NC State starter "because of NCAA rules, which we follow".
Bielema's subtle commentary continued throughout his time on the podium. In seemingly every answer, the sixth year coach made a point of the belief that the integrity of a program is fully within the control and responsibilities of the head coach.
"I can control, handle, and manage the things on my desk," Bielema said. "When you are consciously abusing an NCAA rule, there's no excuse for that."
The problem with today's game, as the Wisconsin coach pointed out, is not the technicalities the pervade NCAA regulations, but rather with the flagrant disregard with compliance with the rules. Coaches across the country have shown a willingness to consciously choose the "competitive" solution, rather than sticking to the rules when it comes to recruiting, practice, and player "compensation."
While Wisconsin's insistence on doing things the right way may have taken them out of the running for the nation's top recruits Bielema has managed to turn UWs' clean program image into a positive recruiting tool.
It is good to see how Wisconsin athletics work.  GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Media thinks the Badgers are #1 in the Big Ten


The University of Wisconsin football team was the overwhelming choice to win the Big Ten Conference’s Leaders Division in a media poll released on Monday.
But given the media’s track record at picking the conference race, that might not be a good thing for the Badgers.
The poll had Nebraska, the Big Ten’s newest member, winning the Legends Division. The Cornhuskers also received one more vote than the Badgers to win the conference’s first championship game.
The writers also picked UW’s Bret Bielema as the top coach in the conference in a close vote, with Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz second.
The Big Ten used to put out a preseason media poll, selecting the top three teams and players of the year on offense and defense. It was released on the first day of the kickoff event in Chicago, which begins on Thursday.
At the request of the league’s coaches, the Big Ten did away with the preseason poll this year and will only release a watch list of 10 players, selected by the media.
So, the Cleveland Plain Dealer put together its own poll, using two newspaper reporters that cover each of the 12 teams in the league. The voters in Wisconsin were Tom Mulhern of the State Journal and Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
UW received 22 of 24 first-place votes in the Leaders, with second-place Ohio State and third-place Penn State each receiving one vote.
Nebraska received 19 of 24 first-place votes in the Legends, with second-place Michigan State getting four. Fourth-place Michigan got one first-place vote.
Let's hope they are right.  GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is Russell Wilson the missing link?


Right about now, new Badger quarterback Russell Wilson is pouring over playbooks, learning the language of UW’s offense and working out in anticipation of one of the most buzzed-about seasons in recent program history.
One way or another, Wilson is making some sort of adjustment for this upcoming season.
There’s no doubt Wilson has a fair amount of work ahead of him, but he’s not the only one who’s going to have to adjust. Wisconsin football will have to adapt to having a mobile quarterback.
After two years of creating strong pockets for former quarterback Scott Tolzien, the offensive line — as well as the rest of the offense — will have to be ready any time Wilson feels the need to roll out of the pocket to create a better opportunity to advance the ball or just get a clearer view down the field.
Wilson is hypothetically the piece that was missing for what could be one of the most talented football teams Wisconsin has seen in a long time. But just as he has to get used to a new system, team and town, the Badgers have to get used to him as a leader and what he can bring to the field.
I am predicting a BCS game for sure.  GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Hockey League is Taking Shape


Another major shakeup is on the horizon for NCAA men's college hockey.
Four months after it was announced that the Big Ten Conference would sponsor the sport starting in 2013-14, an affiliation that includes the University of Wisconsin, multiple reports Thursday say another league will debut in that same time frame.
In a story first reported by the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, five Western Collegiate Hockey Association schools will join forces with Miami (Ohio) out of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association to form a new partnership.
Citing unnamed sources, the Herald said Colorado College, Denver, defending NCAA champion Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota are leaving the WCHA, which has existed since 1951 and produced 37 national champions.
It's possible that Notre Dame and Western Michigan also could join the new league, which is expected to be officially unveiled next week in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The development comes in the heels of the Big Ten's announcement in March that UW and Minnesota from the WCHA and Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State from the CCHA would hook up with Penn State to form a new league.
Thanks to an $88 million gift from billionaire alum Terry Pegula, Penn State is introducing men's and women's hockey in 2012-13, giving the Big Ten the six members on the men's side needed for NCAA sanctioning.
Such a mass exodus - seven teams leaving the WCHA, six leaving the CCHA - would leave the two established conferences with five members apiece, which isn't enough to maintain NCAA sanctioning. It's expected that they would join forces in some fashion.  
It will be interesting to see how things shake out.  GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Barry is going to get paid


University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has a new five-year contract that will keep him among the highest-paid at his position in the nation.
Alvarez signed an extension in February that will carry through to Jan. 31, 2016.
He will receive $1 million in annual compensation starting in 2011-12, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the financial details must be approved by the UW Board of Regents at their meeting July 14 and 15.
"I feel good about it," Alvarez said Wednesday.
The only other NCAA athletic directors reported to earn $1 million or more in annual compensation are Jeremy Foley at Florida ($1.2 million) and Gene Smith at Ohio State ($1 million).
The new deal calls for Alvarez to get $500,000 in base salary from UW Athletics and $500,000 from private gift funds held at the UW Foundation. He will receive $25,000 bumps in subsequent years provided he receives a satisfactory performance evaluation.
Regents also will consider new compensation upgrades for UW men's basketball coach Bo Ryan and women's hockey coach Mark Johnson.
Alvarez's previous contract, which went into effect in 2008 and was supposed to run through 2013, included $500,000 from UW Athletics, $250,000 from private gift funds and annual increases of $25,000. His overall compensation package in 2010-11 was $825,000.
Alvarez, 64, just completed his fifth school year as full-time AD. The Hall of Fame football coach of the Badgers from 1990 to 2005 held down both jobs for two years before turning the program over to Bret Bielema in 2006.
Multiple priorities have been fulfilled during Alvarez's tenure, including an annual operating budget in the black, having 23 sports nationally competitive and no major NCAA rules violations.
A cross-section of athletic department administrators, athletic board members, faculty, alumni association officials and alums did an evaluation of Alvarez's performance late last year and submitted it to UW Chancellor Biddy Martin.
"I think he's very careful to run an operation that has integrity and also is as efficient as possible," Martin said of Alvarez. "He's ensures that the students have a great experience. He's accessible to the community more broadly. And he's highly regarded for his ability not only to win, but to do so with his own particular style."
Let's hope he can continue to put Bucky Badger on the top of the heap.  GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!