Christmas Eve State Sports Briefs: Bielema says he never pressured UW assistants to join him at ArkansasWisconsin Sports
-- Ex-University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema said he never pressured three Badger assistants to quickly decide whether to take job offers to join Bielema at Arkansas.
MADISON - Ex-University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema said he never pressured three Badger assistants to quickly decide whether to take job offers to join Bielema at Arkansas.
Six of Bielema’s former assistants in Madison took new jobs before Gary Andersen was hired last week as the new head coach. That bothered Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who said some of the assistants were only given 24 hours to act on their job offers before they would be withdrawn. Bielema said during the weekend that he never put that kind of pressure on defensive coordinator Chris Ash, defensive line coach Charlie Partridge, or strength coach Ben Herbert. Bielema said he knew that the assistants’ jobs were not guaranteed under a new coach – so they had no choice but to make fast decisions on their own. Bielema also told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he regretted the sudden way he left the UW, telling Alvarez he was gone while both were in New York. Both men said they have not talked to each other since Dec. 4, when Bielema resigned. Alvarez said he disagreed at how some things were handled but quote, “I’m way past that right now.” He said he’s focusing on next week’s Rose Bowl, and helping Andersen build a staff and recruiting. When asked if he’d schedule a game against Arkansas, Alvarez said, “Ah, no.”
The UW-Milwaukee women's basketball team blew an 11-point halftime lead yesterday, and lost at North Dakota State 60-48. The Panthers only made 6-of-30 shots in the second half, when they scored 14 points – and they shot just 29-percent for the game. The Bison went on a 21-2 run to open the second half. It put N.D. State up by 12, and they never looked back. Milwaukee was out-rebounded 46-37. Dani DeGagne had 16 points and nine boards for North Dakota State, which improved to 4-8. Angela Rodriguez scored 16 for UWM, which dropped to 4-7. The Panthers will host Drake on Saturday.
University of Wisconsin men's hockey defenseman Jake McCabe will be the captain for Team USA at this World Junior Championship which starts right after Christmas in Russia. McCabe, a sophomore from Eau Claire, is the third Badger in three years to captain the U.S. squad. Last year, John Ramage led the Americans to the bronze medal -- and former Wisconsin star Derek Stepan captained the 2010 U.S. team to a gold medal. Team USA will play its first game on Thursday against Germany. The tournament runs through Jan. 5.