Nearly a year after the Aug. 1, 2012, attack that left Montee Ball with a concussion, the final suspect is in custody. Karlis D. Griffin is the last of four men charged in the case to be arrested, and was brought into custody last week in Chicago. Per the criminal complaint, Griffin stomped on Ball's head while Robert Wilks, 22, kicked Ball in his ribs. Ball fell to the ground after being punched by Wendell Venerable, 22.
Wilks and Venerable pleaded guilty to felony battery and were placed in a first offenders program, as was Deonte Wilson, 22, who pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. Griffin, however, has a previous felony battery conviction in Wisconsin.
Obviously the situation was frightening for Ball, but he certainly seems to have overcome it -- he was selected in the second round of April's NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and has been pegged as a favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
After Sean Frazier was passed over for Julie Hermann in Rutgers' much-publicized athletic director search, it appeared Wisconsin's deputy athletic director would return to Madison. But on Tuesday, Northern Illinois announced it hard hired Frazier to head its athletic department as associate vice president and athletic director.
As the State Journal points out, Alvarez is now tasked with filling the void in his inner circle, though that's no new task for him. Frazier was the fourth deputy on Alvarez; Jamie Pollard, Shawn Eichorst and Doug Beard were the other three.
"I've been fortunate," Alvarez said. "I've been able to hire good people. I've taken different routes in how I've retooled the staff.
"I'll take a look at everything. The important thing is just to make sure everybody has duties and responsibilities that they feel comfortable with and are confident in. That if we do bring someone else in, that they're someone who understands what we're all about and is a good fit and a good administrator."
Frazier came to UW in 2007 and became Alvarez's deputy in 2011 -- his "top lieutenant," according to the State Journal. Didn't realize we were talking Mafiosos here. Overseeing the department's day-to-day operations and primarily overseeing the football and men's and women's hockey programs, Frazier was also a liaison to the UW foundation, the chancellor's office, the Big Ten and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
I'm not quite sure what sort of "legacies" deputy athletic directors leave -- Pollard left for the head job at Iowa State, while Eichorst is now the top dog at Nebraska after a very brief stint at Miami and Beard unexpectedly passed away in 2007.
I've seen little reaction to Frazier's departure, which I suppose speaks to his successful tenure at Wisconsin and his reputation for being a well-respected administrator. Tom Oates of the State Journal did have this tweet below to add to the mix, and I suppose they're valid points. I'd be curious to hear anyone's thoughts in the comments.
Legacy for ex-deputy AD Sean Frazier at UW: Zero respect for tradition with things like WCHA affiliation, WIAA state tourneys. #Badgers— Tom Oates (@TomOatesWSJ) July 17, 2013
Real talk: why in the world are soda options at Camp Randall going from Coke products to Dr. Pepper? Personally, I enjoy both sodas -- sparingly, of course, mom -- but how's that supposed to "improve the fan experience" or whatever?
Surely it's about the dollars, and we should find out more later today after the nine-person executive committee of the UW Board of Regents decides on a proposal for Wisconsin athletics to sign a multiyear agreement with Learfield Levy Foodservice, LLC. The agreement is for five years with five optional one-year extensions, and commissions of $24 million over the full 10 years are projected. That total includes $1.75 million toward capital improvements within the first three years.
The deal will bring "modernized concessions stand aesthetics and digital components" to Camp Randall Stadium. The Kohl Center, Field House, LaBahn Arena and Goodman Diamond are also obviously the primary athletic facilities on campus, though it's unclear what sort of upgrades they'll receive.
We discussed this pivotal transition last month, but it'll be interesting to see if we witness any tangible differences aside from the soda selections come fall.