Badger Bits: Gary Andersen embraces the media

USA TODAY Sports

What a guy. Andersen has seemingly embraced the media by opening up an above-average number of practices and scrimmages. Shockingly, Barry Alvarez isn't as fond of the idea.

Andy Baggot: Media access marks huge difference in Gary Andersen era | The Wisconsin State Journal

In today's episode of Gary Andersen: Man of the People, we learn that there really is something behind Andersen's opening of practices and scrimmages to the public, and most notably for this story, the media. He believes the openness fosters a sense of community around the program:

Alvarez said he never made his views known to Andersen, who clearly has a different take. He opened practices at Utah State to the fans in part because he wanted a sense of community. Media coverage helped cultivate that feeling.

"I'm not that paranoid," Andersen said.

Indeed, and that's nice to hear. Andersen also tentatively plans to open a portion of in-season Tuesday practices to the media.

There's really no issue here, as Alvarez even said he's not going to encroach on something that falls under Andersen's preview. This story is, nevertheless, an interesting take on coverage in the new media era, or whatever we're calling this.

Wolken Across America Stop 7: Wisconsin | USA Today

This is a great national preview/take on the Badgers' upcoming season. While it touches on an issue I personally thought was behind us -- the assistant pay "disparity" Bret Bielema cited as a reason for his jumping ship -- I thought it was nice to step back from our local, day-to-day-coverage and see what the rest of the country recognizes in Wisconsin.

Here's the choice quote, but do yourself a favor, too, because the story's not just on this issue and Jared Abbrederis, Andersen himself and Alvarez share some other interesting quotes as well.

"I've got to tell you," said athletics director and longtime Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, who groomed Bielema to be his replacement, "and I'm not saying this negatively because Bret did a good job for us, but I haven't had one person say, 'Well, it's too bad Bret left' or 'We were sorry to see Bret leave' or 'Couldn't you have paid the assistants more money to keep him?' Not one."

Badgers football notes: Gary Andersen stresses desire to get Tanner McEvoy on field | Wisconsin State Journal

Jake covered this fully in his scrimmage recap from last night, but it appears McEvoy will have to find his way on to the field through our routes than quarterback. Perhaps he'll have special packages drawn up for him -- not a terrible longshot -- though it's more likely he'll get some reps at wide receiver.

"Another man you look at and say, where is Tanner going to fit in this whole piece?" Andersen said. "Tanner's a great athlete. He'll fit somewhere on the offense at some point as far as being involved, maybe as a package as a quarterback (and) getting out there at wide receiver. We're going to use the best kids."

Bo Ryan's Badgers set to face Indiana twice on ESPN | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I really can't wrap my mind around the presence of hoops sorta lying just around the corner, though this is pretty cool. Wisconsin will play ESPN twice as part of the "Super Tuesday" package. The first game comes 6 p.m. CT Jan. 14 at Indiana, with the second slated for 8 p.m. Feb. 25 in Madison.

Also, don't miss Phil's previews of this week's Canaidan exhibition series -- sounds like he's even putting together some nifty infographics.

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