Bret Bielema on The Dan Patrick Show

Barry Alvarez did it yesterday and on Friday, it was Bret Bielema's turn on The Dan Patrick Show.

You can find the audio of the interview here, as well as a quick write-up of some of the more notable quotes.

Patrick's show is phenomenal for a great number of reasons, but I particularly enjoy his interviews for the substance they provide. After replaying a clip from Alvarez' interview on Thursday, Patrick gets right into it with Bielema -- no "Hey, howya doin'?" or unnecessary banter back and forth. And Patrick doesn't seek out to rip Bielema to shreds, either. He's fair, asks the questions we're all wondering and doesn't let any weak answers slide.

The whole thing's about 12 minutes, and I encourage you to listen. Here are some highlights:

  • Bielema said this in his introductory press conference and reiterated it to Patrick: the pay for assistant coaches is a huge reason why he left Wisconsin for Arkansas. Bielema said his salary increase with the Hogs isn't huge -- around $400,000 -- but the salary pool he has to pay assistant coaches "almost doubled." Without specifying where, Bielema said "in some areas," the increase in assistant pay jumped 2 1/2 times.
  • Alvarez confirmed Bielema had only a $1 million buyout in his press conference on Thursday, and Bielema told Patrick that his new buyout with Arkansas is an "absurd number" that no one would pay. That fit in with the thread of loyalty (or lack thereof) that Patrick was pushing hard, likely in an attempt to appeal to the common college football fan. He posted the question, if we expect loyalty from our student athletes, what about the coaches? Fantastic point that's probably a sort Million Dollar Question that won't ever be solved, but Bielema made clear to agree with him at every step of the way. Bielema said a few times that he's not going anywhere anytime soon and that he'll be keeping his name out of any head coaching rumors. We'll see down the road if that pans out.
  • Among the Alvarez sound bites that Patrick replayed was the one where Wisconsin's AD said he's "fine" with Bielema leaving. Understandably, Alvarez didn't like it initially. But business is business, and you've heard that so many times before. After hearing the bite, Bielema said he took the job so abruptly because he knew how persuasive Alvarez can be. "One of the things that I know about him is that he's persuasive, a guy that can get you to do things," Bielema said. "I knew that if I got to a point where I wanted this job, I needed to take it before I could get to him."
  • On a similar note, Bielema detailed how he informed Wisconsin's 115 players, calling it the hardest thing he's had to do in his life. "I did it face to face," Bielema said. "I did it in a room where I know other coaches have taken other venues."
  • When asked, Bielema said he'd "absolutely" like to see Wisconsin and Arkansas scheduled to play each other. "Out of respect. ... It would be really fun for both fan bases."
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