Barry Alvarez awarded $400,000 in the form of exceptional achievement bonuses to UW coaches during this past season. To some, this could be considered controversial news because of the current economic state the country finds itself in. But Alvarez assures us that these bonuses are needed to stay competitive because many other athletic departments give out achievement bonuses as well.
Some of the notable bonus amounts: Bo Ryan received $50,000 for taking the basketball team to a 2nd round NCAA Tournament exit, and Bret Bielema also received $50,000 for UW football's 10-3 finish and win over Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl. Mike Eaves only got $23,601 for taking the hockey team to the national championship game. Surprisingly, Lisa Stone got almost as much as Eaves ($19,680) for taking women's basketball to the NCAA Tournament and losing the first game. I bet even if Wisconsin had defeated Boston College in the hockey NC game, Eaves's bonus would still be much lower than Ryan's and Bielema's.The Badgers will need a big season out of kicker Philip Welch, the guy with the longest field goal in Camp Randall Stadium history. His goals are to be first-team all Big Ten and finish in the top 3 for the Lou Groza Award.
Jon Leuer might have the opportunity to pack Kevin Durant's stuff this week. Leuer is the second Badger in history to be selected to play for a USA Select basketball team (Sam Okey is the first).
Tweet of the day:
"Dream Big, Work Hard: It means nothing to merely say it, you must live it on a daily basis. Its more than a motto, its a lifestyle. #DBWH" - Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, explaining what the hashtag he commonly uses on Twitter stands for. Personally, I prefer to dream hard and work big.
Wisconsin's 2010 nonconference schedule is ranked the 4th toughest in the Big Ten, according to Matt Hayes of The Sporting News. But he also calls Austin Peay at Wisconsin the worst nonconference game for a Big Ten team this upcoming season. Understandable, considering Austin Peay has never played a FBS team before in its history. These rankings seemed to reward teams who scheduled multiple decent games over one big game. Most other rankings I've seen put Penn State's schedule as tougher than Wisconsin's because the Nittany Lions play Alabama on the road.
Former Wisconsin basketball standout and current NBA star Devin Harris was back in Madison on Wednesday, hosting 100 area kids for a behind the scenes field trip of athletics at UW-Madison. Great to see Devin back in Madison and great to see him spending time with the area youth.
Final random thought: There have been a lot of allegations of improper relationships between player agents and NCAA football players recently. Knock on wood, but it's always great to see Wisconsin left out of these discussions. You've got to credit Wisconsin athletes for staying out of trouble, as well as the athletic department for keeping them informed of what they can and can't do.