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Bielema To Students: End The Chant

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Bret Bielema and Barry Alvarez have renewed their efforts to end the Wisconsin student section's call-and-response chant.
Bret Bielema and Barry Alvarez have renewed their efforts to end the Wisconsin student section's call-and-response chant.

MADISON, Wis. - Every year, Badger fans can expect controversy about the student section. Usually it's the age-old complaint about students showing up after kickoff, but this year the buzz is a little different. Wisconsin students received an email Thursday morning from head coach Bret Bielema and athletic director Barry Alvarez, asking the students to put an end to the infamous call-and-response chant. 

"I didn't know anything about it until I came here," Bielema said after practice Thursday. "Obviously during the game I don't know when it happens or doesn't happen."

But while Bielema may be focused on the game, he knows the chant isn't a positive thing. He mentioned the profanity-laced chant can even affect recruiting, and while he's never lost a recruit because of the chant, it certainly doesn't help him when it comes to dealing with parents of recruits. 

"The only thing is the negative part of it, obviously you don't want profanities," Bielema said. "But we've had to re-structure where we sit recruits at times. If you come into the stadium for the first time and you've never heard it, it's kind of shocking."

"It's not a positive thing. I get a lot of emails ... the ones that get me is when it's a parent that has a small child, and they have to explain what's being said, or try not to explain it. I can deal with recruiting - it doesn't help us." 

With another home game coming up Saturday, the athletic department will find out soon enough if the students took their request to heart. 

Injury Update

-- Kevin Zeitler, Brian Wozniak, and Jeff Duckworth practiced all week, so they should be good to go on Saturday.

-- Shelton Johnson will play Saturday after suffering a leg injury against South Dakota, but Dezmen Southward will still start against Indiana.

"Shelton actually looked really good last night," Bielema said. "Really the first time I saw him be ‘Old Shelton."

-- Ethan Armstrong benefitted from the bye week, but Kevin Claxton will start at strong-side linebacker.

News and Notes

-- There's been a little talk about reducing available football scholarships to 80 from 85, and Bielema said he's "adamantly opposed" to any potential reduction.

-- Bielema has a good feeling about Josh Oglesby's chances to play in the NFL. In fact, I saw a few NFL scouts leave practice on my way in today - specifically representatives from the Carolina Panthers and the Indianapolis Colts.

"There's not many Josh Oglesby's walking around in the world," Bielema said.

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