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Badger Bits: The fallout from the Chadima incident

In the wake of the incident involving John Chadima, Barry Alvarez would be wise to create policies involving the use of alcohol at UW athletic department events.
In the wake of the incident involving John Chadima, Barry Alvarez would be wise to create policies involving the use of alcohol at UW athletic department events.

As you probably are already aware, the report from the investigation of an incident involving then-senior associate athletic director John Chadima during Wisconsin's trip to the Rose Bowl were released to the public last night. Here's Adam's story on it, and here is the PDF report itself.

Prior to the release of the report, we had already heard rumblings that Chadima was drunk at a party he would throw on the bowl trip every year. But the investigation released the information that an inebriated Chadima made an unwanted sexual advance on a male student employee in the athletic department (known as "John Doe" in the report).

The good news is that this seemed to be the first incident of the sort involving Chadima, who worked in the department for 21 years. There didn't seem to be a pattern of behavior from Chadima that was going unnoticed or was covered up by the athletic department. Wisconsin athletics and the university handled the situation appropriately, not trying to sweep the incident under the rug. The recent Penn State scandal may have helped to shape Wisconsin's plan to deal with these types of things.

The bad news is the UW athletic department's policy on alcohol looks terribly inept or even nonexistent. Athletic director Barry Alvarez only "did not recommend that professional staff drink with students and employees." A mere recommendation isn't going to cut it here. When you have student employees drinking with superiors and they think they have to do what the superior says so they don't get fired (Chadima threatened to fire multiple students on the trip), that can lead to bad situations. Some of the people at the party were not of drinking age. Also, I'm sure that donors to UW Athletics were thrilled to hear that their donations funded the alcohol served at the party. While alcohol is often ubiquitous at the University of Wisconsin, the athletic department needs to be held to a higher standard.

Hopefully this situation will lead to the UW athletic department instituting a clear policy on alcohol use at department events. If an incident like this ever happens again, the victim can feel confident about telling someone about it without receiving a "it's better if you just forget about it" or "we have to protect the university's reputation" type response. Still, make no mistake. What happened to John Doe is incredibly sad. But we can be heartened by how it was handled after it happened.

Wednesday Links:

The Chadima story has been reported by major online sports news outlets, including,, and The incident doesn't seem likely to be much of a national black mark on Wisconsin because it didn't involve an extremely prominent figure or team of the university.

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