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Wisconsin football: recapping coach Chryst’s media presser

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Coach Chryst talks race discussions, Coronavirus changes, and how the team has handled the last few months in today’s media presser.

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Friday morning Wisconsin Badgers head coach Chryst took to the podium to face the media...well actually, it was him sitting at a table via Zoom but you get my drift. Anyways, it was the first time in quite a long time that coach Chryst was available for questions about what was has taken place over the past few months, and what we can expect moving forward both on and off the field. It was a long discussion, but here are some highlights from today’s chat.

Today’s presser opened with a question about spring practice, or lack thereof, and how the team can try and make up that time before camp gets underway.

“We missed spring ball, if you try to take the approach of making up something that was lost, I think you really would be frustrated and I don’t know if you would gain anything. This week we got word kind of what the summer access (will be) and what the summer plans are. I think it’s our job to figure out how to take advantage of what’s allowable and how to get ready for the season... One great advantage of spring ball is that there is opportunity for development. I think as coaches we have to do a good job of making sure you’re installing plays, the schematic part, but then you have to strike the right balance on the how to of the game.”

After that, coach Chryst was asked about the teams discussions about race and racial injustice over the past few weeks, and what he has learned from the players.

“Certainly we’ve had a number of discussions and have had them virtually in a team meeting setting, we’ve had them in smaller groups. I’ve had a chance to try to get one on one’s. Unfortunately, these conversations didn’t just start three weeks ago. With many of them they’ve been ongoing. Certainly, the recent events have sparked more conversations. I love having the opportunity to talk with all of our players about this and I’m really appreciative of the openness and the willingness, I think of all of us to try to learn and try to get informed. Yet, I think we all want to do more than just that. Right? We want to be able to impact and make a difference in our own way. A lot of our conversations have talked about starting inside and working out, what does each and every one of us need to do... we all wanna do our part in affecting positive change.”

Big Ten Football Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Later on, Chryst was asked about what he has been doing with all the time that has been open these last few months that normally wouldn’t be.

“I think like a lot of us the challenge was how to get yourself into a good routine. Were fortunate with the way that technology has been is that we can watch a ton of film... I think the recruiting, there was more accessibility. seemed like you could schedule, therefore in many ways our recruiting was better because we spent a lot of time communicating. It was a lot of phone calls... I think with everything that went on, i’m proud of the way everyone approached it. The players did a great job of developing and finding a way to workout... this opportunity, while we we’re away, is an opportunity that if you wanted to get better you can. If you wanted to use it as an excuse then you’ve got an excuse built in. It was a time where you could use to separate yourself and I do think a lot of guys took advantage of it.”

Coach Chryst then talked further about recruiting and what the coaching staff has been able to do the last few months to elevate themselves on the recruiting front.

“I think it’s important, ya know a lot of the guys that have been to campus it’s not a traditional Spring and Summer so that’s different... It is truly about finding the right fit, right?... I don’t know if there is anything that is magically happening, I think people are working at it and you’re trying to target the right fits and a lot of people are investing in it.”

The presser wouldn’t be complete without touching on COVID-19, and specifically how the staff will take on and implement procedures going forward. When asked about that topic coach Chryst had this to say.

“I am confident that a lot of work has gone into it and I think it’s coming from the right place. There’s nothing more important than the health and safety, not just of our players but of our strengths coaches and trainers (as well)... what I've been encouraged with is that there’s also a flexibility and a knowledge that you have to be flexible during this.... it’s just the first week but I’ve been proud of our players, our players get it.”

Following that, coach Chryst was asked about the possibility of no fans in the stadium this fall.

“ I haven’t spent a lot of time on it. Certainly we’re spoiled here, we’ve got a great fan base. Camp Randall’s game day atmosphere is as good as there is in this country, and yet, right now that’s not my decision and that’s not my call. Have I thought about it? Yeah, but there’s a lot of other stuff I should use my time on.”

Overall, the presser went about 45 minutes and coach Chryst was very well spoken about all of the current events and how himself and the team are handling it. We’ll discuss more in depth on Bucky’s 5th Podcast, so make sure to check out our episode on Monday!