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Scouting The Scouter: candidates for director of player personnel

Looking for the best of Madison to bring the best to Madison.

Lakeshore, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin Photo By: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

This week, Wisconsin’s Director of Player Personnel Saeed Khalif took the same position at Michigan State. I am often told recruiting is the lifeblood of college athletics, so I’m assuming this is a big deal. Now, I don’t follow recruiting at all. I didn’t like high schoolers when I was in high school, and nothing’s changed in the years since.

But, I love Madison more than I should, and want other people to find happiness here. That’s why I’ve decided to help find the next Badgers director of player personnel. What I’m looking for is pretty simple.

  1. Must know campus front and back. As the flagship university in Wisconsin and a founding member of the Big Ten, I want a historian who knows what happened on campus. One of the best ways to help someone feel like they belong is to connect their offhand comment to the long and rich history of the University of Wisconsin. National championship and Rose Bowls are great to cite, but I’m also talking about how Badgers have improved humanity outside of athletics. This is where warfarin was created, where John Muir was inspired to explore nature, where The Onion was first printed and distributed. I want someone who can draw on that breadth of knowledge to connect the past of Wisconsin to the potential future.
  2. Must be a beloved icon. When potential Badgers are touring campus, I want them to feel like they’re with a celebrity. I want complete strangers to be taking pictures with the new personnel director because they feel like they’re part of the extended Badger family.
  3. Must be physically incapable of leaving campus. Again, I am not invested in recruiting. I don’t want to do this again.

Now that the guidelines are laid out, here’s my short list of candidates.

The Big Union Terrace Chair

Located near the big tree at the Memorial Union Terrace, the Big Union Terrace Chair is one of the most popular landmarks on campus. The Big Union Terrace Chair has a gorgeous view of Lake Mendota, easy access to cheese curds (and pitchers for the potential transfers), and is one of the must-have photos for graduates in their caps and gowns. The Big Union Terrace Chair is a fixture of UW campus life. Literally. I think it’s bolted in to the ground.

PROS: Iconic, never duplicated. Unlike other chairs on the Terrace, can’t be stolen or thrown into the lake. Lots of smells from the brat stand.

CONS: Popularity means that face time with recruits could take a hit. Not close to athletic facilities. Lots of smells from the algae.

The 80 Bus

The campus circulator, the 80 knows how to get around all parts of the University of Wisconsin. From the southeast dorms to the Kollege Klub to the top of Bascom Hill and wherever it goes afterwards, the 80 can point out all the most important parts of campus on a regular basis. Observatory at Memorial Union? Observatory at Bascom? The 80 can point them all out with 100% accuracy.

PROS: Free. Regular. Can be found on an app.

CONS: Multiple personality disorder. Goes to Eagle Heights.

Babcock Ice Cream

Currently under renovations, Babcock Hall is renowned for being the reason why Badgers enjoy that dairy air. Milk and cheese are also produced, but Babcock Ice Cream is synonymous with a great day on campus. Widely available at all campus outlets, including Camp Randall, the Kohl Center and the Wisconsin Fieldhouse, Babcock Ice Cream is versatile enough for just about anyone’s taste with flavors based on current Badger icons while championing both the history of Wisconsin’s contributions to dairy farming.

PROS: A great crowd pleaser. Cone or dish shows versatility. Recruits outside the Midwest expect to see ice cream when coming to Wisconsin.

CONS: Overly reliant on summer. Not recommended by athletic department nutritionists.

Statue of Abraham Lincoln

At the center of campus, looking down State Street to the Wisconsin State Capitol, “Abe” has watched over 100 years of history unfold before him. Another graduation photo icon, the entire University of Wisconsin, and even the Big Ten, might not be here without Lincoln signing land-grand universities into existence.

University of Wisconsin, Bascom Hall, Madison, Wisconsin Photo by: Universal Images Group via Getty Images

PROS: Resembles a person. Longest standing (sitting?) icon on the list.


What University of Wisconsin icon do you think should be the next Director of Player Personnel?


The next Director of Player Personnel should be...

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    The Big Union Terrace Chair
    (65 votes)
  • 4%
    The 80
    (9 votes)
  • 21%
    Babcock Ice Cream
    (47 votes)
  • 36%
    Statue of Abraham Lincoln
    (80 votes)
  • 8%
    Other / What’s Eagle Heights?
    (18 votes)
219 votes total Vote Now