Saturday, January 24, 2009


The UW "athletic board" just gave head football coach Brett Bielema a one-year extension, meaning his contract now ends in 2014, instead of 2013. I have no idea why the board (who even knew there was a specific "board" just for the athletic department?) voted to do so, but at first blush it seems ridiculously undeserved. It certainly wasn't the awful bowl performance, his failure to develop players, the constant worsening of UW's performance in his three years or his fair to middlin' recruiting. Maybe it was just the fact that the board does what Barry says, and Bielema is Barry's boy? Maybe Barry wants to give Brett a public vote of confidence, so as to help recruiting? Who knows.

I do know that unless the extension increased the penalty if the university breaches the contract (that is, the amount of money the contract says the university will owe Bielema if and when the university fires him while he's still under contract), then it doesn't really matter, or make his job any more secure. And I doubt the penalty clause would increase that much with a one-year extension. So it's probably just window dressing. Every Badger fan knows that Bielema is going to have to do significantly better next season, even with Alvarez defending him. All this extension did is make the heretofore unknown "UW athletic board" look like a gaggle of dunces.

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