A Big Ten Championship. A Rose Bowl appearance. Numerous individual awards. Two likely first-round picks in the NFL Draft. Yes, by any account, this season for the Wisconsin
football team was the finest the program has enjoyed in 10 years.
It is now time to cash in on that success.
Athletic Director Barry Alvarez and Bielema have decided to charge $5 for admission to this year's spring football game on April 23, with all proceeds going to the Wisconsin Nursing School, which is currently fundraising to build a new facility.
UW is following a trend that has taken place across the country. Ohio State and nearly every SEC school currently charge a nominal fee for entrance into the spring football game.
Alvarez noted when he first started coaching at Iowa he was taught, "if it is free, there is no value to it."
Wisconsin reported an attendance of 23,567 at last year's spring game.
According to Nursing School Dean Katharyn May, the new building, set for the corner of Observatory Drive and Highland Avenue, would increase enrollment in the nursing school by 30 percent. If the funding comes through as planned, construction would break ground in the fall with completion planned for fall 2013.
Alvarez said he and Bielema plan to charge yearly for the spring game, and donate the funds raised to a different "school unit" each year.
"This is about us being a part of the campus and us supporting campus," Alvarez said. "We try to be good partners, we get great cooperation on campus and this is one way to give back and say thank you."
Despite Weather, Michigan Hot Hot Hot
The Badgers will face a Michigan team Wednesday that has won six of its past eight games, with both losses on the road, including one to previously-No. 1 Ohio State.
Darius Morris in particular has picked up his production, averaging 15.4 points per game on 50 percent shooting.
It is Morris where UW head coach Bo Ryan sees the most improvement from Michigan.
"Morris, who started to have some good games and maybe some rough spots, it just seems like he has been a little more consistent and that is important when you have the ball in your hand as much as he does," Ryan said.
Nankivil Rediscovers His Stroke
As one of, if not the, best shooters in the Big Ten, it is surprising whenever UW senior Keaton Nankivil gets a look at an open three-pointer and it doesn't drop in.
Before the Penn State game yesterday, Nankivil had been in a mini-slump for him, shooting just 29 percent from the field on 31 shots, and going 4-for-20 from three point range.
Then he lit up the Nittany Lions for 22 points on 5-of-5 three-point shooting and 8-of-9 overall.
Ryan had a simple explanation for what he did as a coach to help Nankivil find his groove again:
"You can't yell people into being good shooters," Ryan quipped.
Barry Alvarez announced Monday that the football program would charge $5 for entrance into the spring game on April 23, with all proceeds going to the UW Nursing School as they fundraise for a new building on campus.
UW will charge $5 for entrance into the spring game, Ryan's squad catches Michigan at wrong time