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Fri, July 24, 2015

Badgers' academics fiasco must be fixed

I talked about this at length on the show Friday but Wisconsin football has a problem right now; one that it must get figured out sooner than later. On Thursday night we learned that once again a prospective student-athlete was denied admission to the university and therefore will not be a member of the Badger family - we learned this roughly two weeks prior fall camp beginning in Madison. It's an unfortunate incident that leaves us with a number of questions, mainly because this isn't the first time in the last two years this has happened. The Badgers have recruited several players from around the country  (many of them coming during the Gary Andersen regime) that were ultimately told they didn't qualify academically at UW. Without the benefit of knowing the exact standards for athletes at UW, we're left to speculate to some degree and my first question is this; what exactly does UW want to be academically? Harvard? Stanford? I ask this because while Wisconsin is a fine institution, I don't fancy it to be heads and tails above others in the Big Ten such as Michigan and Michigan State. You can disagree with me on this but many university rankings have Michigan listed ahead of Wisconsin, yet the Wolverines still find a way to get a number of their players into school there. Now, I can understand if you say you that UW is doing the correct thing here and standards should be the same for any other student that attends UW ... after all, college is meant for academics, right? But if you subscribe to that model of thinking -- which, again, I'm perfectly OK with -- you have to realize that Wisconsin is never going to attain the level of success that Ohio State and others have experienced. It's simply not going to happen. My other problem with this whole process is the amount of time it took UW to inform Stevenson he was not going to be admitted. Sure, the coaching staff was probably working diligently to try and get him into school, but given the number of times this has  happened of late, UW needs to make a determination earlier in the process for the sake of the player. Now, Stevenson is left to find a Division I home after nearly every school has exhausted their scholarships for the year ... and this is a young man that decommitted from Texas in order to make UW his school of choice. The whole situation is growing more and more frustrating with every recruit they lose and it's clear that athletics and the institution need to get on the same page to avoid this type of embarrassment from happening again. Make no mistake, this is hurting their reputation nationally.

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