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Monday, May 12, 2008

Wisconsin Still A Football School

The Wisconsin State Journal ran a sidebar in Sunday's paper detailing the financial expenditures of each UW sports program, accompanying an article that highlighted a few of the low-budget success stories.

With the escalating success of the men's basketball team, Bo Ryan has made a Kohl Center ticket a tougher find than one to Camp Randall. However, follow the money and you'll find that football still reigns supreme in the Badger State. Though both Ryan and head football coach Bret Bielema both reportedly earn a $400,000 base salary, Bielema's $900,000 in additional multimedia package revenue dwarfs Ryan's $550,000 package of the same kind.

The multimedia revenue figure for Ryan was raised significantly after the 2006-07 season in which the Wisconsin reached their first ever #1 ranking. It seems a bit peculiar that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported at the time of Ryan's raise that he would be guaranteed $1.25 million for this past season, whereas the WSJ breakdown showed only $950,000. The $300,000 difference appears to come from a previous deferred-compensation agreement that is also being honored, though I am not sure why or how that number is not reported. I'm not sure what's missing in that equation, but it is clear that no one on either staff is hurtin' for cash.

Every assistant coach in football and basketball is paid more handsomely than any other head coach in the athletic department, except for the aforementioned big wigs and those leading the men's hockey, women's hockey and women's basketball teams. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst ($300,000) is one of the state's highest-paid employees. If you were wondering, both Greg Gard and Gary Close pulled down $137,902 last year and Howard Moore earned a measly $102,566.

Speaking of Close, shortly after he was passed over for the head coaching position at Drake, former Iowa basketball player Jess Settles wrote in to the Des Moines Register with a fiery defense of Close. That open letter was then followed by this rather thoughtful column on Close in the same newspaper. Wisconsin is clearly lucky to have still have Close on staff, whose temperament may make him the perfect coaching compliment for Bo Ryan's bench.

Other numbers released in the article were for the 2006-07 season. The men's basketball team spent only $55,254 on its recruiting, compared to $177,170 for the football team which must cover many more players. However, travel costs for that season were nearly identical for the two teams.

What's cooking:
- Derrick Rose is gaining steam as the top overall player on this year's draft board. The updated simulator seems to favor D.J. Augustin for the Bucks ... T.J. Ford, the sequel?! Nooooooo!!
- Rob Hernandez relates the recent flap by a high school track and field star to Doug Chickering's vision of the impending curse of young elite athletes.
- From the "They Said What?" Department - Recruiting Desk: Rodney Williams is still claiming an offer from Wisconsin, Jordan Prosser still really likes Wisconsin and '08 G Jacob Jenkins has an offer from the Badgers "on the table." High comedy.
- Don't forget to check out the Senior Salute over at for this past season's four seniors.
- A list of state players still ballin' overseas, plus some nice additional links and commentary at Badgercentric.

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