Arkansas’ new head coach, Bret Bielema, has been anything but shy in regards to expressing his feelings on almost anything via twitter.
It’s obvious that Bielema hasn’t completely moved on from his former job, evident from petty fights with disgruntled Badgers fans, but not all of his thoughts are random twitter fodder.
Can’t say THANK YOU enough to UA administration & support to keep our staff together when others come calling to hire away. #WPS #GoHogsGo
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 11, 2013
On Monday, Bielema decided to go all-caps on one of his four tweets for the day. The typography was all that was needed to confirm exactly why he left behind the Big Ten to join the SEC which has yielded the last seven national champions.
At Wisconsin, Bielema took the Badgers to three straight Rose Bowls and did a tremendous job of developing talent while churning out NFL prospects year after year.
With success, it’s fairly common to see assistants leave for better jobs, but it became an epidemic in Madison when six assistants left prior to the 2012 season.
Speculation shot towards Bielema’s personality, but it really came down to the almighty dollar. Even though the Badgers became one of the conference’s powerhouses over the last decade, they failed to increase assistants’ salaries, ranking near the bottom of the league in the category.
It’s not just a Wisconsin problem, but a Big Ten one. The average assistant makes a significant amount more ($50,000 – $100,000 on average) in the Big 12 or SEC than they do in the Big Ten. Ohio State and Michigan spend like the elite programs they are, but schools on the rise like Wisconsin will have to spend more if they want to become elite. (Numbers and conclusions drawn from USA Today’s database of salaries)
With the playoff being introduced in 2014, it will become even more important for Athletic Director Barry Alvarez and the Badgers to increase their pay for assistants and keep good coaches in order to stay relevant for as long as possible.
Where do you stand on Bielema’s remark on twitter about keeping his staff together? Does Wisconsin need to increase their salary pool for assistants? Let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Image obtained from WholeHogSports.com.