On the coaching Richter scale, Bret Bielema‘s departure for Arkansas registered somewhere between an 11.8 and “Holy Crap!” Especially, ya know, given Bielema’s disdain for the ways of the SEC.
While most of the college football world was stunned over the completely under-the-radar development, there may have been none more so than Bielema’s boss.
Around the same time Arkansas issued a press release confirming the hiring of Bielema, Wisconsin issued a statement from athletic director Barry Alvarez addressing the development that will lead to an unexpected and unanticipated coaching search.
“I was very surprised when Bret told me he was taking the offer from Arkansas,” Alvarez’s statement began. “He did a great job for us during his seven years as head coach, both on the field and off. I want to thank him for his work and wish him the best at Arkansas.”
Bielema’s departure for Fayetteville comes three days after the Badgers won their second consecutive Big Ten title, sending UW to its third trip to the Rose Bowl in as many years.
While Bielema reportedly wants to coach the Badgers in that game (awkward), speculation is that Alvarez, who became the winningest head coach in UW history before stepping into his current AD role, would essentially take on the roll of coach emeritus for the game. Alvarez was the head coach for three UW Rose Bowl appearances, winning all three; Bielema was the head coach for UW’s last two Rose Bowl losses.
In his statement, Alvarez talked around what tack the athletic department will take when it comes to this year’s Grandaddy of Them All.
“Along with finding a new coach, my other main objective is to make sure that our student-athletes, specifically our seniors playing in their final game as Badgers, have a tremendous experience in the Rose Bowl. We will do everything within our power to make that happen.”
In the end, Baylor’s loss will turn into Texas’ gain. Again.
Just a couple of days after Baylor announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent, one of those prospects announced their new landing spot. And, to add insult to injury, said landing spot is a fellow Big 12 member.
And the state’s flagship university for good measure.
Pictured with Texas head coach Charlie Strong, that would be offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez announcing that he will begin his collegiate playing career with the Longhorns. And the get for UT, at least when it comes to recruiting pedigree, is a huge one.
Urquidez was a four-star BU signee this past February, rated as the No. 22 offensive tackle; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 244 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.
The lineman becomes the second 2016 Bears signee to join the Longhorns since the sexual assault scandal slammed headfirst into Waco. Late this past week, UT confirmed the addition of four-star wide receiver Devin Duvernay.
Thursday, reports surfaced that two Tennessee offensive linemen would be leaving the Volunteers football program and possibly transferring to the FCS level. Friday, one of those two confirmed he’s looking into it.
Speaking to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Ray Raulerson acknowledged that he’s “exploring options right now,” although he stopped short of confirming a transfer. However, the redshirt sophomore center talked of his time in Knoxville in the past tense, an indication that he is prepared to move on.
“I’m exploring options right now,” Raulerson told the News Sentinel. “…I really loved it at Tennessee, but I’m going to go to a place where I have a better chance to play.”
Raulerson was a three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class. After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in five games in 2015.
It has yet to be confirmed that the other lineman, fifth-year senior tackle Dontavius Blair, is indeed transferring. Raulerson, though, told the newspaper that his teammate is leaving as well.
Students at Clemson can rest easy; your football fix will still be free of charge this year.
In 2015, tickets for the student sections in both the lower bowl and upper bowl of Memorial Stadium came at no cost to those enrolled in classes at the university. In April, however, athletic director Dan Radakovich proposed levying what was described as a “$225 student donation” for those wishing to sit in the lower bowl on season tickets, while the upper bowl seats would remain free.
Late this past week, tigernet.com reported, Radakovich’s proposal was tabled as the university will “continue to have good conversations with student leaders about the entire ticketing process.”
So, for the 2016 football season, tickets in both bowls will come at no cost to students. As was the case last year, all of those tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
It wasn’t all good news financially for Clemson students — or their parents — as The State news paper writes that “[t]he university’s board of trustees voted almost unanimously via teleconference Thursday to raise tuition rates for the 2016-17 year for in-state and out-of-state students.”
Unfortunately, the private life of a major college football coach has once again become laid bare for public consumption.
In a statement released Friday, the agent for UCLA head coach Jim Mora, Jimmy Sexton, released a statement confirming that his client and his wife, Shannon, have decided to separate. The couple have been married for more than 30 years, and have four children — one daughter and three sons.
“After much thought and careful consideration, Jim and Shannon Mora have decided to separate,” the statement from Sexton began. “This was a very difficult decision and they appreciate the respect for their family’s privacy at this time.”
The 54-year-old Mora will be entering his fifth season as the head coach of the Bruins. Earlier this month, UCLA announced that Mora, 37-16 in his first four seasons with the Bruins, had reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension with the university.
There was no specific word on whether any type of raise was involved in the new agreement, which keeps Mora signed through the 2021 season.