Gary Andersen

2014 Badger recruit charged with sexual assault


A player who was expected to be a part of Wisconsin’s 2014 recruiting class is facing some very serious accusations that could keep him off the playing field and behind bars for an extended period of time.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Monday that Dominic Cizauskas has been charged with felony third-degree sexual assault.  The Mukwonago High School posted a $500 signature bond and released.

One of the conditions of the release is that he is barred from the UW campus.  He’s also not permitted to have any contact with the alleged victim.

The alleged sexual assault took place on the UW campus in mid-December during the linebacker’s official visit to the school.  The Journal-Sentinel revealed some of the details contained in the criminal complaint against Cizauskas:

The alleged incident occurred early in the morning Dec. 14 in a UW residence hall, while Cizauskas was on the UW campus. The alleged victim, a UW student, and Cizauskas exchanged text messages on the night of Dec. 13.

Later, while studying in her room, the student heard someone in the hallway asking directions to her room, and the complaint says Cizauskas then opened the unlocked door and entered the room.

The woman told police she suspected Cizauskas had been drinking because of the smell of his breath. Cizauskas told her he consumed 10 shots within a span of 30 minutes.

The complaint says Cizauskas eventually forced the woman to have intercourse, and she told police the sex was not consensual.

“I tried to push him off me but he is a 200-pound football player,” the complaint quotes the woman as saying.

The alleged victim also acknowledged a previous sexual relationship with Cizauskas.

Cizauskas, a three-star player according to, verbally committed to the Badgers last June was not one of the players announced as part of UW’s recruiting class.  Per NCAA rules, head coach Gary Andersen or anyone connected to the football program are not permitted to discuss any player who hasn’t signed a National Letter of Intent.

If convicted of the charge, Cizauskas faces up to 10 years in prison.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.