When a Big Ten football head coach is unexpectedly absent, surely there is a contingency plan in place. For example, the defensive coordinator moves up, and lesser-ranked team coaches backfill on up the ladder.
Not at Wisconsin.
Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez has unilaterally decided that he will coach the Badgers at the Rose Bowl. Sounds like fun. He gets another shot at national attention, without having to put in the sweat and tears of getting the team to the big game.
And we fans liked it, too. Alvarez is associated with Rose Bowl wins. Who really cares if Bielema's #2 gets shafted regarding his own shot at the limelight, in spite of earning it by virtue of the 16-hour days he's been putting in to improve the team since Day 1.
But then there's the kicker.
Alvarez is insisting that he be paid one-twelveth of ex-coach Bielema's annual salary, which comes out to some $225,000; for a cameo appearance to be little more than a figurehead coach for that one solitary game, on top of his seven-figure AD salary. And no, he hasn't volunteered to forego one-twelveth of his AD salary while while he's purportedly devoting all of his energies to coaching football for the month.
To which I say, "Oink, oink, oink." Alvarez has done much for Wisconsin athletics; but Wisconsin has also done much for him. Wisconsin is the school that enabled him to acquire a nationally recognized name. So how much more is he owed to enjoy the spoils of other people's work?
But I'm sure he'll get away with this double-sided power play. The Board of Regents and the Chancellor will no doubt roll over and cut him that extra check.
And the next time your taxes and /or your college tuition go up, well, at least you know how your public money is being wasted. The government employees have won.