Tag:Barry Alvarez
Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:53 pm
 

Ohio St.'s Gee to Bielema: 'Get a life'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

From calling mid-majors the "Little Sisters of the Poor" to asking Jim Tressel not to fire himOhio State president Gordon Gee has not exactly been one to keep his mouth out of the headlines over the past 12 months. And he may not be for the next 12 months, either, judging by this interview with OSU student newspaper The Lanternin which he tells Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema to "get a life."

Bielema infamously accused new Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer of using "illegal" recruiting "tactics" and asked Badger athletic director Barry Alvarez to voice his complaints to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany on his behalf. Gee emphatically stood up for Meyer in the Lantern interview, calling him the "finest in the country" and "the greatest affirmation of the quality of this institution."

When asked directly about Bielema's comments, Gee was every bit as emphatic.

"We hired the best coach and we went out and got the best kids so get a life," Gee said.

Ah, Signing Day: that magical time of the college football calendar that can lead the president of the third-largest university in the country to publicly call out a coach within his own conference using an insult from a 36-year-old Saturday Night Live sketch.

Gee also referred to the NCAA investigation into Tressel and the Buckeye football program that resulted in its 2012 bowl ban as a "yearlong colonoscopy."

We now fervently await Gee's next pledge to cease discussing matters related to football.

HT: MGoBlog. 

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:04 pm
 

Barry Alvarez: Recruiting is 'open season'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It doesn't sound like Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is as concerned about Urban Meyer's recruiting tactics the way his own head coach and others in the Big Ten seem to be.

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, along with Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, made it clear that they were not fans of the way Urban Meyer had conducted himself during his first recruiting season with Ohio State. Specifically the way Meyer recruited players that had previously given commitments to other Big Ten schools, including Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Bielema also said on Thursday Barry Alvarez would be talking to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany about Meyer when the two met. While that conversation may still happen, if you listen to what Alvarez told ESPN's Joe Schad on Friday, it doesn't sound like he's going to be asking Delany to make Meyer change his habits.

"Urban was very aggressive but there is no pact within the conference not to continue to recruit," Alvarez told Schad in regards to the supposed "gentleman's agreement" amongst Big Ten coaches. "Open season." 

Which makes it sound like if Bielema doesn't want Meyer coming around his recruits, he's just going to have to work even harder to make sure those recruits come to play at Wisconsin, not Ohio State.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:33 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 3:28 pm
 

Urban Meyer responds to fellow coaches' criticism

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer heard the complaints from fellow Big Ten coaches Bret Bielema and Mark Dantonio about his recruiting tactics on Thursday, and not surprisingly, he doesn't care.

According to Buckeye fansite the OZone, Meyer fired back while at the Ohio High School coaches clinic on Friday morning.

"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

Meyer also released a statement on Friday afternoon.

“I was pleased to take part in a productive, regularly scheduled meeting of the Big Ten Conference coaches today in Chicago," said Meyers in the release. "We had an opportunity to discuss a number of issues with each other and conference staff, including those that have arisen this week. It should be noted that my coaching staff is in full compliance with our recruiting efforts, and no one on this staff did anything illegal or unethical. We will continue to comply with NCAA rules and recruit with relentless effort, especially the great state of Ohio.
 
“I want to thank Commissioner Delany for his insight and leadership, and at this point we all look forward to moving past this week and getting ready for the start of spring football.”

This all started when Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio publicly criticized Meyer's recruiting tactics. Of the ten players that committed to Ohio State after Meyer became head coach, eight had previously committed to other schools. That includes offensive tackle Kyle Dodson (Wisconsin) and defensive end Se'Von Pittman (Michigan State).

Bielema also said on Thursday night that Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez was going to be talking to Jim Delany about Meyer's recruiting tactics. All because of a supposed "gentleman's agreement" -- an agreement that even Alvarez himself denied exists on Friday -- within the Big Ten that says coaches aren't supposed to go after another coach's commits while recruiting.

Which wasn't the way Meyer, or any coach, did things in the SEC, and it doesn't look like Urban is willing to adapt.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 6:08 pm
 

Barry Alvarez to talk to Delany about Meyer

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier on Thursday we went over the first stage of lost recruit grief when writing about how Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio were upset with Urban Meyer and his recruiting tactics.

Well, we've now reached the second stage: run to the principal's office.

Apparently airing his grievances wasn't enough for Bielema, as the Sporting News' Matt Hayes wrote on Thursday night that Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez would be talking to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany about Meyer on Friday in Chicago.

“We at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC -- in any way, shape or form," Bielema told Hayes.

The jokes are just too easy with that remark, even if Bielema was only referring to recruiting.

Honestly, though, what else can you do but laugh at all of this? These are supposed to be grown men, yet they're acting more immaturely than the high school kids they're fighting over to begin with.

You don't want Urban Meyer or any other coach coming in to "steal" your recruits, then recruit the kid harder. Sell him on your program so hard that when Meyer does come around that kid will tell him "no thanks." Don't go running to your conference commissioner and hope he'll force Meyer to stop so it makes your job easier.

Either that or just take your ball and go home. None of the other kids are going to want to play with you anyway.

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Posted on: January 22, 2012 4:53 pm
 

The Big Ten responds to Joe Paterno's death

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Legendary former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno died early Sunday morning at the age of 85, leaving behind a football legacy that is simply unmatched. Here are some reactions from coaches and other notable figures in the Big Ten, which Penn State joined 19 years ago.

Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien: "It is with great sadness that I am compelled to deliver this message of condolence and tribute to a great man, husband, father and someone who is more than just a coach, Joe Paterno. First, on behalf of Penn State Football, we offer our sincerest condolences to the Paterno family for their loss. We also offer our condolences to the Penn State community and, in particular, to those who wore the Penn State colors, our Nittany Lion football players and alumni. Today they lost a great man, coach, mentor and, in many cases, a father figure, and we extend our deepest sympathies. The Penn State Football program is one of college football's iconic programs because it was led by an icon in the coaching profession in Joe Paterno. There are no words to express my respect for him as a man and as a coach. To be following in his footsteps at Penn State is an honor. Our families, our football program, our university and all of college football have suffered a great loss, and we will be eternally grateful for Coach Paterno's immeasurable contributions." 

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Joe Paterno. His passing marks a tremendous loss for Penn State, college football and for countless fans, coaches and student-athletes. Our condolences go out to the Paterno family and to the entire Penn State community."

Nebraska athletic director and former head coach Tom Osborne: "I am saddened to hear the news of Joe Paterno's passing. Joe was a genuinely good person. Whenever you recruited or played against Joe you knew how he operated and that he always stood for the right things. Of course, his longevity over time and his impact on college football is remarkable. Anybody who knew Joe feels badly about the circumstances. I suspect the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks might have played into it. We offer our condolences to his family and wish them the very best." 

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer: "I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Coach Joe Paterno. He was a man who I have deep respect for as a human being, as a husband and father, as a leader and as a football coach. I was very fortunate to have been able to develop a personal relationship with him, especially over the course of the last several years, and it is something that I will always cherish.

"My prayers and thoughts go out to his wife, Sue, and to their family, and also to the family he had at Penn State University. We have lost a remarkable person and someone who affected the lives of so many people in so many positive ways. His presence will be dearly missed. His legacy as a coach, as a winner and as a champion will carry on forever."

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke: "I am certainly saddened by the news today of Coach Paterno's passing. College football has lost one of its greatest, a coaching icon. Even though I was just an assistant when our teams faced one another, I feel honored to have shared the field with Joe. His players' love for him, it shows how he touched their lives and it tells who he was as a man. He will be missed. His mark on Penn State and college football will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe's family and friends and the entire Penn State community."

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill: "I got home last night from recruiting and my oldest daughter said she had just heard. Fifteen minutes later, my youngest daughter at Murray State called. That's two girls from a coach's family reacting to it. That really sums up his impact. It hits home. He coached for 60 years with more than 100 players per year. Think about how many lives he touched, how many good things he has done.

"From my family to the Paterno family, our prayers go out to them. It's a sad day for football, but a good day for the man upstairs.

"I would tell people not to forget what that guy has done. To coach for 60 years in one place, that just won't ever happen again. I didn't get to coach against him. But I got to coach in the Big Ten, sit next to him at a meeting and have my picture taken with him. That's something I will never forget."

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald: "The legacy of Joe Paterno will be long lasting — not only as a football coach and mentor, but as a family man. For 62 years, Coach Paterno poured his heart and soul into a football program and university, helping countless young men reach their dreams and goals on the football field before moving on to successful careers and lives as adults. It's hard to fathom the impact that Coach Paterno has had on college football and at Penn State. His insight and wisdom will be missed. We at Northwestern send our condolences to Sue and the Paterno family." 

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio: "On behalf of my immediate family and the Michigan State football family, we express our deepest sympathy to Joe Paterno’s wife Sue, his five children and 17 grandchildren, as well as his extended family, the Penn State football family and the entire State College community.

"Joe dedicated his life to Penn State and college football. He had unparalleled success during his 46 seasons as the head coach at Penn State. Joe was a major player who helped revolutionize the game of college football. In his six-plus decades at Penn State, he influenced and impacted countless numbers of players and people at a championship level.

"Over the past five years, my wife and I have had the privilege of spending time with both Joe and his wife Sue. We appreciated and enjoyed the time spent at our various functions together and will forever remember him as a steward of our profession."

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema: "Coach Paterno obviously did so many wonderful things for a number of years, not only with the success of his teams on the field but the number of lives he shaped. I hope people remember his lifetime achievements. From day one, when I joined the head coaching ranks and was fortunate enough to cross paths with him at coaches meetings and various functions, he was always very engaging and complimentary of the way we did things at Wisconsin and how we played. I enjoyed competing with him at every level. Our Badger football family sends our condolences and deepest sympathies to the Penn State community and the Paterno family."

Wisconsin athletic director and former head coach Barry Alvarez: "Today is a sad day. Joe made a difference. He impacted a lot of people. He made a difference in a community, in a college and in college football. He was truly special and an icon. For someone to continue to do what he did through different generations and for such a long period of time and be effective was amazing. I’ve considered Joe a friend and a mentor. This is sad day for college football and the Penn State community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and the Paterno family."

For more reaction from State College, follow CBSSports.com's Penn State RapidReports.
Posted on: December 19, 2011 2:40 am
 

Pittsburgh holds interviews with Fickell, Chryst

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Pittsburgh may not have a head coach to replace Todd Graham yet, but if two recent confirmed interviews are any indication, the Panthers are looking for a Big Ten influence as they transition from the Big East to the ACC.

According to the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday, Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell confirmed that he has interviewed with Pittsburgh in recent days, but that he has not been offered the Pitt job.

Fickell said that regardless of whether he goes to Pittsburgh, he will coach the Buckeyes in their January 2 Gator Bowl matchup against Florida before ceding the program to Urban Meyer. If Fickell does not take another job elsewhere -- he has not interviewed with any other programs -- he will take a spot on Meyer's defensive staff, though the formal title has not been announced.

Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has also been mentioned as a candidate for some relatively high-profile head coaching gigs, including Kansas and Illinois, and Pitt has shown enough interest in Chryst to bring him in for an interview as well. As the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, Chryst is ready to be a head coach, but he's not ready to talk about the Pittsburgh job:

Asked if he would talk about the Pittsburgh job, Chryst politely declined to comment.

Chryst, in his sixth season as UW's offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach, has acknowledged he feels prepared to run a program.

UW athletic director Barry Alvarez has recommended Chryst to Pittsburgh officials.

A source reiterated Sunday that although Chryst is ready to be a head coach he would prefer to stay in the Midwest and will leave UW only for a perfect fit.

Still, even though Pitt has interviewed coaches from Ohio State and Wisconsin, it's every bit as possible that it goes in an entirely different direction when it comes time for the final hire. Some reports are emerging that Pitt's top candidate is actually Mario Cristobal of Florida International (whom CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman has endorsed as a possibility for the Penn State head coaching role). Cristobal has already interviewed with Pitt as well, and the Journal-Sentinel report on Chryst also indicated that Cristobal was offered the Pitt job on Sunday. Cristobal will lead his 8-4 Golden Panthers to their second straight (and second ever) bowl game with a game against Marshall in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl on Tuesday.

Still, Pittsburgh is adamant that any reports of job offers are premature, as the athletic department released this statement on Sunday afternoon: “Contrary to Internet reports, the Pitt football head coaching position has not been offered to anyone, nor have any decisions on an offer been made. The search is still an ongoing process.”



To keep up with the Pittsburgh job search and all the other coaching hires of this offseason, check out CBSSports.com's Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Posted on: October 14, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Bielema to students: No more potty-mouth, please

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

No one any younger than Joe Paterno (and not even JoePa himself) will be surprised to learn that the student sections at major college football stadiums are not the place to be if one wants to hear clean, polite, sportsmanlike King's English. But the language at Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium has now become so foul that no less an authority than Badger head coach Bret Bielema himself has stepped in to try and clean it up.

Bielema and Badger athletic director Barry Alvarez co-signed a letter sent to student ticket holders Thursday "asking you to end the vulgar chants at our home football games." While praising the students for helping create the loud, intimidating atmosphere that contributed to the Badgers' 48-17 throttling of Nebraska, the letter -- available in its entirety here -- also shares a number of written complaints (from both Badger and Husker fans) sent to the Wisconsin athletics office:
"During the course of the game, the student body was led in a very obscene cheer consisting of echoing 'Eat [bleep]' and '[bleep] you'. I was pretty appalled considering that not all the spectators were 18 years or older. It was not the sort of thing children should be hearing."

“I recorded the game at home. You can hear the students chant 'You [bleep]ed up' when another player commits a penalty. I can’t imagine that’s the image we want for UW.”

“I was absolutely appalled by your students. I have been to about 15 other campuses, and I have never experienced worse students than I did at Wisconsin. In all of the venues I’ve been to, I’ve never dealt with students with less class than I did at your school.”
Bielema discussed the problems further at his Thursday meeting with reporters, saying that visiting recruits and their families have been moved away from the student section in order to distance them from the stream of profanities.

“If you come into the stadium for the first time and you've never heard it, it's kind of shocking,” Bielema said, adding that "the ones that get me are when it's a parent who has a small child that now has to explain what's being said or try not to explain what's being said."

Nebraska legend (and athletic director) Tom Osborne also weighed in on the Wisconsin students on his radio call-in show this week, saying they fell short of being "decent." And by way of explanation, Osborne sent a not-so-subtle shot across the bow at the Badgers' historical fortunes vis a vis his Huskers' (emphasis added):

"I was on a golf cart with three folks who were over 90 years old," Osborne said. "We were trying to get them up to some seats. We had some rather unpleasant names called."

Osborne said he hopes Nebraska fans set the bar higher.

"I think there are probably some venues in the Big Ten that will treat people pretty well, and there are some we've been to before, and it isn't necessarily going to be that way," he said ... "I think, usually, schools with good tradition, that have won a lot in the past, are fairly tolerant. The ones that have won just lately sometimes don't know how to handle it very well."

But of course, those Wisconsin students aren't going to give the first [bleep] what Osborne thinks. Could it be different with Bielema? Will hearing directly from the man who -- after a Rose Bowl season and dominating 5-0 start -- is likely now more hero than coach in that Camp Randall student section actually bring about change?

Knowing these are 18-22 year-old college students we're talking about here: [bleep] no.


Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 10:51 am
 

Barry Alvarez, son lost $1M in Shapiro scheme

Posted by Chip Patterson

As the dust begins to settle from the initial shock of the Yahoo! investigative report on Miami football, some of the details regarding Nevin Shapiro are beginning to rise to the surface. Among them, who had this well-connected booster involved in his wholesale grocery Ponzi scheme that landed him 20 years behind bars?

One of them is Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez.

Alvarez and his wife, Cynthia, reportedly lost $600,000 by investing in Shapiro's company. Their son, Chad, also claimed he lost $400,000 in the scheme. The Herald reports rumors that the Wisconsin AD may have been introduced to Shapiro by Miami president Donna Shalala, former president at UW.

That rumor was squashed by a Miami attorney who represents the bankruptcy trustee on the case. Court papers instead list one of Shapiro's investors in Naples as the connect between the booster and the Alvarez family.  The athletic director released a statement on Thursday.

“Like dozens of others, I was introduced by a friend several years ago to an investment opportunity with Capital Investments USA, Inc., which was the company being run by Mr. Shapiro," Alvarez said.  "I was introduced to Mr. Shapiro on one occasion over the years, but had no contact with him outside that one introduction. Eventually I became aware that the investment I had made was in jeopardy due to Mr. Shapiro’s legal troubles. At that point, I retained legal counsel in an effort to recoup the money I had invested. That process is still ongoing.”

As Shapiro's status rises with the NCAA investigation, chances are more well-known names will be attached to his $930 million scheme. As someone who spent a lot of money to get to college football's inside circle, he likely had numerous opportunities to run his con on powerful people with money to spend.
 
 
 
 
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