Bret Bielema Proves There is No Loyalty in College Football

By Connor Muldowney
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Just three days after taking Wisconsin to their third straight Rose Bowl, head coach Bret Bielema has accepted an offer to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks next season.

The John L. Smith project failed at Arkansas as the Razorbacks failed to make a bowl game after a nightmare of a season. However, they turn to the brand of power football that Bielema features in order to bring them back to an SEC power.

A source familiar with the situation believes that the deal is worth $3.2 million annually over a six-year span– quite the deal for the coach who has had just one head coaching job (Wisconsin) in his career.

Bielema still would like to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl, which could raise some criticism from fans and alumni alike, as they could see the coach as a traitor in some ways.

This raises the question: is there such thing as loyalty in college football anymore?

I think Bret Bielema just proved by his actions today, leaving the program he has built into a Big Ten power to coach in the conference that he had previously stated he did not want the Big Ten to be anything like:

“I can tell you this, we at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC—in any way, shape or form.”

This is just one of the many occurrences of such types of money-driven decisions by college head coaches. Nick Saban has done it multiple times, Lane Kiffin has done it, Todd Graham does it seemingly every year and now Bret Bielema has done it– to name a few.

Bielema turned the Wisconsin Badgers from a middle of the pack Big Ten squad that sneaks into a bowl game seemingly season after season into a Big Ten power that has now made their third straight Rose Bowl and has achieved four 10-win seasons in his seven years at Wisconsin.

If he can achieve such impressive numbers at a school in a BCS conference, a school that is usually known for their football, then just leave everything he has built up, then who in college football is loyal these days?

Money must be the only thing driving coaches to programs anymore and not the passion to coach and turn boys into men. That should be the number one priority in any coaching circumstance.

I understand that these coaches want their families to not have to worry about money, but what really is the difference between two million dollars a year and three million dollars a year? Right now, greed is getting in the way of loyalty and college football is suffering the consequences.


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