When Bret Bielema decided to leave Wisconsin, he gave them no chance to make a counter offer and try to convince him to stay. Instead of warning Alvarez that he was talking with Arkansas about the opening, Bielema instead told Alvarez that he had accepted the job.
I’ll put it to you this way, Bielema told Alvarez he accepted the job and was introduced later that same day.
This both surprised Alvarez and upset him, as it should have. Bielema was tabbed by Alvarez to take over the Badgers after Alvarez moved left coaching to become the AD at the school.
Alvarez was interviewed by Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips on their Sirius XM show last Friday. He expressed disappointment and stated that there will be a contact clause in future coaches contracts.
Phillips: When did you find out he was leaving?
Alvarez: I found out in New York about noon Tuesday.
Cohen: Tell me about that conversation. That was him telling you that I’m gone or him telling you I have an offer?
Alvarez: That he had made the decision. That was my question. Are you asking to speak to them or are you telling me you’re taking the job? He said I took the job.
Phillips: Is there anything you can do to set up with the new coach so this doesn’t happen again? That there’s an understanding if there is any contact made that it’s got to come through the university first and not just a decision and then inform you later?
Alvarez: We’ve discussed that already here as an item in the contract. Before discussion with any other program, that we have to be contacted.
Cohen: So meaning it’s a violation of the contract immediately?
While obviously a contact clause will give the current school time to react, it doesn’t guarantee that the coach will still stay and it seems that Bielema had already made up his mind that he would have a better shot in the SEC.
I’m not sure if Bielema factored in that he’ll be playing in the SEC West, but if you’re going to accept a job, the SEC is the cream of the crop.