UW Health Sports Medicine 

Lucas at Large: Alvarez focused on bowl prep, not name game

You probably wouldn't have found "Legends" and "Leaders" on UW athletic director Barry Alvarez' list of potential names for the new divisions in the Big Ten. Then, again, you probably wouldn't have found a list, either.

"I really didn't get very involved in the process, and I didn't have a strong feeling on the names," Alvarez said. "I understand how they came up with 'Legends' and 'Leaders' and I'm fine with it."

Alvarez paused and added, "I know it's important, but I'm more of a meat and potatoes guy. I'm more concerned with how we block and tackle.''

Hence, he's looking forward to seeing how the UW matches up with TCU in the Rose Bowl. You would expect that out of someone who coached the Badgers for 16 seasons and was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Leading up to the actual playing of the game on Jan. 1, he's also dealing with the "meat and potatoes" of his job: the bottom line. In this context, he's keeping tabs on the logistics of designating an official travel party and expenses.

"We will not exceed our budget," he stressed.

Alvarez is sensitive to the scrutiny inherent to such bowl ventures. Especially when it involves taking a team to Pasadena and the Rose Bowl. The demand always exceeds the supply, whether for tickets or transparency.

The Badgers will be accommodating in all areas, Alvarez said.

"The people we will be taking from within the athletic department will all be in a working capacity on the trip," Alvarez said. "Every staff member will have an obligation at the bowl site due to the additional demands of a BCS game.

"We have established guidelines we will stick to. So does the Big Ten regarding the designation of an official travel party. In some cases, there are substitutions. People need to know there's a rhyme and reason to how it's done.

"I know there's a lot of scrutiny that goes along with the Rose Bowl. People on the outside want to know why specific people are going on the trip, and why they are in the travel party. We want to be transparent on all fronts."

Alvarez emphasized that the No. 1 priority will be the players and the coaches and their families. "People will have the opportunity to go to Pasadena because of our football program," he said.

To this end, he wants to make sure the players enjoy the experience, first and foremost. "But in the same sense," he said, "we want them to understand they're there to win a football game, and we will never lose sight of that."

Spoken like an Ol' Ball Coach.

"Our fans were another high priority," he said. "Every donor and season ticket-holder who requested tickets received a minimum of four tickets. We wanted to make sure we took care of our patrons. And we were able to do that."