UW defends admissions policies following Andersen exit

University of Wisconsin-Madison officials defended academic standards for athletes following questions about whether they may have had something to do with the exit of head football coach Gary Andersen.

Athletic Director Barry Alvarez told the Wisconsin State Journal that Andersen was frustrated with what he saw as rigid admissions policies for recruits. Alvarez said Andersen was really bothered by the situation with Sun Prairie recruit Craig Evans in February.

At the time, Evans downplayed that academics had an effect on the change, despite reports that he was not going to be admitted to the school.

“You know you got the talk about Wisconsin and academics and all that, that didn’t really play a factor in none of it,” Evans told News 8’s sister station WISC-TV the day he announced his commitment to Michigan State in February.

The UW is defending their practices, saying that they are the same for all students, including athletes.

“I’m not about to try to change the academic standards,” Associate Athletic Director for Student Services Doug Tiedt said. “I think what we have is working. It’s a great athletic program and I think people should embrace it.”

Tiedt said Andersen was clear on the standards the UW holds as coach.

“Speaking to us, we didn’t have any knowledge that he was necessarily upset or bothered by the process,” Tiedt said. “It was a process that was put in place that works for everyone.”

UW Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf said in a statement that the UW celebrates its approach to admissions.

“We apply the approach consistently to all students, including our student athletes,” Mangelsdorf said. “The track record of our programs proves that you can have both academic and athletic success.”

While the UW defends its admissions policies, it isn’t clear what exactly the base standards are. Admissions and athletics officials insist there is a holistic approach that takes grades, character and other factors into account.

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