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UW coach Paul Chryst says Badgers will have enough training time before season

UW coach Paul Chryst says Badgers will have enough training time before season

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Chryst, Alvarez

Badgers football coach Paul Chryst and athletic director Barry Alvarez confer before a 2018 game at Camp Randall Stadium. 

Even though the Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday that football would return, a significant amount of work is still do to be done.

Paul Chryst mug

Chryst

University of Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst, who was part of the football scheduling committee in the return-to-competition effort, said details are still being ironed out by the Big Ten regarding the league’s schedule, but now his focus turns to preparing his team for the season.

“Right now you’re putting together the schedules, and there’s a little part of you that knows you’ve got to be flexible even as we’re putting this down,” Chryst said on the “Wisconsin Athletics Happy Hour” radio show Thursday night on 1310 WIBA and Learfield/IMG College. “There’s still some information, some details we need to get yet before we can finalize that schedule.”

UW athletic director Barry Alvarez was heavily involved in bringing football back this fall and chaired the scheduling committee. Chryst said the goals of the committee were to create a meaningful season, taking into account what all 14 league coaches wanted and listening to player input, while keeping the 2021 season “as normal as possible.”

The Badgers won’t return to the practice field until Sept. 24 after the athletic department instituted a two-week pause for the football and men’s hockey team activities due to COVID-19 tests. Public Health Madison and Dane County reported Wednesday that UW’s football team has had 42 positive COVID-19 tests between its players and staff since June.

Following the end of the pause, Chryst said the Badgers will have to ease into workouts before starting full practices.

“We couldn’t jump right into practice, even if you wanted to,” Chryst said. “But we’re well-positioned. I think we’re going to have enough time.”

When the Badgers will get into full pads is still being determined, but a number of Big Ten coaches said the target date for full-padded practices is Sept. 30, the latest day the conference-mandated daily testing program begins.

Chryst said those three-plus weeks between the pads going on and UW’s debut won’t be a traditional training camp, but look more like in-season weeks. He and his staff will utilize weekend days in an effort to avoid class conflicts, he said.

Loudermilk embraces responsibility of moment

The football season won’t be the same on or off the field for players, and UW senior Isaiahh Loudermilk said players must do their part to keep the season afloat.

“It’s going to take a lot of discipline,” Loudermilk said on the radio show. “It’s going to be a different feel, a different type of year. I feel like it’s going to take a lot more dedication to see this season through.”

Isaiahh Loudermilk mug

Loudermilk

The 6-foot-7 defensive lineman said it was difficult to see other conferences playing in recent weeks, but is appreciative that the Big Ten reconsidered its stance. He vowed to not take anything in his modified final season for granted, and believes his teammates will do the same.

“We’re coming home and not leaving home. If we go out, and we’re not thinking, we can contract (COVID-19), give it to somebody else, and that’s three games, 21 days we’re done,” Loudermilk said. “We’ve talked to a bunch of people about really being safe, because one mistake can cost you a couple games.”


Badgers fans weigh in of the return of Big Ten football

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