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Bielema says he didn't pressure assistants for quick decision

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Ex-Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema said he didn't pressure three Badger assistants to quickly decide whether to take job offers to join him at Arkansas.

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Six of Bielema's former assistants in Madison took new jobs before Gary Andersen was hired last week as the new head coach. That bothered Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who said some of the assistants were given only 24 hours to act on their job offers before they would be withdrawn.

Bielema said during the weekend that he never put that kind of pressure on defensive coordinator Chris Ash, defensive line coach Charlie Partridge or strength coach Ben Herbert.

Bielema said he knew that the assistants' jobs were not guaranteed under a new coach, so they had no choice but to make fast decisions on their own. Bielema also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he regretted the sudden way he left the University of Wisconsin, telling Alvarez he was leaving while both were in New York.

Both men said they have not talked to each other since Dec. 4, when Bielema resigned.

Alvarez said he disagreed at how some things were handled but, "I'm way past that right now."

He said he's focusing on next week's Rose Bowl, and helping Andersen build a staff and recruiting.

When asked if he'd schedule a game against Arkansas, Alvarez said, "Ah, no."

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