Gary Andersen Fumbles Handling of QB Competition


Nov 30, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Gary Anderson (right) congratulates quarterback Joel Stave (2) after Wisconsin scored a touchdown in the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Andersen, to many, has been a God send to the University of Wisconsin football program.

After the childish divorce that led to Brett Bielema packing his bags for the SEC, Andersen calmed the waters quickly, and has turned UW fans’ attention toward the 2014 National Title.

One of Andersen’s best traits and abilities as a head coach has been his report with his players, the ability to recruit athletic talent and the number of high-profile players who’ve shown interest since his signing.

One of those talents was quarterback Tanner McEvoy, who when expressed interest in transferring out of a troubled past, was told by Andersen he’d be in the quarterback conversation, sooner-than-later.

After an injury put those plans on hold for a season, Andersen knew coming into the 2014 season he’d painted himself into a corner with McEvoy.

A pure football talent, McEvoy has shown his value in a number of ways, but now wants his shot at playing quarterback for a DI program.


Washed aside in that plan has been the hard work and time put in from Joel Stave.

While his struggles throwing the football have been well documented, his ability to lead and comfort inside the system is something McEvoy hasn’t had the opportunity to earn.

Just a few days now prior to UW’s opening game in Texas, rumors continue to swirl around the quarterback position.

Leaks to the press through social media hinted at McEvoy as the starter this weekend, however, no official announcement from the team, or Andersen, has yet to be made.

Andersen called the report “another social media debacle.” He said both would play, and whoever takes the first snap doesn’t matter.

Well Mr. Andersen, you of course know how the world works, and especially in the minds of a young player, it matters the world.

The doubt now lies in the eyes of the supporters Andersen’s gained through his first couple seasons at Wisconsin.

Known as a decisive play caller, someone who doesn’t wish-wash around much, the head coach has now brought a cloud over the situation that’s set neither McEvoy, nor Stave, up for a successful debut vs. LSU.

Maybe inside the locker room, the decision has been made. But by failing to make a public announcement and confident endorsement, Andersen is leaving open many questions to be asked after.

And by coming out with a depth chart that simply fans the fire on the issue, Andersen didn’t do anyone a favor – especially himself.

Fans deserve to know who is the choice. Both players deserve to walk around excepting a decision, and move forward in what’s best for the Wisconsin program.

While Andersen has seemingly done everything right so far in Madison, this is his first hiccup.