ESPN Wisconsin

Wrong version or no version of Flash detected

ESPN Wisconsin Blogs - Zach Heilprin

  • Page 1 of 88
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • ...
  • »
  • »»

Badgers football: Gordon: 'I should get something, but it just doesn’t work out like that right now."

Oct 21, 2014 -- 1:51am
Photo/Getty Images
Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon's signature is a popular one these days and plenty of peope are making money off it.
MADISON - If you type the name Melvin Gordon into an eBay search, more than 620 matches pop up for the University of Wisconsin running back. Of those, 41 claim to have Gordon’s authentic signature on them. The asking price varies – with the low end at $12.95 for an 8x10 picture, and the high end being a full-size goal line pylon for $209.
How much money does Gordon make on those? Absolutely nothing due to NCAA rules on autographs and memorabilia.
“It’s crazy that they’re making money,” said Gordon, who went to a similar auction website just to see what was out there with his name on it. “It’s crazy. You think, like, man what if I got some money off that. I should get something, but it just doesn’t work out like that right now.”
It doesn’t and some of Gordon’s brethren are finding that out. Georgia’s Todd Gurley, who Gordon will likely battle to be the first running back off the board in the 2015 NFL Draft, has missed the last two games as the NCAA investigates whether the junior took $400 from a memorabilia dealer in exchange for signing 80 items. Up on eBay, there are 178 items with his autograph.
Down at Florida State, compliance officials have started an investigation into whether Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston received money for his signature. That came after ESPN reported that an authentication company was able to confirm that hundreds of items signed by Winston had been done so in sequential order, which raised some eyebrows.
However, to this point no one has stepped forward to say that they paid Winston to sign items, and his coach, Jimbo Fisher, stressed how accommodating his quarterback has been to fans and cited that as the reason for there being so many items.
Gordon can relate to Winston in that respect. The UW running back has become the face of the program and is among the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy right now. He leads the country in rushing at 174.3 yards per game and is on pace to break Ron Dayne’s school record for yards (2,109) in a season. The line to get Gordon’s autograph at UW’s annual Family Fun Day in August stretched longer than anyone else’s. But that’s only one of the places Gordon is approached to sign something.
“You’re just walking and you have people come up and ask you to sign things,” Gordon said. “You never want to jump to conclusions, especially with the Jameis Winston thing. They say he had so many. Well he won the Heisman. So if it’s crazy for us, you can only imagine how crazy it is for him with signing things.”
The idea of others making money off an athlete without that athlete getting a dime has been front and center in recent years, most famously with the Ed O’Bannon case. The former UCLA basketball player sued the NCAA, arguing that the organization violated anti-trust laws by not allowing athletes to be compensated for the use of their likeness, names or images. The judge ruled in favor of O’Bannon in August saying players should be able to benefit, on a limited scale, from their school’s commercial efforts that use them.
Though the ruling is currently being appealed, it is just one aspect of a seismic shift when it comes to the NCAA and the way they do business.
Whether that will ever impact the player’s ability to make money off things they sign is unclear. NCAA president Mark Emmert told business leaders in Chicago on Monday that there has been no discussion of allowing it. But Gordon would certainly be on board if it did.
“I wouldn’t mind it all. It would be nice,” Gordon said. “I wouldn’t mind getting money for what we do.”

Badgers football: Andersen remains optimistic on Herring, Watt

Oct 20, 2014 -- 5:26pm
MADISON - Gary Andersen maintained his optimistic attitude about the University of Wisconsin’s injury situation when he addressed the media on Monday.
The UW football coach said he’s hopeful that nose guard Warren Herring and fullback Derek Watt will be able to play against Maryland (5-2, 2-1) on Saturday.
“I have to see how the week goes,” Andersen said. “I’ll remain optimistic until I'm told that they're going to play, so I'm not optimistic anymore. I was correct. And if I'm told different, then I won't be correct. But I hope they play.”
Neither player has been on the field since the opener against LSU. Herring needed surgery to repair the media collateral ligament in his right knee and was given a four-to-six week recovery time. Last week, Herring was doing mostly rehab work off to the side at practice. Watt suffered a broken foot against the Tigers, had surgery the following week and was not expected back until some time in November.
Despite their long absences, Andersen said they wouldn’t necessarily have to practice a lot this week to be able to play against the Terrapins.
“As soon as they can get back and play, they'll be prepared to get into the game prep opportunities,” Andersen said. “It’s really going to be how they progress. If they're ready to play, I'll expect them to jog out there and be ready to play. How much they play, who really knows.
“I think it's so early to say. But if they're ready to go, they'll play quite a few reps on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, UW will have Marcus Trotter back in their lineup. The senior linebacker suffered a groin injury on the second drive of the Northwestern game, missed the rest of that contest and sat out against Illinois the following week. With the bye week allowing for some more time to heal, the Badgers fourth-leading tackler will return.
“Getting Marcus back is big for us,” Andersen said. “He's played very well now when we've had him. He's been healthy. He's been a force … So when Marcus has been given that opportunity, he's played well.
“And he deserves to be given an opportunity, in my mind, again this week and he will be the starter as long as he's healthy, and we would expect nothing more than to have him play at a high level again.”
In Trotter’s absence, Leon Jacobs played well against the Illini in his first career start. The sophomore had 12 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. That production will likely earn him some form of action despite the return of Trotter.
Derek Landisch, the other inside starter at linebacker, will also be good to go. The senior injured his elbow against the Illini but returned to the game with a brace on his arm.

Badgers basketball: UW opens at No. 4 in the coaches' poll

Oct 16, 2014 -- 8:20pm
CHICAGO - The University of Wisconsin returns almost their entire rotation from last year’s run to the Final Four, and that returning nucleus is the reason behind the Badgers appearance in the top 5 of the USA Today preseason Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.
Wisconsin came in at No. 4 and received three first-place votes. It’s the same spot they occupied in the final poll of the 2013-2014 season.
Kentucky, who beat the Badgers 74-73 in the Final Four, claimed the top spot and 24 first-place votes.
When asked what he thought about the Wildcats being the No. 1 team, Wisconsin senior Frank Kaminsky paused before answering.
“I hope we can play them. That’s all I can say about that,” Kaminsky said before going into more detail after a follow up question.
“I want that rematch from last year. They’re the last team to beat us. And it’s on such a big stage that obviously any competitor would want to play them again.”
Kaminsky, who the Big Ten writers tabbed as the preseason favorite for conference player of the year, had eight points and five rebounds in the game – a contest he couldn’t bring himself to watch over the summer.
“I haven’t watched the game and I don’t think I will,” the center said. “From what I remember, they got the best of us. We were so close to winning it. I would love to play them again.”
At No. 2 is Arizona, the team UW beat in overtime to get to the Final Four. Duke, who will come to the Kohl Center on Dec. 3 for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, follows them. Kansas rounds out the Top 5.
In total, there are eight teams in the Top 25 that Wisconsin is either scheduled to play or that they could play as a result of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in late November.  
The Big Ten put six teams in the poll, the most of any conference in the country.
The full poll can be found here:

Badgers basketball: Writers say UW will win B1G

Oct 15, 2014 -- 9:11pm
Photo/Getty Images
MADISON - Writers that cover the Big Ten really like Bo Ryan’s team this year.
The Big Ten Network polled a beat writer for each of the 14 teams and each one chose the University of Wisconsin to win the conference. Ohio State received the second most votes, with Michigan State coming in third.
The writers also expect a very big season from Frank Kaminsky. The UW center was listed on each of the ballots – the only unanimous first-team selection. Junior Sam Dekker received 11 first-team votes. The two Badgers were joined by Nebraska’s Terran Petteway, Michigan’s Caris LeVert and Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell.
Wisconsin returns four of the five starters, and seven of their top eight players, that led them to the Final Four last season.

Badgers football: Andersen updates Herring, Watt injuries

Oct 15, 2014 -- 8:45pm
Photo/Getty Images
MADISON - Gary Andersen is an optimist.
The University of Wisconsin coach admitted as much on Wednesday as he discussed the possible return of two significant pieces that have been missing since the season opener against LSU.
“I’m saying yes,” Andersen said of getting back defensive end Warren Herring. “I don’t think I’m being overly optimistic, but I’m being optimistic. And I would say the same thing about (fullback) Derek (Watt). I would think we have a very good opportunity to get him back.”
The first name Andersen mentioned is not a surprise. Against the Tigers, Herring suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee on the last play of the third quarter. He had surgery the following week and talked of wanting to be back by the Big Ten opener against Northwestern. That didn’t happen, obviously, but a new target date was set: Oct. 25 against Maryland.
This week, Herring has been doing rehab work off to the side of practice but has another nine days to prove to UW’s coaches that he’s ready.
Andersen’s optimism on Watt, though, is a little bit of a shock. The junior broke his foot against the Tigers and had surgery the following week as well. The initial prognosis was for him to be out until the middle of November.
“He’s moving forward,” Andersen said of Watt. “Has he been out in practice yet? No, but like I said I’m optimistic. I’m an optimist. What can I say?”
At this point, it appears much more likely that UW will have Herring against Maryland, and they’ll have to wait a little bit longer for Watt to return.
Meanwhile, Andersen solved a bit of mystery on Wednesday. During warm-ups against Illinois on Saturday one of UW’s six quarterbacks was missing – true freshman D.J. Gillins. It turns out the dual-threat signal caller had a minor knee scope last week to clean up from a 2012 surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he tore during his junior season of high school.
“He’s fine,” Andersen said of Gillins, who was wearing a brace on his left knee on Wednesday. “I expect him to be back at practice, probably, next week. He’ll be fine. He’s ready to go.”
Quarterbacks still splitting reps
Don’t expect Wisconsin to announce who their starting quarterback is going to be against Maryland. Though they are on a bye this week, juniors Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy are each seeing time with the first-team offense.
“From what I’ve seen this week, I would guess that’s pretty much what it is,” Andersen said when asked if they were splitting reps down the middle. “It is a little bit by package right now early in the game planning also. So (7-on-7) was kind of split about every other rep, but we want some young kids to get some throws, too.
“Right now, in practice I would say, Tuesday, Wednesday this week have pretty much been 50-50.”

Badgers basketball: Thomas commits

Oct 14, 2014 -- 9:20pm
Photo/Jen Rynda/Baltimore Sun
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin has added a third commit for the class of 2015.
River Hill (Clarksville, Maryland) High School power forward Charlie Thomas gave his verbal commitment to Bo Ryan and the Badgers on Tuesday. It was first reported by
The 6-foot-8, 245-pound, Thomas is a 3-star prospect according to ESPN. They describe Thomas as a “strong and physical power forward that is a terrific rebounder.”
He chose the Badgers over Rutgers and DePaul and reportedly had 11 total scholarship offers.
Thomas joins DePere guard Brevin Pritzl and New Hampshire power forward Alex Illikainen.
Some highlights of Thomas:

  • Page 1 of 88
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • ...
  • »
  • »»


1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
540 AM: Listen
12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
100.5 FM: Listen

Coming Up

3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Homer & Gabe

Coming Up

3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Homer & Gabe


  • Milwaukee Recently Updated


    • Alex & Drew from Champps Americana in Brookfield

    • ESPN Milwaukee at Ari's Sports Bar 10-19-14

    • Homer & Gabe live from Hitters 10-16-14


    There are no games scheduled for today.

    There are no games scheduled for today.

    There are no games scheduled for today.

    An Ad has not been trafficed here..