Bielema showed up with the linemen to Pittman’s home as part of an attempt to keep him.
“I think when you’re dealing with 19-, 20- and 21-year-old kids, they’re going to be emotional,” Bielema said after the last-ditch effort of loading up the offensive line and showing up on Pittman’s doorstep failed. “Some were mad, sad, sad then mad. It’s a part of the job no one wants to talk about, and Sam, because of the way he recruits and the way he handles people — until this matter — had been very personal.”
He also, more or less, accused Pittman of betrayal.
“(Pittman) kind of always made the comment that, ‘You don’t have to worry about me going. You can set the buyout wherever you want it,’ ” Bielema said. “I just believed it, and obviously it didn’t come true.”
Bielema’s second round of hires had SEC non-compete clauses, which probably kept offensive coordinator Dan Enos from joining Georgia. His initial staff did not have those clauses. Hence, Pittman was free to go.
Coaches leave. It can be sad and awkward. It’s how the sport works. Wisconsin fans will appreciate the irony that Bielema left for Arkansas to stop losing his assistants every year. With Pittman departing, Bielema has just two assistants remaining from his original 2013 staff.