It appears national ridicule has done little to deter former Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema from responding to insults from angry Badgers fans on his Twitter account. Nearly two months after being chided for his online behavior, Bielema is at it again.
Three times in the past week, the Arkansas coach has retweeted someone else’s mean-spirited tweet and offered a short, pithy response of his own. On Thursday, Bielema tweeted his team would finish spring practice early enough to watch the Arkansas basketball team compete in the SEC tournament, which led to this exchange with someone using the Twitter account “@1mjbrierley.”
1mjbrierley: “You finish practice early because your team isn’t hard. #wps #leadership”
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Bielema: “Now blocked purely for stupidity #wps”
Four days earlier, Bielema retweeted another comment from the same account to his nearly 55,000 followers:
1mjbrierley: “you suck coach!”
Bielema: “Hoping you feel better each time you tweet some idiotic comment. Go back under rock. #wps”
On Wednesday, Bielema also retweeted a comment from @Great_One82
Great_One82: “We miss you in Wisconsin coach, crap I forgot the word don’t in between we and miss.”
Bielema: “Try forget to follow me!”
In mid-January, Bielema first drew attention for interacting with disgruntled Wisconsin fans on Twitter. Among his replies were: “enjoy life alone,” “weak minds get weak dreams,” “hope your children don’t follow you on Twitter,” and “stay classy.”
Bielema left Wisconsin for the Arkansas head coaching position on Dec. 4, just three days after leading Wisconsin to a 70-31 victory against Nebraska in the Big Ten championship. The Badgers went on to lose in the Rose Bowl, 20-14, to Stanford after UW athletic director Barry Alvarez came out of retirement to coach the team.
Some Wisconsin fans remain bitter that Bielema left at such an inopportune time, while others didn’t like the way he blamed a lack of assistant coaching pay for his departure. Still, more fans refuse to get past Bielema losing in his only two appearances in the Rose Bowl at Wisconsin.
On March 6, Bielema tweeted: “Twitter has many uses, for me as HC of the Razorbacks, it is all about recruiting.”
Apparently, he is still using Twitter for other purposes, too.