The Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Gophers are long-standing rivals. The two Universities have played each other 132 times and are currently dead even. Their overall record is 62-62-8. New Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell has already had a taste of the rivalry and the two teams haven’t even taken the field yet. PJ Fleck has reportedly accused Wisconsin of “negative recruiting.”
PJ Fleck Makes Negative Recruiting Accusation Against Wisconsin
Earlier during Wednesday’s Early Signing Period, Fleck stated that Fickell and the Badgers tried to negatively recruit and flip Martin Owusu away from his pledge to the Gophers. A 3-star prospect out of Prior Lake, the Badgers offered Owusu on Dec. 20 despite being committed to Minnesota since June. “Negatively recruiting” typically refers to badmouthing another program in hopes of landing a talent. Fickell was asked by reporters later Wednesday afternoon that he would never try to persuade a player from leaving their current commitment by rattling off less-than-ideal comments about the state of a program.
“I know nothing out it and I won’t negatively recruit,” Fickell said, according to 247Sports. “I’m not saying that somebody didn’t call. I know we may have reached out to somebody, but I wouldn’t think we would have said anything negative about a guy going anywhere.”
“We have enough good things to say about the program here and what we want to do and where we’re headed to worry about saying anything negative about anyone else,” Fickell said.
Here is his full response:
Here was Luke Fickell's response:
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) December 21, 2022
It is almost guaranteed that this will add yet another layer to the rivalry this upcoming year. The Badgers will travel to Minneapolis in 2023 to face the Gophers. The way Wisconsin’s recruiting class has gone so far, Badgers fans are very hopeful that the Axe will come back to Madison.
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