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Wisconsin HC Greg Gard says Badgers have ‘almost tripled NIL funds over the last year’

Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard joined Milwaukee’s 97.3 The Game Thursday afternoon and discussed everything from the end of the 2023-24 season to the state of the program’s name, image and likeness licensing funds.

The interview comes at the start of a critical offseason for Gard and his program. The Badgers must replace the departed production of Tyler Wahl and A.J. Storr, address depth after the departures of Connor Essegian and Gus Yalden and find a replacement for Dean Oliver on the coaching staff.

Related: Everything Wisconsin HC Greg Gard said about NIL, his coaching staff and program changes in a recent radio interview

Here is everything Gard said on those topics, including a note that the Badgers have “almost tripled NIL funds over the last year:”

On turnover within the roster:

“Met with the team right after we got back from Brooklyn, the next day, and just addressed the white elephant of the portal. And knowing that ‘hey, some of you guys might have other opportunities, some of you may want to test the NBA waters and get feedback, some of you may want to jump two feet into it — referring to A.J. (Storr)'” Gard said. “Also knowing that other opportunities are going to come out there — poaching is real. We don’t need to duck it. … I addressed all those things.”

On the state of the sport and how to manage it:

“I think every case is different. Every player is different. A lot of players have agents now. … For AJ, it was a business decision, which I’m completely supportive of. He wants to chase the NBA dream. I want players who want to chase the NBA dreams. He’s going to test that water and run as far as he can. Then there’s also business decisions to make within the portal. For him, he’s in a category where those numbers are real. That’s just the business we’re in right now. For him, he’s gotta decide what’s the best option for him and the business part of that weighs into it more than it did three years ago, let alone 5-10 years ago.”

On the coaching staff change:

“It was my decision to make a change on my staff and move forward. Coach (Dean) Oliver did a good job for us. But I have to continue to move forward, and push this thing forward. We’re not going to stay in maintenance mode, we’re not going to stay status quo.”

On the Badgers’ NIL efforts:

“My staff and I, led really by coach (Joe) Krabbenhoft, started this initiative over a year ago of our ‘sixth man society’ as part of the Varsity Collective. Put a lot of boots on the ground raising funds. We’ve been able to almost triple our NIL collective in terms of men’s basketball in a year.”

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Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire