High school athletes react to news of Bret Bielema's departure

MADISON -- As former Wisconsin Badgers football head coach Bret Bielema was introduced as the new head coach at the University of Arkansas on Wednesday, December 5th, FOX6 News spoke with Wisconsin recruits who have committed to Wisconsin or are thinking about committing, about what this latest development means for them.

George Panos is a junior at Arrowhead High School. He's an offensive lineman who has already committed to play football at the University of Wisconsin. Billy Hirschfeld, also a junior, is a defensive lineman who hasn't yet committed.

Both Panos and Hirschfeld told FOX6 News the news of Coach Bieleman leaving was a shock, but say they're settling in with the news.

"I just talked to him on Monday and when I found out the news on Tuesday after school, I was a little bit heartbroken," Hirschfeld said.

"After a couple of hours, I saw all the money he's being offered and all that stuff. It's a business decision. It makes sense," Panos said.

Panos told FOX6 News he remains committed to Wisconsin. 

"I'm just going to wait it out, see the new coaches they hire, watch the Rose Bowl, pretend like everything's normal until they hire the new coach. Then, me and my family have to have a meeting with him to see what he's about," Panos said.

Hirschfeld hasn't yet decided where he will play college football.

"I've got another year coming so there could be more offers coming my way if that happens. So, I'm just going to wait until my senior year after football season," Hirschfeld said.

While Panos and Hirschfeld try to figure out their future, they're both realizing the game they love is also about business.

"You don't understand that until now, when you see what's all going on," Panos said.