Many on UW's campus "surprised" to hear Bielema news

MADISON -- The University of Arkansas has confirmed Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema will be the next head football coach for the Razorbacks. 

The Razorbacks coaching position has only been open for about a week. But sources say Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long flew to Madison on Tuesday, December 4th to present a contract to Bielema. The two parties agreed and Bielema will likely be introduced late Tuesday evening.

Bielema was in the home stretch of his seventh season with the Badgers. He's coming off a 70-31 win over Nebraska in front of a national audience that earned Wisconsin its third straight Rose Bowl berth.

Early reports indicate Bielema will be paid $4 million. That's a bump from the $2.5 million he was making in Madison.

Following the news that Bielema is leaving the Badgers, Wisconsin football players left a Tuesday night meeting near Camp Randall.

"He just expressed it was the best opportunity for him. I think everybody faces choices in life and you just need to do what`s best for you in those choices and I think he`s done tremendous things for the program. I think he`s left us in a good spot," Badgers offensive lineman Travis Frederick said.

Players told FOX6 News Bielema told them he's leaving the team for personal reasons.

"It`s his call and I don`t blame him at all. It happens a lot, it seems like, in college football. We just have to stay focused on what we have to do," Badgers quarterback Joel Stave said.

Team members say Bielema's message to them was simple.

"He's always there for us. We've been his team and he loves us," Stave said.