Bickerstaff turns 12, ahem, 21

Bouncers around Madison can breath a sigh of relief tonight as UW football player Erik Bickerstaff celebrates his 21st birthday.

Just don’t look for him at Brother’s Tavern.

About an hour before bar time last Thursday night, Bickerstaff tried to get into Brother’s as one Michael Bennett. The problem? Michael Bennett was the most visible student in Madison last year and will be a starting running back for the Minnesota Vikings this fall.

Wise to the scheme, the bouncer at Brother’s turned Bickerstaff down and pocketed Bennett’s stolen/borrowed/lost ID. But instead of cutting his losses and heading home, Bickerstaff beat up the bouncer and landed battery and disorderly conduct charges. The poor Brother’s bouncer received two fists to the face, minor abrasions and a swollen lip. Bickerstaff told police he felt the two bouncers that restrained him had used unnecessary force.

The whole situation begs two disturbing questions:

1) What’s wrong with Bickerstaff? Sure losing the ID would likely mean no bar hopping last weekend, but beating up a bouncer wasn’t the solution. Besides, what’s the big rush? Bickerstaff had less than a week to wait before turning 21.

2) What’s wrong with UW sports? Bickerstaff’s altercation is the latest in a frightening trend at UW. This past year alone, Michael Bennett physically threatened a neighbor with a telephone, Nick Davis stole a $4,000 TV and UW recruit Jael Speights brutally raped and beat another UW student.

Earlier this spring, we asked Coach Alveraz to give his team a pep talk about off-the-field behavior. Apparently, either the pep talk fell on deaf ears, or our editorial did.

So we’ll keep reiterating our pleas for discipline on the football team until we see the least bit of evidence of it.


This article was published Jul 25, 2001 at 12:00 pm and last updated Jul 25, 2001 at 12:00 pm


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