Bret Bielema opens up about his wife receiving death threats and life in the SEC

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Bret Bielema’s first season at Arkansas didn’t finish the way he’d like. The Hogs went 3-9 and lost their last nine consecutive games and finished 0-8 in SEC play for the first time in program history.

Bielema sat down for an interview with the AP on Tuesday, and he opened up about his first season, and the death threats he and his wife endured.

Q: Professional criticism is one thing. When it turns and flips onto personal level, as it did this season with (wife) Jen, how tough is that to handle?

A: “The only thing I was concerned about her was just her safety. I mean, some people, when they claim they’re going to kill you and your dogs and, you know, hope you die in a car crash and make malicious comments, that’s … People are today a little off. I spend a lot of time away from home. One of the things that we did is talk to the people that we need to talk to to make sure that there wasn’t any potential threat to her safety and well-being. That’s my only priority, is the safety of my family, which right now is my wife and two little dogs that I do like.”

Q: Is the SEC West more or less daunting now that you’ve been through it? Any different take or perception now that you’ve seen it up close?

A: “I think the part that really jumps out to me is you’ve got a team that’s playing for a national championship (Auburn), and we’re a play or two away from being able to capitalize on that game. It shows kids how close you literally are. There isn’t anything more self-evident than to see two teams playing in the SEC championship game that had one win in the SEC total last year. The cards couldn’t line up any better for where we’re at and where we want to be.”

The death threats and malicious comments speak for themselves and are terrible, but unfortunately they are happening more and more on social media. People take things way too seriously.

Related: Arkansas takes a hit with Charlie Partridge loss

As far as the SEC West, Bielema is right in a sense about being a few plays away from having a big season. Several teams played Auburn very tough throughout the season, and it shows the Arkansas program isn’t that far off. Sure, they have a ways to go, but knowing Missouri and Auburn combined for two SEC wins last year, anything can happen.

Photo Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • Arkansas folks are the best, but I will never understand where their nutcases come from. Seems like they show up in blogs a lot also. I think it would help if real representative Arkansas fan would ‘call them out’ on their public statements in stronger language. Next door Kansas folks are also great people, but there are lots of Kansas fans that also make their home look like a place where only spoiled brat self-centered disrespectful people live…. almost never do their good fans tell the bad ones to stay off their blogs. Too bad, college football is the greatest and it should be for the greatest fans.

  • I think the death threats actually came from Badger fans after the infamous #karma tweet by Jen. I periodically looked at tweet to Jen after every Arkansas loss. Badger fans were brutal and vial towards her after every loss. With that said, it also wouldn’t surprise me if a delusional Hog fan did the same.

    • I agree. Fans were not happy with the record but I can’t imagine anyone sending death threats. Not fans that actually have a computer and knowledge to use social media. I truly believe it was a troll job by Badger fans. Hog fans support our coach and will give him reasonable time to place a winning product on the field.

      • Certainly it had to be Badger fans. There are no loonies in the SEC family that would do such things. But —- there was the Bama fan that poisoned Auburn’s trees, and then there was the Bama fan that shot and killed a fellow Bama fan, and the death threats to Bama’s kicker. Maybe all of the nut jobs are simply Bama fans.

  • The death threats came from Badger Fans and they were before the “Karma” tweet CBB talked about the threats after her Karma tweet. He said she received death threats and was harassed brutally when she was left in Wi to sell their home. I follow her on twitter and we exchange tweets quite often. The harassment she receives from Badger fans before and after the “Karma” tweet has been awful. Many Hog fans stand up for her and Coach B. It’s still happening after a year; one would think they would move on but DANG they come by their name honestly They are true Badgers!