MADISON — In what authorities here are terming the most brazen and audacious case of identity theft in this city’s history, a 61-year-old motivational speaker, Tevye R. Van Huysenton, has been charged with impersonating Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan for the past 30 days.
Local investigators, working closely with the diligent and uncommonly charismatic researchers at Basketball Prospectus, gathered evidence over the course of the last several weeks and made their arrest Saturday as “Ryan” walked off the court at Assembly Hall in Champaign, IL, following the Badgers’ 64-57 loss to Illinois.
Investigators said their suspicions were aroused as early as January 15, when Wisconsin blew a 14-point second half lead and lost in overtime to Minnesota in Madison. Suspicion turned to proof, however, when Basketball Prospectus provided local authorities with evidence of a shockingly uncharacteristic increase in fouling by this year’s Badgers.
The smoking gun: Wisconsin’s fouling skyrockets under “Bo Ryan” in 2009
Conference games only
Opp. Big Ten
2007 0.26 0.35
2008 0.25 0.34
2009 0.39 0.33
“They’re just this hack-tastic team all the sudden,” said Randy Graber, Assistant Chief of Police Field Operations in Madison. “We’re looking at the numbers and thinking, ‘What are they, Kansas State?’ Something just didn’t smell right.”
Long known for their stolid upper-Midwestern players who move their feet and never reach, Wisconsin this season has actually been the most foul-happy team in the Big Ten in conference play. The sudden willingness to send opponents to the line has contributed to this year’s defensive collapse in Madison, one that has seen the Badger D fall from “outstanding” to “average.”
At an emotional press conference on Sunday, Ryan dismissed questions about his abduction and time in captivity and instead read a prepared statement, saying only that he’s looking forward to “getting this team back to its true identity.”