MADISON (WKOW) -- UW-Madison officials and other state officials said the composition of UW's official Rose Bowl traveling party, and costs associated with that travel are being monitored closely, especially after budget-busting travel in connection with the Badgers' 1999 Rose Bowl appearance.
"People are acutely aware of the current economic climate," said Athletic Board member Dale Bjorling, Chair of surgical sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine.
A state legislative audit bureau report in 1999 found travel costs associated with Wisconsin's 1999 Rose Bowl game against UCLA created a $286,700 deficit for the UW Athletic Department.
Expenses-paid travel that year was extended to the wife of a UW-Madison police officer, and to babysitters for the children of several UW coaches.
"Those type of expenses, additional people, babysitters for coaches' children, that is not part of the travel policy and won't be supported by funds from the Athletic Department," Bjorling told WKOW27 News.
When UW played Stanford in the 2000 Rose Bowl, the official travel roster was roughly half of what it had been for the '99 game. UW's then-Athletic Director Pat Richter said the Athletic Department cleared $200,000 as a result.
Then-UW Chancellor David Ward still bristled at questioning of funding for the travel of family members of administrators, coaches and others. "That was not negotiable with me," Ward told reporters in Dec. 1999.
Bjorling said subsequent policy changes eliminated funding for the travel of family members, even though they will still be part of the official group.
"When you register, before they book them, they ask for a credit card number."
In connection to the 1999 game, then-Governor Tommy Thompson's son received an expenses-paid trip, but the Tournament of Roses committee later reimbursed UW-Madison for the costs of Thompson and his son's travel.
UW-Madison spokesperson Dennis Chaptman said the official travel contingent for the Badgers' 2011 Rose Bowl appearance is still being finalized, and details are expected to be released next week.
A spokesperson for Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), who is slated to become the chairperson of a higher education committee, said Nass is monitoring official travel plans and expects the travel budget to be frugal.