So naturally the first question that gets asked when something surprising happens is "why?". The case of the greatest thing to ever happen to Wisconsin basketball retiring in no exception. There are a lot of rumors swirling around, and I'm going to try to untangle them as simply as possible here. Also I owe Bo a proper send off and not the steaming pile of feces that the jealous haters I call my colleagues are writing. This is going to have to wait as 1- it's exam week for me and these research papers on Zoroastrianism and the political climate of Mozambique aren't going to write themselves and 2- even the devil had his day before Easter so the haters can spew drivel for the moment. Without further adieu, the most realistic theories regard Bo Ryan's retirement.
1- Bo ain't happy with Barry
Rumor has it that Bo wanted to retire after last season, but Barry wouldn't promise to make Bo's favorite disciple
Peter Greg Gard head coach. The same rumor has it that Barry wanted to do a national search and that Bo was none too pleased about not having a say in his successor. This obviously has legs because Barry is terrible at managing coaches no matter how you want to slice "3 football coaches in 5 years". If Bo felt this was his only way to get Gard a shot at the job, I'm sure he would retire for this reason.
2- Bo and Barry are in cahoots on it all
It's also rumored that Greg Gard was all set to take over for Bo before the season, but his father had cancer. Obviously taking on being the head coach while dealing with a significant family matter is not ideal, so Bo agreed to stay on one more season. Sadly his father passed, and one can assume Bo and Greg have had lengthy discussions regarding the latter's ability to run the program. There's also the pesky state law that requires all open university jobs to be publically posted, with the exception being extenuating circumstances. Coaches taking lesser jobs doesn't qualify, but I'm sure Bo and Barry could work it so that Gard takes over permanently while circumventing it never being publically posted. This obviously would be good for stability/recruiting. I'm not sure why a Minnesota resident would care so much about us circumventing our own dumb law, as we could probably hire the Keebler Elf as our next football coach and you still wouldn't get the Axe. You're gonna need more than coaching instability, considering your coach is Richard Pitino.
3- Health Issues
When you have a 67 year old coach retire effective immediately you have to wonder if it isn't health related. When you have a 67 year old coach announce his retirement effective at the end of the season, take it back, then announce it effective immediately you REALLY have to wonder. This is pure speculation, and obviously no one hopes this is the reason, but it unfortunately would make sense.
Any other theories are welcomed in the comments, but they're probably wrong (especially if you're an Iowa or Minnesota fan).