GARY ANDERSEN publicly pledged his allegiance to Utah State not long ago. Now he's on the verge of becoming Wisconsin's coach.

Wisconsin reportedly will hire Andersen to replace Bret Bielema, who left the Badgers earlier this month to take the Arkansas job.

The news about Andersen broke Tuesday night and neither Utah State nor Wisconsin had anything official to announce about Andersen on Wednesday. The delay is at least in part tied to laws in Wisconsin that require a state job to be posted for at least two weeks before it can be filled. The 2-week posting was up at the end of business on Wednesday.

The school was expected to introduce Andersen at a news conference Thursday, but a snowstorm might change those plans.

Andersen, 48, just completed his fourth and best season at Utah State. The 18th-ranked Aggies finished 11-2 with a bowl victory against Toledo and won the Western Athletic Conference.

Andersen drew interest from California, Colorado and Kentucky last month, but decided to pass on those opportunities and received a contract extension from Utah State.

In other news involving Wisconsin, two of the three men accused of assaulting running back Montee Ball this summer pleaded guilty to battery charges, but both were given a chance to avoid prison. Wendell J. Venerable, 21, and Robert A. Wilks, 22, pleaded guilty to substantial battery, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison. But instead of imposing a prison sentence, Dane County Judge Rebecca St. John placed them in a first offenders program.

Venerable and Wilks, both students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, were accused of attacking Ball in August as he walked behind two friends.

Noteworthy * 

Notre Dame's Brian Kelly was voted Associated Press Coach of the Year. No. 1 Notre Dame is 12-0 and will play No. 2 Alabama for the national title Jan. 7 in Miami.

Kelly, the first Notre Dame coach to win the award which started in 1998, received 25 votes from the AP panel. Penn State's Bill O'Brien was second with 14.

* Stanford coach David Shaw agreed to a long-term contract extension that will keep him with his alma mater beyond the 2 years left on his remaining deal. Terms of the deal were not revealed.

* Oregon's attempt to obtain a summary disposition from the NCAA for the investigation of its use of scout Willie Lyles has failed, which means the school will appear in front of the NCAA committee on infractions, according to a report. ESPN.com, citing a source, reported that a hearing will occur this spring.

Oregon allegedly paid Lyle's scouting service $25,000 for information that was deemed worthless. However, questions arose after the Ducks signed highly touted running back Lache Seastrunk, who was mentored by Lyles.

* High school junior quarterback Will Grier, who threw for a national-record 837 yards and had 10 touchdown passes in Davidson Day's 104-80 win in the North Carolina state playoffs last month, committed to Florida.