Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Wednesday - Supporting Student-Athletes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 05, 2014
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As many of you probably read or heard about last week, a group of student-athletes at Northwestern filed a petition to form a union. The complexities of the topic make it difficult to analyze in this space, but I wanted to make you aware that we are monitoring the news and how it relates to the landscape of college athletics, which leads me to another point.

I don’t believe we in the athletics department do a good enough job of letting the fans know about the benefits we provide to student-athletes. It isn’t meant to be a pat on the back for the staffers working in athletics, but more to educate fans about the number of ways student-athletes are supported by both the athletics department staff and our Wildcat Club members, whose generosity goes a long way in helping to provide that support.

As many of you know, a student-athlete receiving a full scholarship has their tuition, fees, textbooks, housing and most meals covered by the University. What this fails to mention is the peripheral benefits that go along with being a student-athlete.

First, in my mind, is the academic support and life-skills training that student-athletes receive while attending the University. A staff of more than 15 professionals in our C.A.T.S Student-Services program assists in the growth of our student-athletes with graduation and personal development as the mission. They provide customized service to each student-athlete, which includes counseling and learning specialists, aimed at highlighting each individual’s strengths, while improving their weaknesses.

While attending the University, student-athletes also benefit from the facilities and expertise of our strength and conditioning and athletic training departments. They have access to some of the top professionals in their field in developing their bodies for competition, while receiving high-level preventative and rehabilitative care, all taking place in state-of-the-art facilities. The knowledge and dedication these staffers provide assist in helping student-athletes maximize their athletic potential, while doing so in a safe and supportive environment.

In addition, student-athletes are outfitted from head to toe with the equipment and accessories they need to train, compete and represent the University. From helmets to sneakers, student-athletes have the gear necessary to train and compete in all situations.

Overall, we hope to provide an environment where student-athletes can reach their potential both academically and athletically, while preparing them for life after college and athletics. Our goal in athletics is to maximize the student-athlete experience, and we strive to do so through the various elements of this support system.  


football season ticket and Wildcat Club donation (including men’s basketball priority seating) renewal campaign kicks off this Friday. A few years ago we made the decision to switch from a paper invoice system to online only. This saves the department thousands of dollars on printing and postage expenses. Look for your renewal to appear in your e-mail inbox this Friday.

For those who are current season ticket holders and Wildcat Club members, I can’t thank you enough. Your support is critical to our ability to operate and compete. Maintaining you as a season ticket holder and/or Wildcat Club member is a top priority. You’ll find a listing of incentives and perks for renewing, especially by the March 7 early renewal deadline, in the e-mail. I’ll have more to say on this topic in a special video message that will be included in the e-mail, posted and our YouTube page.

For those who aren’t season ticket holders yet, the time is now. Led by 
Coach Rodriguez, the football program is headed down a path of excellence. A path that eventually doesn’t just compete for conference championships, but national championships. We’re expecting to see a big spike in success in 2014, the third year of the Rich Rodriguez era. But, we can’t do it without you doing your part by helping us fill Arizona Stadium for all seven home games. New season ticket deposits are currently available by clicking here. Starting Saturday, we will transition from deposits to offering pay in full new season tickets on As Coach Rodriguez said at the end of last year’s intro video, “It’s time.”


This Friday softball will open its 29th season with 
Mike Candrea as head coach (incidentally, Coach Candrea is now on Twitter! Give him a follow). The Wildcats are hosting Southern Mississippi in a three-game series to start the season. Friday’s game is at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale at 11 a.m. The first 500 fans attending Friday’s opener will receive a 2014 softball schedule magnet. Single-game tickets are on sale now and are $8 if purchased online or in advance or $10 at the stadium box office. Seniors and kids can receive special discount pricing. Season tickets also remain on sale and start at just $65. You can purchase your tickets online by clicking here or call 520-621-CATS (2287).


The fan support our 
men’s basketball team receives on the road is outstanding. Every game you can hear the U of A chants from the Wildcat faithful. One of our fans’ favorite road trips is coming up, Feb. 14 vs. our rivals up north. There is still time to sign up for the bus trip organized by our friends at Bon Voyage Travel. The bus ticket is $68 and includes refreshments. Game tickets are $50. Call 520-797-CATS tomorrow morning to reserve your spot.

(Sponsored by Hughes Federal Credit Union)

Jr. Wildcats! We had a great time out at Hi Corbett on Thursday, Jan. 30 filming the Jr. Wildcat Reporter interviews. The 
baseball players were certainly glad to hang out with all the Club members. Make sure to come to the upcoming baseball games this season to check out these great interviews and to support your Arizona Wildcats. To purchase tickets for Arizona baseball, please click here. Also, stay tuned for more exciting giveaways on our Facebook page!


The Cats Give Back Week initiative continues as student-athletes dedicate a few hours of their time to giving back to the community. This past week, 
men’s golf and gymnastics headed out to the Cherry Avenue Center where they helped the children with their homework. Amanda Russell (track and field) and Michele Floyd (softball) attended the monthly National Charity League meeting with the young girls and their mothers. The student-athletes spoke about the importance of women’s roles in athletics. Members of the Arizona baseball team assisted the staff at Casa Maria Soup Kitchen in serving lunch to the hungry. Thank you to all of our student-athletes for their continued dedication to the Tucson community. Keep up the good work!


Wednesday marked the first day that football, 
track and field and soccer recruits could sign a National Letter of Intent. The day is not only exciting for the prospective student-athletes but it is an exciting day for the coaches as well. It’s also a significant days because, once we confirm that a recruit has signed with us, the NCAA restrictions on commenting are lifted and our coaches are finally permitted to comment on the incoming 2014 classes for these three programs. Additionally, the NCAA restrictions are lifted as an institution, and by extension, you the Arizona Wildcat fan. We have previously reminded each of you not to contact recruits and attempt to persuade them to commit to Arizona. Now that they have signed, the restrictions are lifted because they are officially Arizona Wildcats. Congrats to all!


Track & Field’s
 Lawi Lalang currently has the nation’s best time in the 3,000-meters with a 7:44.20. His time is nearly seven seconds faster than the second-best time … 
Women’s Tennis is off to a perfect 4-0 start after defeating New Mexico St. and San Francisco last weekend … In his Arizona debut, Men’s Golf’s Kolton Lapa tied for third at the Arizona Intercollegiate, helping the Wildcats to a second-place team finish … Gymnastics defeated Washington last weekend. Junior Allison Flores led the GymCats while posting top scores on the uneven parallel bars and the floor exercise.


Here is a look at this week’s Arizona Athletics events (Home events in BOLD). All times are listed as Mountain Standard Time. To purchase tickets for home events, 
click here. To access live stats from your desktop or mobile device, visit

7:00 p.m.: Men’s Basketball vs. Oregon (TV: ESPN) (Radio: TuneIn)

All Day: Track & Field at New Balance Collegiate Invitational (at New York, N.Y.)
10:00 a.m.: Women’s Tennis vs. Grand Canyon
1:00 p.m.: Men’s Tennis at Cal Poly
2:00 p.m.: Women’s Tennis vs. UTEP
6:00 p.m.: Softball vs. Southern Miss
7:00 p.m.: Gymnastics at Utah (Live Stream)

7:00 p.m.: 
Women’s Basketball vs. Oregon (Live Stream) (Live Audio Stream)

All Day: Track & Field at New Balance Collegiate Invitational (at New York, N.Y.)
12:00 p.m.: Women’s Tennis vs. Sacramento St.
1:00 p.m.: Swimming & Diving at Arizona St.
2:00 p.m.: Softball vs. Southern Miss

8:00 a.m.: Women’s Golf at Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (at Palos Verdes, Calif.)
11:00 a.m.: Softball vs. Southern Miss
12:00 p.m.: Men’s Tennis at UC Santa Barbara
1:00 p.m.: Women’s Basketball vs. Arizona St. (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Live Audio Stream)
5:00 p.m.: Men’s Basketball vs. Oregon St. (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Radio: TuneIn)

8:00 a.m.: Women’s Golf at Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (at Palos Verdes, Calif.)

8:00 a.m.: Women’s Golf at Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (at Palos Verdes, Calif.)

No Events Scheduled


 When submitting photos for Wildcat Wednesday, please ensure they are clear and properly lit. Also, please make sure to identify everyone in the photo so we can highlight them accordingly. Thanks for your help.

Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and:

    1.   Join the Wildcat Movement
    2.   Buy Season Tickets
    3.   Wear the Colors (Especially on Friday)
    4.   Get Others to do the Same

Bear Down with Pride,

Greg Byrne
Vice President for Athletics
The University of Arizona

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