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Wildcat Wednesday - Pac-12 Tournament
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/12/2014
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PAC-12 TOURNAMENT

The UofA chants are already taking over the MGM Grand Arena … and we don’t even play until Thursday. Make sure you wear red this week and thanks for all of your great support.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL UPDATE

Recently, I’ve been receiving some emails and letters regarding the status of our women’s basketball program and head coach Niya Butts’ future. I know we are not where we want to be from a performance standpoint and Coach Butts and her staff are as disappointed as anyone.

We are making needed infrastructure investments into our women’s basketball program with the upcoming Phase I renovation of McKale. I believe that will make a very positive impact for our program and the coaching staff moving forward. We also have a top 25 recruiting class coming in that wants to play for Coach Butts. Both of those things give me hope for the future, and because of that, Coach Butts and her staff will return next year.

I want thank you for your support of our women’s basketball team and I encourage you to support our student-athletes and the program moving forward.

NEW TECHNOLOGY BEING ADDED TO ARIZONA STADIUM

In just the last couple of years, Arizona Stadium has seen some significant upgrades with the completion of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility and the introduction of the south end video board. We’re currently working to add a couple of additional items that we hope will serve as a great benefit to fans in attendance.

Since the scoreboard moved from the north end to the south end, we’ve heard from some attendees that it is difficult to see the new board, based on their seat location. To try and help alleviate this issue, we are planning to install an auxiliary video board in the northwest corner of Arizona Stadium. The board, which is scheduled to be installed in August and ready for the season opener versus UNLV on Aug. 29, measures 36 feet by 20 feet and should be a nice compliment to the current board.

In addition, we’ve heard from many of you about cell phone service in the stadium during games. We’re currently in the process of adding a distributed antenna system (DAS), which includes the latest cellular technology and is expected to greatly improve cellular service on game days. The project includes 332 antennas spread around the stadium, including LSFF, producing 20 sectors, each with the capacity equivalent of one cell tower. For comparison, prior to this upgrade, cell users were in range of only 3-5 sectors maximum, none of which were designed to support the capacity or density the stadium environment produces.

These new additions are also easily upgradable to stay up-to-speed with emerging technologies. We already have two major carriers on board with the project and we expect this to be fully functional at the start of the season, which should improve connectivity for web browsing and social media interaction. I do want to make clear that this is a significant upgrade in cellular service, but does not include WiFi.

We always talk about how important it is for fans to support our program by attending our football games, and we’re trying to implement initiatives that are going to make your experience even more enjoyable. If you haven’t already, please renew or purchase season tickets online by clicking here or call (520) 621-CATS (2287).

30 PRIZES IN 30 DAYS SUCCESS

As many of you know, we’re running a 30 Prizes in 30 Days promotion for those who have renewed their footballseason tickets. The first randomly-selected prize, a Pac-12 Tournament/MGM Grand Prize Pack, went to Joe and Aida Mendez, who have an interesting story we’d like to share with you.

Joe was a member of UA’s first graduating class from the School of Pharmacy in 1950. He is also a World War II veteran. Joe and Aida have been football season ticket holders for 30 years, and qualified for the 30 Prizes in 30 Days after renewing for the 2014 season. Just one other thing, Joe will turn 94 on March 19.

The Mendez’s daughter, Charmaine Hill, who is an eighth-grade history teacher here in Tucson, has been looking for ways to keep her parents active. Through a program called Honor Flight, the Mendezes were able to travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial. Now, they’ll be traveling to Las Vegas to watch the Wildcats battle the rest of the Pac-12 at the conference tournament.

We’d like to thank Joe, Aida and Charmaine for their continued support of Arizona Athletics. They are a great example of what it means to Bear Down and we hope you have a wonderful time in Las Vegas.

GYMNASTICS HOME FINALE THIS SATURDAY

The 2014 gymnastics regular season is winding down. The GymCats will host their final home meet this Saturday at 4 p.m. It’s a multi-school meet with BYU, Texas Woman’s and Bridgeport competing with Arizona. It’s been another great year for the program. The team has been ranked in the Top 20 for the majority of the season and the gymnastics crowds at McKale have been terrific. If you’re in town, make your plans to be at McKale Center and help make it a Senior Day to remember for our departing student-athletes. Click here to buy tickets or call 520-621-CATS (2287). Incidentally, this gymnastics meet will be the last Arizona Athletics event in McKale Center before the renovation project begins.

PARKING ALERT FOR THIS WEEKEND’S HOME EVENTS ON CAMPUS

A reminder that the Tucson Festival of Books is taking place this weekend on the UA Mall bringing many visitors to campus. If you are planning to come out and support sand volleyballgymnastics and/or men’s tennis, please allow yourself plenty of time to park and navigate.

SAND VOLLEYBALL RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY

Last Friday, we celebrated the Grand Opening of the Arizona Sand Volleyball Courts. The University of Arizona announced the addition of its 20th sport on Jan. 15, 2014 and is at the forefront of establishing sand volleyball as an NCAA-sponsored sport. In collaboration with Breckenridge Architects and Planners and Concord General Contractors, the sand volleyball facility has a four-court layout and is designed with a future space held for a championship court. All courts contain 18” deep, beach quality, high-end sand. Thank you to all that attended this ceremony and congratulations to the sand volleyball team for their first three wins of the season against Arizona Christian, Grand Canyon and our rival.

ASK THE ATHLETICS DIRECTOR

We’ve started to collect questions and topics to address in Wildcat Wednesday and we’d like to encourage everyone to continue sending items. I’m not expecting to be able to answer every question or address every topic, but we’ll do our best to pick items that seem most important to the readers and address them if possible. If you have something you think might make a good question or topic, please email it to uofaad@arizona.edu.

COMPLIANCE CORNER

Our football, soccer, and volleyball student-athletes are now participating in their spring segment. During this segment, both soccer and volleyball are permitted to compete in a limited number of competitions but cannot miss class time to travel per NCAA rules. Football is only permitted a limited number of practice opportunities (15) and within these practices they are permitted to conduct organized intra-squad scrimmages but no outside competition. It’s an exciting time of year for our coaches to work closer with individuals without needing to focus on competition the way they do during their fall championship segment.

ARIZONA NUGGETS

Track & Field will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend. Something to keep an eye on, senior Lawi Lalang will attempt to become the first male or female to win three individual titles at the indoor national meet (mile, 3K, 5K) … Women’s Tennis continued its strong start with a sweep in Seattle, improving its record to 11-1 and a No. 33 ranking … Softball currently leads the nation in batting average at .389, which is .034 better than the second-best average. The ‘Cats, now ranked sixth nationally, have outscored opponents 220-33 through 26 games (23-3) …Gymnastics’ Kristin Klarenbach moved into fifth on UA’s all-time floor exercise list with a career-high 9.950 last Saturday … Men’s Swimming set four meet records at the Pac-12 Championships last weekend, Kevin Cordes in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, Brad Tandy in the 50 freestyle and Cordes, Tandy, Mitchell Friedemann and Giles Smith in the 200 medley relay.

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

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 ArizonaLiveStats.com.

Thursday
All Day: Diving at Diving Zone Qualifications (at Colorado Springs, Colo.)
12:00 p.m.: Men’s Basketball vs. Utah/Washington (Pac-12 Tournament) (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Radio: TuneIn)
12:00 p.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. Utah St.

Friday
All Day: Diving at Diving Zone Qualifications (at Colorado Springs, Colo.)
6:00 a.m.: Women’s Golf at SunTrust Gator Invitational (at Gainesville, Fla.)
7:30 a.m.: Men’s Golf hosts National Invitational Tournament
8:00 a.m.: Track & Field at NCAA Indoor Championships (at Albuquerque, N.M.)
2:00 p.m.: Sand Volleyball vs. Arizona Christian
6:00 p.m.: Baseball vs. Washington St. (Live Stream)
6:00 p.m.: Men’s Basketball vs. Cal/TBD (Pac-12 Tournament) (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Radio: TuneIn)

Saturday
All Day: Diving at Diving Zone Qualifications (at Colorado Springs, Colo.)
6:00 a.m.: Women’s Golf at SunTrust Gator Invitational (at Gainesville, Fla.)
7:30 a.m.: Men’s Golf hosts National Invitational Tournament
8:00 a.m.: Track & Field at NCAA Indoor Championships (at Albuquerque, N.M.)
12:00 p.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. Fresno St.
12:00 p.m.: Sand Volleyball vs. Tulane
12:00 p.m.: Softball at UCLA (TV: Pac-12 Networks)
3:00 p.m.: Men’s Basketball vs. TBD (Pac-12 Tournament) (TV: FoxSports1) (Radio: TuneIn)
4:00 p.m.: Gymnastics vs. Texas Woman’s, BYU, Bridgeport
6:00 p.m.: Baseball vs. Washington St. (Live Stream)

Sunday
6:00 a.m.: Women’s Golf at SunTrust Gator Invitational (at Gainesville, Fla.)
7:30 a.m.: Men’s Golf hosts National Invitational Tournament
11:00 a.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. St. Mary’s (Calif.)
12:00 p.m.: Baseball vs. Washington St. (Live Stream)
12:00 p.m.: Softball at UCLA (TV: Pac-12 Networks)

Monday
5:00 p.m.: Softball at UCLA (TV: Pac-12 Networks)
5:00 p.m.: Gymnastics at Air Force

Tuesday
6:00 p.m.: Baseball vs. Grand Canyon (Live Stream)

Wednesday
12:00 p.m.: Softball at UNLV
1:00 p.m.: Women’s Tennis vs. Purdue
1:00 p.m.: Sand Volleyball at Hawaii
2:00 p.m.: Softball at UNLV
2:00 p.m.: Sand Volleyball vs. USC (Hawaii Tournament) (at Honolulu, Hawaii)

WEAR THE COLORS – SHARE THE PHOTOS

NOTE: 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
uofaad@arizona.edu

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