As you might have seen or read, the judge in the O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA issued a ruling last week. This is a very complex and multifaceted issue and all parties will continue to seek clarification on what exactly the ruling means and how it will affect college athletics. We will certainly be paying close attention to this moving forward and will relay any information that we think would be to your benefit.
FRIDAY FOOTBALL GAMES
I heard from a couple of Wildcat fans asking about why we scheduled the opening game of the football season for a Friday. We work with the conference office and our TV partners on scheduling and decided to set the 2014 season opener against UNLV for Friday, Aug. 29 for a couple of reasons.
First, we wanted to allow the students and fans who are planning to head out of town for Labor Day Weekend to catch the game before they depart. We pushed for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff to give our fans time to finish their workday and then make it to the game. We know it is a little different than what people are used to but we think this gives us the best chance to pack Arizona Stadium for the home opener.
Second, it is a great opportunity to showcase our program as we will be one of only two Pac-12 programs playing that night. With it being opening weekend and having a prime slot on ESPN, we think a lot of people will be exposed to Arizona Football that wouldn’t normally be, and that is a good thing.
As we mentioned in last week’s edition, we’ve been working with University of Arizona Parking and Transportation Services to offer a campus shuttle option. Fortunately, we will be offering Cat Tran Shuttles from the Park Ave. Garage (located at the northeast corner of Speedway Blvd. and Park Ave.) to Arizona Stadium on game days. The shuttles will drop fans off on 6th Street, immediately south of the stadium.
Shuttles will begin two hours prior to kick-off. Parking will be $5 per vehicle in the Park Ave. Garage or free to carpools of 4 or more. All vehicle occupants will be able to use the complimentary shuttle, provided they present the parking permit issued for entry into the garage. Shuttle guests will need to show their parking garage parking permit to board pregame and postgame.
Shuttles will begin returning to the Park Ave. Garage starting at the conclusion of the third quarter and ending one hour postgame. Postgame shuttles will run from the drop-off location on 6th Street, and will have appropriate signage.
All Cat Tran Shuttles are accessible and have air conditioning. Shuttles will depart for their destination when they are full.
Again, we apologize that the Sun Tran Gameday Charters are no longer available, but we’re happy we can provide this new service. We want to encourage fans to use this service if they are looking for parking options or park downtown and ride the Sun Link Streetcar.
GAMEDAY PARKING UPDATE
We are continuing to build our parking information page which will be housed at arizonawildcats.com/parking. In the meantime, did you know that there are three garages on campus where you can park for free as long as you have a carpool with four or more riders? The Main Gate, Highland and Tyndall Ave. garages all offer this service so we hope you’ll consider taking advantage of it when you visit campus on gameday.
MCKALE ROW RENUMBERING
Because of the McKale renovation and some of the changes it caused as it relates to seating, we decided to use the opportunity to renumber the rows. This has apparently caused some confusion during the renewal process, where some fans think they were being moved further up. The actual seat locations have remained the same, it is just the numbers on the rows that have changed.
For example, row 17A is now row 17 and row 18 is now row 19. This happens all the way to the upper concourse where row 29 is now row 30, row 29A is now row 31 and row 29B is now row 32. As a result, the upper level seats now start with row 33 and go up to row 43.
We apologize for any confusion this has caused but we definitely think it will make for an easier process moving forward.
A few of you have inquired about the process that goes into compiling our basketball schedules, and I think it would be helpful to provide some insight in that regard.
The non-conference and conference portions of the schedule are actually two different processes. We usually start years in advance on our non-conference schedule, securing places in exempt events so we can build the rest of our non-conference slate around them. Once we take into account any contracted home-and-home series or neutral-site games, we find opponents to fill in the guarantee slots on our schedule. We try to have our entire non-conference schedule completed by late spring so we can announce the opponents and dates to our fans, though we don’t have any times or television information at that point. Unfortunately, this year, it took longer than usual for the women’s program to finalize its non-conference schedule, which was announced earlier today.
After the non-conference schedule is completed, we await word from the Pac-12 on both our conference schedule and TV assignments for the entire season. Typically, in June, we receive tentative opponent windows from the conference office, giving us a glimpse at which weekends we will face which schools. Once those windows are set, the conference office and its TV partners go to work on setting exact dates and making network selections, a complicated process that can take several weeks.
Once that task is completed, the schedule goes through various approvals at both the conference and school levels before the Pac-12 and its member schools work together to put out a release that includes not only the league schedule, but also times and TV information for the entire season. In years past, we have seen that announcement made in early September and we hope to be able to do so again this year.
I hope this sheds some light on all the moving parts that go into constructing a college basketball schedule. Many of you are just as anxious as we are to see the final product, and we hope to be able to share it with you in the coming weeks.
MEET THE TEAM(S) NIGHT
We’d like to invite you out to Arizona Stadium this Friday (Aug. 15) for Meet the Team Night. Coach Rodriguez will open the final 30 minutes of football practice to the public and afterwards fans can come down to the field to get autographs. Members of the volleyball and soccer teams will also participate. The autograph session will last for one hour. To get as many people through the lines as possible, we are asking that you limit your autograph items to one per person. Admission is free and you can enter the stadium via Gate 2 at 7 p.m. Free parking will be available in all surface lots after 5 p.m. Click here for more information.
SOCCER SCRIMMAGE THIS SATURDAY
I couldn’t be more excited for the future of our soccer program. Tony Amato, now in year two as head coach, has a bright future here in Tucson. The team is scrimmaging against the New Mexico Lobos this Saturday (Aug. 16) at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium. The scrimmage starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Parking is also free, as it is for every regular-season home match. Soccer season tickets are only $50 for all nine home matches. Click hereto buy online and come out to the scrimmage to get a look at this year’s squad. We will have our outbound sales staff on hand to assist those looking for tickets.
A-CLUB LETTERWINNER ASSOCIATION
In the last 12 months, the A-Club has seen its membership double and we currently have 1,717 alumni letterwinners connected with Arizona Athletics, former teammates and coaches. Our football letterwinners are leading the way with more than 400 active memberships, followed closely by baseball with 225. If you have not signed up for the A-Club, please visit our website at http://www.wildcatclub.org/a-club/become-a-member/ to activate your FREE membership and take advantage of all the benefits offered to Arizona letterwinners. The A-Club distributes information regarding Homecoming, team reunions, recognitions and special events to all alumni letterwinners. Please don’t miss out on your opportunity to stay connected with fellow Wildcats and Arizona Athletics.
STUDENT-ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: CHELSEA SUITOS (SOFTBALL)
From Elk Grove, Calif., Chelsea has made quite a name for herself as an Arizona Wildcat. Her athletic career includes having scored the most runs on the squad with 48 and ninth most in the conference in 2013. She also led the Pac-12 with 13 sacrifice bunts and was a perfect 13-for-13 stealing bases.
Chelsea excels off the field as well having been named to the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team, while double majoring in family studies and human development and retail and consumer sciences. She is very active as a student-athlete and is on several leadership committees including PAL and SAAC, where she served as co-president.
This year, she was the Division I National Pac-12 SAAC Representative and represented all the Pac-12 student-athletes at the NCAA level. Recently, she lobbied a motion for the NCAA to make a statement on inclusion to provide student-athletes a Safe Zone in collegiate athletics, regardless of their sexual identity and/or preference. As a result, the NCAA will be making a "You Can Play" video at the Division I level to start the Inclusion Movement.
Looking forward, Chelsea is well on her way to achieving her future aspiration of working in marketing and public relations at NIKE. She was recently chosen out of a very competitive application pool for an internship with NIKE’s branding and marketing department. Follow Arizona Softball this year to cheer on Chelsea and the other Wildcats as they continue the Arizona Legacy.
Well, we didn’t get off to a great start to the Twitter Trivia segment. We only had nine people respond with the correct answer and we were looking for the 10th person. Here was last week’s question with the answer:
Q: Who has the Arizona record for most goals in a season and how many goals did she score that year?
A: Mallory Miller with 19 goals in 2005.
Here is this week’s question:
Q: In head coach Dave Rubio's second season at Arizona (1993), he led the team to a 20-win season and an NCAA Tournament berth. Who did the Wildcats beat in the second round of the NCAA Tournament that year?
In order to be eligible for the weekly prize, you must respond with your answer by tweeting to me @Greg_Byrne using the hashtag #ByrneTwitterTrivia. The 10th person to respond with the correct answer will be the winner. In addition, once you’ve won, you’ll have to wait at least six months to win again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play along. I’m looking forward to awarding some prizes so good luck.
ASK THE ATHLETICS DIRECTOR
We’re collecting questions and topics to address in Wildcat Wednesday and we’d like to encourage everyone to continue sending items. We don’t expect 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 write about them in the space above. If you have something you think might make a good question or topic, please email it to email@example.com.
You may have read numerous articles over the last six months reported by the media addressing unlimited snacks/meals and new NCAA deregulation. What isn’t getting as much attention, but is arguably even more important, are some new rules addressing student-athlete well-being. One new bylaw addresses catastrophic injuries and the requirement for institutions to provide data in this area to the NCAA. Although catastrophic injuries are rare in occurrence, this area is one of the most important data points for NCAA sports safety and prevention. Knowing exactly what happens during these incidents is critical to implementing prevention interventions.
Another new requirement is that each head coach and any other coach (including strength and conditioning coaches) will be required to maintain current certification in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic external defibrillator (AED) use, and the requirement for someone with these certifications to be present during all required practice and competition activities. It’s worth mentioning that here at Arizona, we already have many policies and procedures in place that exceed the NCAA safety standards. However, we support these initiatives to better the student-athlete experience at all institutions.
Women’s Basketball started a national movement this summer with the #Chillin4Charity Cold Water Challenge to raise awareness and benefit the Kay Yow Foundation. So far, the challenge has raised $55,000 and produced over 215 million impressions ... Kendall Prince, Lindsey Weaver, Jessica Vasilic, Andrea Vilarasau and Wanasa Zhou from Women’s Golf were named WGCA All-American scholars after last season … Erik Oja from Men’s Golf was selected as a PING honorable mention All-American after last season, the first UA player to earn All-America honors since 2009.
Here is a look at the upcoming events for Arizona Athletics (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.
Saturday, Aug. 16
Friday, Aug. 22
Sunday, Aug. 24
Thursday, Aug. 28
Friday, Aug. 29
Saturday, Aug. 30
WEAR THE COLORS – SHARE THE PHOTOS
Thank you for wearing the colors and sharing your Arizona pride! If your photo submission did not make this week’s edition of the Wildcat Wednesday, please check our “Wildcat Wednesday” album at facebook.com/ArizonaAthletics.
NOTE: Please submit photos for Wildcat Wednesday with an original email to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line ‘Wildcat Wednesday photo.’ Also, please ensure all submissions are clear and properly lit. We also ask that you identify everyone in the photo so we can highlight them accordingly.
|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,
Vice President for Athletics
The University of Arizona