Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Wednesday - Louis "Buzz" Sands commits $10M
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 19, 2012
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Dec. 19, 2012

Louis "Buzz" Sands commits $10M

Louis "Buzz" Sands has made an incredibly generous cash contribution of $2 million and an $8 million testamentary commitment through his estate to support Arizona Athletics.  This gift will help pay for the construction of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility (LSFF) and will provide a premiere gameday experience in the new donor club which will now be named the Sands Club. The Sands Club will serve as a prominent gathering space for fans who purchase Club Boxes, Premium Club seats and Club seats in the LSFF. It will also pay tribute to Mr. Sands' fraternity brothers who throughout the years have also been UA student-athletes.

The Lowell-Stevens Football Facility will be a game changer and we are extremely thankful to Buzz for his contributions as a donor and fan. This extraordinary gift which supports our football program will translate into increased revenue and support for all 19 varsity sports and our nearly 500 dedicated UA student-athletes. Click here for more information about this exciting gift.

12.15.12 #BEARDOWN

Last Saturday was a day that no Wildcat will ever forget...not to mention any college sports fan that tuned into ESPN. We tell each other all of the time to Bear Down and Saturday was one of the greatest examples of that in our school's history.

Anytime one of our teams is struggling and it looks like the odds may be stacked against us, not only do we need to remember our rallying cry, but we also need to remember the date of 12.15.12.

As I mentioned on Twitter on Monday, we came up with a shirt to help commemorate this memorable day. You can get a 12.15.12 #BearDown shirt at the McKale Sports Stop and the University of Arizona's Bookstore. Our video department put together two outstanding videos that recap each game. You can view them below.

Congratulations to Coach Rodriguez, Coach Miller, our student-athletes and all of our fans who made that day one we will never forget. Bear Down 12.15.12.


I often stress the importance of the student in student-athlete and our list of those who participated in graduation activities this past weekend is quite impressive. Commencement weekend is a culmination of years of hard work and dedication to both athletics and academics. Congratulations to Alyssa Anderson (swimming), Eric Bender-Ramsay (football), John Bonano (football), Karissa Buchanan (softball), Dan Buckner (football), Debora Castany (tennis), Frank Chen (tennis), Jessica Culver (soccer), Liana Fuentes (track and field), Zach Hojnacki (swimming), Daniel Jenkins (football), Courtney Karst (volleyball), Kirstyn Magyar (soccer), Chris McGovern (track and field), Chris Merrill (football), Willie Mobley (football), Kyryl Natyazhko (basketball), Greg Nwoko (football), Matt Scott (football), Adam Small (swimming), Austen Thompson (swimming) and Mark Watley (football).


It's hard to believe that tomorrow night (Thursday, Dec. 20) is the final home athletic event in the 2012 calendar year. Coach Butts and our women's basketball team host Longwood University at 5 pm in McKale. In the spirit of the holiday season we will be hosting a holiday toy drive at tomorrow night's game.  If you'd like to catch some up tempo/exciting basketball while also giving to a good cause that will support Tucson-area families in need over the holiday season, bring a new, unwrapped toy to tomorrow night's game.  We'll have drop-off boxes at our main ticket entrance. You can purchase tickets online at or call 520-621-CATS (2287). Thanks in advance for your support!


We're exactly one month away from the men's basketball road trip to Tempe. The Wildcats will battle our rivals up north on Saturday, Jan.19 at Wells Fargo Arena. Our friends at Bon Voyage Travel have put together a special bus package that includes round trip bus transportation from Tucson to Tempe, a boxed lunch, snacks and refreshments. Packages are $65 per person and are very limited. To reserve your seat, contact Katie Clark at Bon Voyage Travel at 520-797-CATS or  Please note, this bus package does not include a game ticket. If you are unable to join the bus trip please make plans to be in Tempe to cheer on our Cats and show once again that Maricopa County is Wildcat Country.


Jason Johnson (football, 1999-2002) founded Jason Ryan Creative, a video production company based just outside of Seattle, Wash. He works internationally with clients such as the NFL, MLS and MLB. Jason is currently producing a number of short films in conjunction with USA Football and the NFL to try to change the culture of the sport in regards to concussion awareness and player safety. Jason has been successful in incorporating his love for the game of football along with his passion for film. He has a great desire to stay connected with his fellow alums and the University. We wish you luck on your dreams of winning an Oscar!


Just a friendly reminder that if you are considering making a year-end, tax-deductible gift to the Athletics Department you have a couple of options to ensure your donation is processed in this calendar year.

  • Online donations--All credit card charges must be processed Dec. 31
  • Mailed Checks--Must be postmarked by Dec. 31


If you are struggling on a Christmas gift for that special about a Wildcat Club donation in their name?  My parents, Bill & Marilyn Byrne, actually gave me that as my birthday present last month!

The best way to ensure that your donation is processed this year is to make an online gift. Thank you for supporting our student-athletes and helping us reach 12,000 Wildcat Club members by June 2013!


Men's basketball travels to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic for games on Dec. 22, 23 and 25. Games will be televised on ESPNU or ESPN2. In addition to Arizona, the field includes East Tennessee State, Indiana State, Hawai'i, Miami (Fla.), Ole Miss, #18 San Diego State and San Francisco. After the tournament the team will take a few days off before opening the Pac-12 season at McKale vs. Colorado on Jan. 3and Utah on Jan. 5. Pac-12 game tickets have been a hot commodity. You can purchase your tickets online by clicking here.


Last week I mentioned a high demand for Pac-12 Basketball Tournament tickets. What I failed to include was the deadline for our Wildcat Club members to request tickets is Jan. 15. That should give those who were unable to secure tickets through Arizona Athletics ample time to make other arrangements for tickets through other outlets, such as the Pac-12's website or PrimeSport. Because of the high demand, we're not anticipating opening sales to the general public, just Wildcat Club members. Requests will be fulfilled through priority points. If we do have seats remaining, they will be available after Jan. 15. Click here for more information on the 2013 Pac-12 Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas.


As many of you know we just capped off a great Gildan New Mexico Bowl weekend. Of course I am proud of our play on the field but it's the community service off the field that makes the weekend that much more special. Thank you to John Bonano, Kyle Dugandzic, and Justin Samuels for visiting the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital on the Friday of bowl week.

I am equally as impressed with men's basketball's dedication to the community off the court. Coach Miller and our men's basketball team will be making an appearance at the UA Phoenix Alumni Chapter's 26th Annual Tip-Off Taste on Friday, January 18th.  For more information on this event, visit


Don't look now, but the spring sport seasons are coming up quickly. Season tickets are now on sale for gymnastics, softball and our defending national title baseball team. Gymnastics season tickets are a great value at only $20 for five home events. Coming off a summer that featured a gold medal from the U.S. Olympic team, gymnastics season tickets are a great holiday gift idea for families with aspiring gymnasts. Click here to purchase gymnastics season tickets.

Softball season tickets have always been popular and now baseball is showing a similar demand. Both sports are virtually sold out of reserved seat season tickets. There are a limited amount of general admission tickets for softball season tickets at $65 each.  Baseball also has general admission season tickets available for $115 each. Click here to purchase softball season tickets and click here for baseball. You can also call the McKale Ticket Office at 520-621-CATS (2287).


Representatives of athletics interests are NOT permitted to use social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, Linkedin, Tumblr, Instagram, etc., to contact or otherwise attempt to correspond with PSAs (potential student athletes).

This includes, but is not limited to: 

-Posting on a wall 

-Commenting on photos of a recruit 

-Using the inbox/e-mail feature

-Instant messaging 



-Direct messaging

Social networking websites have emerged as a preferred channel of communication among high school and college students in the last five years. Wildcat representatives of athletics interests are asked to maintain a sense of propriety when using these social networks.

Recently, an institution reported an NCAA violation after several boosters contacted potential recruits on their MySpace pages and inappropriately encouraged them to attend the institution. This type of communication is likely well intended and motivated by pride in the institution; however, it is prohibited by the NCAA and is ultimately harmful to the University of Arizona's best interests.

More recently, a member of our compliance staff had to make contact with a Wildcat fan to have a site encouraging a prospect to come to Arizona taken down.

Please leave the recruiting to the coaches. Contact the Compliance Office for more information at 520-621-4796.


With the holiday season upon us it gives us a moment to thank you, our fans, who have given so much to Arizona Athletics this year. I want to wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. We're going to take a break from the Wildcat Wednesday over the next two weeks and will resume on Wednesday, January 9. Also note, the McKale Ticket Office will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, though tickets will continue to be available at 24/7.

2013 is going to be a big year for Arizona Athletics. I hope you're ready! In the meantime, enjoy this fun Holiday Jib Jab from men's basketball.


Below, Travis Guy sporting the colors in Antarctica with an Arizona t-shirt (isn't it cold down there?). At bottom, Dawn Bell's daughter, Kennedy, shows us how her Barbies wear the colors.

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

University of Arizona

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