Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
May 9, 2012
Today we lost a colleague and friend in Jeff Arnold, who for the past seven years worked for Arizona Athletics. In addition to guiding our group sales efforts, a developing area under Jeff's leadership, he was always present at various Wildcat sporting events. There is no greater fan of the Arizona Wildcats than was Jeff. We'll miss you. Bear Down.
ROAD TOUR IS UNDERWAY
Greetings from Nogales, Arizona! We're sending this week's Wildcat Wednesday from our first stop on the 2012 Road Tour. I'm joined by Niya Butts, Sean Miller, and Rich Rodriguez, along with some ICA staff, and we're having a wonderful time meeting our fans in Southern Arizona. The Road Tour is one of my favorite events of the year. Our next stop is next Wednesday in Tempe. The plan is to start the evening at Macayo's on South Ash and then move over to ASU's campus to support the Wildcats at the Arizona/Arizona State baseball game. We would love to see all of our fans from the Valley next week to help us prove Phoenix is Wildcat Country. Click here to visit our Road Tour website for more information or to RSVP.
PAC-12 AND THE ROSE BOWL
The conference had meetings in Phoenix last week and among items of discussion both inside and outside the proceedings was the proposed college football four-team playoff and what it means for the Rose Bowl. There is no doubt our league wants to protect its affiliation with the Rose Bowl, a 100-year-old relationship that underpins much of our league's status. Too, any college football playoff involving other BCS bowls might necessitate participation by the Rose. It's a bit early to make any definitive statements. Stay tuned!
SOME POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
McKale Center will be host for the university's spring Commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday. We're proud to have more than 70 student-athletes from 15 of our sports graduating this period. It's a proud moment for the UA, the Athletics Department and, most notably, the students and their families. You've heard us mention the balancing act required for major-college student-athletes to earn a college degree - organization, training, practice, competition, classes and studying... It all comes together for the final act. Then, on to great things. Congratulations, all.
BRING ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY TO TUCSON
ESPN is hosting a Facebook voting contest to bring ESPN College GameDay to a college campus to film a commercial. It's a great opportunity for exposure and notoriety for the winning school. We've had a great relationship with the GameDay folks, both on the football and basketball side. Help us bring GameDay back to Tucson. Click hereto vote and spread the word to fellow Wildcats. Voting ends tomorrow at midnight (eastern time).
A-CLUB LETTERWINNER RECOGNITION
We are always proud to recognize the achievement of our A-Club members. This week we would like to congratulate Taryne Mowatt '08, who is in her first year of coaching at Cal Baptist University. Taryne who serves as the pitching coach for the Lancers, helped guide them to their first Division II Pacific West Conference Championship. Taryne was an All-American softballletterwoman and an important part of the Cats back-to-back National Championships in 2006 and 2007.
COMPLIANCE CORNER: GRADUATE AND TRANSFER
A recent phenomenon in college athletics is the ability to "graduate and transfer" to another institution and be eligible to compete right away. This has been happening for years, but not with the regularity with which it seems to be happening this year. This exception to the rules has not been available to student-athletes in the sports of baseball, basketball, hockey and bowl subdivision football until last August when the rule changed. In the past, a student-athlete from one of these sports would need to have a reason to transfer, and it took a waiver of the rules based upon this reason to allow him or her to be eligible right away (e.g., graduate program not available at the institution he/she is leaving). Now, if the student-athlete meets the required academic standards (would have been eligible for competition at the previous institution had he/she stayed) and the previous institution does not object to the exception being granted (if they object, there is a hearing opportunity for the student-athlete, outside of athletics), they are allowed to compete right away at the next institution (assuming they have eligibility remaining (i.e., fifth year). Thought you'd like to know. Thank you for being aware of and abiding by the rules. Visit our compliance webpage for more information on NCAA compliance issues. CONSTRUCTION COMING ALONG AT ARIZONA STADIUM
Over the summer we will be sharing a lot of updates on the construction taking place at Arizona Stadium. You can view several new photos on the Arizona Athletics Facebook page, taken yesterday from the roof of the skyboxes. And of course we have a live webcam that allows you to watch the transformation of Arizona Stadium as it happens.
· Softball closes the regular season with a three-game series against Oregon State this week, with games at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon on Saturday. Come on out to Hillenbrand Stadium and support the Cats. Saturday's will be the final home game for the 2012 senior class. There are a limited amount of tickets remaining and they can be purchased online at ArizonaWildcats.com. Make sure to choose the print-at-home option to avoid standing in line at will call. Also, due to commencement ceremonies taking place on campus, make sure to leave ample time for parking.
·Women's golf travels to the NCAA East Regional Championships in State College, Pa., Thursday through Saturday.
·Baseball is on the road for a three-game series Friday through Sunday in Berkeley against California. Games are at 2:30 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. on the weekend. These and the softball games will be broadcast on KCUB 1290 AM in Tucson.
·Women's tennis plays in the NCAA Regional playoffs, facing Minnesota in the first round at Chapel Hill, N.C., on Friday, with round two slated Saturday. The host Tar Heels and Richmond are the other teams in the Regional. Go Cats!
·Our track and fieldteams conclude the Pac-12 Championships Saturday and Sunday in Eugene, Ore. The women's side had points from Liana Fuentes and Amber Passalaqua in last week's combined events in Eugene to start the meet. A couple of additional points involved in the already-won (by us) State Farm Territorial Cup Series are up for grabs but it's a big meet for our teams in terms of preparation for the NCAA Championships Preliminaries May 24-26 in Austin, Texas.
·The men's golf team earned an NCAA bid and will play next week in a regional at Norman, Okla., May 17-19.
CAUTION: VERTIGO-CHALLENGING PHOTO
Below, Tom Phillips, Arizona Class of '09, bears down in a see-through elevator near the top of Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). And, at bottom, on some terra firma, the Carver family and Tiffany Cote at an Easter Seals event.
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