June 13, 2012
By now you’re aware our baseball team is headed to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series. (I’m actually putting the final touches for Wildcat Wednesday from my hotel room across the street from the home of the College World Series.) We have a chance for an NCAA Championship. When you consider our 2012 move to Hi Corbett Field, our largest attendance figures in a quarter century, a shared Pac-12 Championship and our surge through hosting NCAA Regional and Super Regional play in Tucson, the trip to the CWS fits in nicely. We open play on Friday at 6 p.m. against Florida State and if you’re not making the trip please follow the action on ESPN and keep the Wildcats to heart. Check out ArizonaWildcats.com latest wallpaper download, just in time for the CWS. A whole lot of factors came into play this year – notably the outstanding team Coach Andy Lopez has – but your support and the Wildcat Movement have been keys as well. BEAR DOWN!
PAC-12 NETWORKS DISTRIBUTION CAMPAIGN
We’re just a little over two months from the launch of the Pac-12 Networks. On August 15 the Pac-12 Networks will launch into 40 million homes thanks to distribution deals already in place with cable providers such as Cox, Comcast, Bright House and Time Warner. What isn’t in place yet is a distribution deal with the major satellite TV providers, such as DirecTV and DISH Network. The conference understands (as do we) there is some anxiety over not being able to see the Wildcat games and other great content shown on the Pac-12 Networks. Starting today you’ll notice a push from all of the Pac-12 schools to encourage fans to let their voice be heard and show the satellite companies (and other non-carriers) the demand the Pac-12 Networks is strong. The first step is to find out if you will get the Pac-12 Networks from your TV provider by visiting the Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder. If you don’t get it, let them know you want it! Call them. E-mail them. Shout it out loud and clear on Twitter, on Facebook, anywhere: #IWantPac12Networks! (make sure to use that hashtag on Twitter).
One of our supporters, John Vietor, already wrote a very direct letter to DirecTV that made clear where he stood on the subject of DirecTV & the Pac-12 Network. Similar support to your satellite and cable providers certainly could help. Here is John’s letter.
Also, check out the new Pac-12 Networks sizzle video below to learn more about the Pac-12 Networks.
DIRECTIONS AND PLANNING
We held some meetings of staff leadership this week and plenty of substantive subject matter arose. Among them are our continued need to improve our facilities, maintain a strong development plan and continue to make our brand – the ‘A’ we love so well – a statewide, regional and national player. The realities of facilities and paying for them are easily the most crucial aspect in our future. McKale Memorial Center, the home of UA Athletics, must be maintained as a cornerstone of our operations. Projected needs in this area can be staggering when you think of five, 10 or 20 years into the future. We have to have plans and we have to implement them, and much of our charge in recent discussions centered on how best to make it all happen.
Too, this is the 40th anniversary of federal Title IX legislation that helped push, in our case, participation in varsity sports from zero female student-athletes at the start of the 1970s to our current total of some 150+ female Wildcats. And look back at some of the successes, among them our four NCAA Women of the Year winners. We not only moved strongly into female participation, but took it to the top levels. As consideration of our Title IX status continues, we may consider more opportunities for women – adding a sport – in the coming year or two. More on this later, but our charge as an institution and as a department most certainly requires federal compliance.
We also reviewed our award-winning program for student-athlete intervention – Step Up! – and noted its success as a national model. Our C.A.T.S. Life Skills program pushes our student-athletes to take responsibility and pre-empt problems whenever possible. We don’t want our students thinking “I wish I had helped or intervened,” we want them to do it. (You can read more about Step Up! here.)
Last but not least we received an update on the progress with our letterwinners group, the A Club, as it has gone under a major reorganization led by Frankie Acosta, Phoebe Chalk and many others.
Eighteen members of our track and field teams and six golfers were named Pac-12 Conference All-Academic this week. Congratulations to Edgar Rivera-Morales, Bozidar Antunovic, James Eichberger, Lawi Lalang, Hanna Henson, Erin Menefee, Alex Weatherly, Alyssa Hasslen, Elvin Kibet, Tamara Pridgett, Brigetta Barrett, Jen Bergman, Taylor Bush, Taylor Freeman, Liana Fuentes, Melanie McGrath, Germe Poston and Shapri Romero who earned T&F honors, while Philip Bagdade, Kenji Hernandez, Erik Oja, Trent Redfern, Isabelle Boineau and Nikki Koller were cited from our golf teams! First-team honors went to Henson, Menefee, Weatherly, Hernandez and Oja. A lot of hard work goes into these honors and the student-athletes deserve the distinctions.
MORE FROM BB AND HER COLLEAGUES
Brigetta Barrett, our awesome junior high jumper, notched her fourth NCAA individual title with a 6-4 leap at the NCAA Championships last week. She’s won both the indoor and outdoor championships each of the last two years. That’s spectacular competing (and notice her scholastic endeavors and those by others above). We also had eight men and seven women win a total of 20 All-America honors at the meet including doubles by senior runner Stephen Sambu, junior runner Lawi Lalang and junior jumper Nick Ross on the men’s side and sophomore runner Elvin Kibet on the women’s team. Other All-Americans were Brigetta, Jen Bergman, Taylor Bush, Echos Blevins, Georganne Moline, Tamara Pridgett and Shapri Romero; and Bozidar Antunovic, Jovon Cunningham, James Eichberger, Tyler Johnson and Edgar Rivera-Morales. Great job by all the Wildcats. Our men’s team finished seventh and our women’s team finished 19th.
THE WILDCAT MOVEMENT
We are vastly approaching the end of the fiscal year (June 30) and we want to let you know of the opportunity to get your Wildcat Club donation in before the deadline to receive 2012-2013 benefits.
Like most industries, the Athletics Department has felt the impact of the economy on our program and it is imperative that we find ways to grow our resources so that we can reinvest in our success and give our student-athletes and fans the best possible experience. We hope you are willing to invest in the University of Arizona and our athletics program.
Our goal is to expand the membership in the Wildcat Club from 9,500 to 12,000 members by the end of 2013. This would put our department at the top of the Pac-12 in annual giving membership and make a huge impact on the experiences of our 450 student-athletes. You received an email from me earlier with a link to our new Wildcat Club video. I encourage you to share this link on Facebook/Twitter and ask people to join the “Wildcat Movement” by joining the Wildcat Club. www.WildcatMovement.com
A-CLUB LETTERWINNER UPDATE
Arizona Athletics would like to congratulate tennis letterwoman Danielle Steinberg (’05-’09), who was named Head Women’s Tennis Coach at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. Danielle began her coaching career as a student-assistant coach at Arizona before being named as an Assistant Coach at Wichita State. While at Arizona, Danielle was named Second-Team All-Pac-10 in 2007-09 and qualified for the NCAA Singles Championships from 2006-08. Danielle also earned Pac-10 All-Academic honors from 2007-09 and was named 2009 Pac-10 Toyota Spring Scholar Athlete of the Year. We know Danielle is a Wildcat for Life and would like to wish her continued success…Bear Down!
It’s our ultimate goal is to graduate all of our student-athletes, and that process begins before they even set foot on our beautiful campus. Every prospective student-athlete who wishes to participate in intercollegiate athletics must first be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center, where the Eligibility Center staff works in cooperation with our Compliance office to ensure that all of our incoming freshmen have successfully satisfied all initial eligibility requirements.
Before a high school student can play Division I sports, he or she must first successfully complete sixteen core courses. The grade point average for all sixteen core courses are then used in a sliding-scale combined with a standardized-test score (e.g., ACT or SAT) to determine initial eligibility. As the grade point average increases, the required test score decreases, and vice versa.
Last year, the NCAA Board of Directors adopted an increase to the initial-eligibility expectations for prospects first enrolling after August 1, 2016 in an attempt to ensure prospects are more academically prepared for college coursework. The new initial-eligibility requirements require a higher academic standard for freshman to compete. This new standard is higher than what will be required to merely receive aid and practice, effectively creating an academic redshirt year. Accordingly, prospects who achieve the previous minimum initial-eligibility standard will continue to be eligible for athletically related financial aid during the first year of enrollment and practice during the first regular academic term of enrollment, but would be precluded from competing unless he or she met the new initial eligibility requirements for competition: at least a 2.3 core course grade point average, in addition to a 1080 SAT or 93 ACT.
If you have any questions regarding initial eligibility requirements, please do not hesitate to contact our compliance staff or seek the NCAA Eligibility Center website for more information.
COLORS ARE PREVALENT
I received a note relating a visit to a Phoenix elementary school by a pair of speakers who entered only to find every student clad in UA T-shirts, courtesy of the Sigma Chi fraternity on the UA campus. The speakers – alums – also were pleased beyond the shared colors when the class sang “Bear Down” to them. Wildcat Country is everywhere… Like below, where Dodie Orosco ’63 and Kathy Krucker ’71 enjoy a wreck off the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, or at Lido Beach, N.Y. (middle), where Alie Vidal and Beth Martin put some red next to the blue waters off Long Island. At bottom, a mixture of alumni and current students - Jim, Marc & Laura Florian, Mary Louise, Walt & Sarah Roberson, and Mike Florian wearing the colors at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and:
- Join the Wildcat Movement
- Buy Season Tickets
- Wear the Colors (Especially on Friday)
- Get Others to Do the Same
Bear Down with Pride,
Director of Athletics
University of Arizona