July 28, 2011
There was exciting news announced today by the Pac-12 conference regarding the Pac-12 Networks. The deal will bring 850 Pac-12 events annually to almost 40 million cable TV households nationwide. Read all about it here.
WELCOME BACK IT’S BEEN AN INTERESTING FEW WEEKS SINCE WE COMMUNICATED
There has been a lot of news to talk about with our fans since we took our brief summer hiatus. I will try to address a few of them over the coming weeks and months; full cost of attendance for our student-athlete scholarships, NCAA reform & the continued chatter about conference movement.
Today I thought I would discuss an item that has made some local news recently: Could our baseball program relocate to Hi-Corbett?
Yesterday we met with a group of our former baseball letterwinners and current and former coaches to give information and receive feedback on this idea. There was a lot of great discussion and opinions but the common theme from everyone present was that we all want to see Arizona baseball succeed at the highest levels both on and off the field.
The main question that we would like to address through Wildcat Wednesday: Why would we consider playing baseball at Hi-Corbett?
You often hear me talk about the importance of facilities and the impact they make on our program. As much as you want to believe that someone will want to attend our wonderful University because it’s the great place that we know it is, we also have to understand the importance the training and playing environments will have on decision-making during the recruiting process.
You then have to balance the training and playing environments with the need to have a good environment that will attract and retain fans and put the program in the best financial position possible.
After spending a number of months evaluating the possibility we have not made any final decisions, however we still believe that baseball at Hi-Corbett is worth seriously considering. We will do our best to provide more information as we continue with our exploration of this possibility.
Hopefully you've seen some of the photos of our new videoboard under construction in the south end of Arizona Stadium. Let's just say, IT'S BIG. It is going to have a tremendous impact on your experience as a spectator. We'll be unveiling its capabilities and ambience factor at the first football game of the year, vs. Northern Arizona on Sept. 3. You might want to make sure you have tickets. There are a few in the country that may be slightly bigger, but none are in a stadium where the wow factor will be more evident. We should have a stadium capacity of around 56,000 for this season and I'm sure we'll have 56,000 adherents once they see the board in action.
SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER
A number of our football, volleyball, soccer, cross-country and other students are on campus and involved in voluntary conditioning and workouts, plus taking advantage of the summer school terms. Official reporting dates for those sports arrive the first week in August. Our soccer and volleyball teams will be the first to compete at home in the 2011-12 season, be sure to pick up your tickets today.
EVERY DOWN BEAR DOWN
It’s here... Yesterday, our new football promotional site, everydownbeardown.com launched. You’ve heard me talk of the importance of buying season tickets and supporting our football team, and now we have a new interactive website to promote football and help sell tickets. Be sure to check out our new TV spots on the site as well as our own welcome video.
Some great seats remain for the upcoming football season. Don’t miss out on our strong home schedule this year, including Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Pac-12 newcomer Utah. Season tickets start as low as $100 and can save you as much as 40% off the regular single game price. Buy your season tickets now and secure your seats. Flex packs are also on sale right now. A flex pack saves you $15 off of 3 home games. Single game tickets go on sale to the general public Aug. 13, while Wildcat Club members can buy single games in advance starting on Aug. 6 with season ticket holders able to buy starting Aug. 10.
CONGRATS TO ALL OUR TEAMS -- AGAIN
One development announced since my last Wildcat Wednesday was our overall program's Top 20 finish in the Learfield Sports Director's Cup. We checked in at No. 16, our best mark in five years. We think of ourselves as a top 10 school so we'll be working harder than ever to keep up the good work, but all our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and of course our fans deserve credit for helping us climb from a 30th place finish in the preceding year. On another note, in the first Capital One Cup, a different rating system that uses fewer sport programs, our women finished No. 5 in the country and our men finished No. 25. Another item was the awarding of (in the final year), the Tom Hansen Pac-10 Medal to Wildcat football player Brooks Reed and volleyball player Paige Weber. The medals are awarded to top senior student-athletes at all 10 (make that 12 next year) league institutions.
AWARDS ALL AROUND
We’d like to congratulate our men’s and women’s track and field teams for numerous postseason honors that have been announced since our last edition. Fred Harvey was named the 2011 Pac-10 Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year, sophomore Brigetta Barrett was named the Pac-10 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year and junior Stephen Sambu was honored as the Pac-10 Men’s Newcomer of the Year. On the national scene, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association named Harvey its West Region Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year and throws coach Craig Carter was named National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year and West Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
While the collegiate season may be over, 2011 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Champion Barrett is still competing. In late June, she won the U.S. National title in the high jump with a personal best of 6-4.75. Barrett, a second-team 2011 Capital One Academic All-American, will compete as a member of Team USA at the IAAF World Championships Aug. 27-Sept. 4, in Daegu, Korea.
THAT BRINGS US TO THE PAC-12
On July 1 the Pacific-10 Conference ended its existence and became the Pac-12 Conference by welcoming the Universities of Colorado and Utah. (Please note the "Pac." No longer will be it known as "Pacific.") Commissioner Larry Scott has orchestrated a number of progressive moves for our league and bringing two more outstanding western institutions on board was certainly one of them. It's going to make our conference even more formidable than it's been. Arizona and Arizona State affiliated with the then Pac-8 for the 1978-79 school year and have enjoyed a remarkable competitive (and academically rich) coexistence with their league partners. We expect continued high levels of performance from the Pac-12 in 2011-12 and beyond.
STUDYING IN THE COLORS
Laura Hanson, Conner Comp and Mario Ziccarelli studied in Italy this summer and took our message along with them... Meantime, below, traveler and Wildcat partisan James Patterson met UA grad ('98) Michelle Lawrence Bickford and subsequently had some refreshments in a London pub. We're really proud of people taking the UA's message to the world. People see these colors and more often than not, a "Bear Down" is exchanged.
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,
Director of Athletics
The University of Arizona