Aug. 24, 2011
We held our annual "welcome back" meeting with staff and all our student-athletes on Monday. I introduced interim UA President Eugene Sander for some brief remarks, plus introduced members of letter winners' groups, our coaching staff and the Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Committee. We want to start out the year on the right foot so there was some pointed guidance in terms of what we expect in the way of representing our university. It's critical for all our student-athletes and staff to start the new academic year with a cohesive understanding of our goals. Otherwise it's an occasion to mingle with one's contemporaries and enjoy dinner outside on Lynch Pavilion patio. I'll be meeting with the athletic department workforce tomorrow for one of our periodic staff meetings. Moreover, welcome back to you, our supporters. We've enjoyed a strengthening of the Wildcat Movement in the past year-plus and we look forward to continued growth. Every down, Bear Down!
A PLEA AND A DEMAND
A transparent method of management and leadership in this endeavor -- intercollegiate athletics -- is only possible in an atmosphere where compliance is a priority. We embrace the simple task of communicating with our supporters in every means possible. In turn, we need our supporters to embrace the rules. There are a ton of them, indeed. (And quite possibly the NCAA will review their books and trim its focus.). But it's clear fromreading about issues during this past year that some problems can pose huge challenges for institutions.
I'm a huge cultivator and proponent of donor development. We need donor support to stay as financially independent as possible. But once we gain supporters through financial benevolence, those "representatives of our athletics interest" face serious restrictions on what they can and cannot do to help. Our compliance director, Bill Morgan, can be heard to say to student-athletes, "If it's not available to the general student body, it's not available to you," as a means of describing improper gifts or services.
We need the Wildcat Movement to remember that from the other side of the equation. We empower some donors with closer access to our student-athletes, but it's a one-way street. Please, do not jeopardize our good health and reputation with improper actions. We have the people available to help if you have questions about this major concern. Take advantage of our resources, please.
The University of Arizona Alumni Association's MaricopaCounty chapters will play host to a Wildcat Football Kickoff Reception from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn. Requested attire is -- what else? -- the colors. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $25 for reserved seating. To reserve tickets please visit this web site HERE or call 602-827-2189. (Online registration closes tonight at midnight.) Our season-opening kickoff against Northern Arizona is just 10 days hence! No doubt you have your game tickets or are ready if way from Tucson to dial in to FOX Sports Arizona at 7 p.m. (MT/PDT).
Soccer has its home opener Mulcahy Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday vs.. South Carolina, while volleyball will be on the road in Hawaii for three games Friday-Sunday... Men's golf opens fall play in a road tourney in Albuquerquenext Tuesday... Don't forget that season-ticket renewals for men's basketball are due in early September... Football opens the 2011 season at home versus Northern Arizona in just nine days. So if you don't have your tickets already, you can avoid the gameday rush by purchasing your tickets in advance online.
CARRYING ON A UA TRADITION
Former Arizona swimmer Annie Chandler was named the 2010-11 Pac-10 Conference Woman of the Year and is one of 30 honorees chosen for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The award is chosen by a selection committee of representatives from various NCAA schools and conferences. This year a record 471 nominations were submitted for the award that will be presented later this fall.
Chandler is the third consecutive and fourth overall Arizona swimmer to be named Pac-10 Woman of the Year. Previous winners were: Justine Schluntz (2010); Lacey Nymeyer (2009); and Whitney Myers (2007). Schluntz (2010), Nymeyer (2009), Myers (2007), and former Wildcat high jumper Tanya Jones (1994) are the only four student-athletes from the Pac-10 Conference to have won the NCAA Woman of the Year award. UA has more NCAA Women of the Year honors than any other institution.
BRINGING HOME THE BLING
Some of Arizona's own won gold medals at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, this past weekend. Junior Brigetta Barrett, competing for Team USA, won the high jump title with a personal-best clearance of 6-5. Her mark now sits tied for No. 2 on Arizona's all-time list and currently ranks No. 6 in the world for 2011. UA head cross country coach and associate head track and field coach James Li served as the men's head coach for Team USA. He paced the squad to four medals during the event: one gold, one silver and two bronze.
In the pool, senior Alyssa Anderson, swimming for Team USA, won gold as a member of the 4x200 free relay.Chandler, also competing for Team USA, won gold in the 50-meter breaststroke.
BRIGHT-EYED AND READY TO GO
Here is our group of student-athletes for 2011-12, all wearing the colors for an informal portrait at the Welcome Back BBQ on Monday.
SELF-CONTAINED UNDERWATER COLORS
Roger Cohn, below, takes wearing the Wildcat colors to some serious depths -- like 50 feet below the surface of the Caribbean Sea off Cozumel. (What won't some Cats do to get their photo used? Wow.)
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
University of Arizona