Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
Athletics Director Greg Byrne
Sept. 7, 2011
I visited my parents in Texas this past weekend and can report that speculation about major-college athletics future conference alignment is as prevalent elsewhere in the country as in the Pac-12 region. We are in a very good position right now both as the Pac-12 and as the University of Arizona. A year ago it made a lot of sense for our conference to expand to 16 teams but because of the leadership of our commissioner, Larry Scott and the strength of our league with our new media rights agreement it may be a different landscape than what it was a year ago.As you know, there is a lot of speculation out there and I encourage you to keep up to date from reputable media outlets.
THANKS FOR THE EFFORTS
We want to thank all of our supporters and fans, staff and the many people who helped make our football season opener a success. (Obviously kudos go to the football coaches and the student-athletes for their part.) We were able to bring together a crowd of above 51,000, debut the new video board and engender the kind of atmosphere we need in every game at Arizona Stadium. I'm pleased with the attendance figure, but know it can get better.
A Wildcats football game is more than watching your favorite team win. It's about coming together for a wholesome event with excitement, tradition, energy, competition and fun. We hope you enjoyed the new video board and the impact it has on our game environment. We appreciate your patience while we work through issues with the new audio system. I spoke with the President of the company and they are already working hard to improve the system and work out the kinks before the Stanford game.
I was happy to see that our strong fan base helped the Wildcats to a victory in the home opener. Thank you all. Now, let's rock the place for the rest of our home games, starting with Stanford next week -- our first-ever Pac-12 game. Please plan to head to the stadium early to give yourself plenty of time to enter. We successfully implemented a new scanning system, which will allow us to eventually provide new services to our fans – including ticket transfers, a secure secondary ticket marketplace, and print-at-home tickets, but scanning does take a few more seconds per fan so we appreciate your patience.
It’s not too late to purchase football season tickets. We are offering a prorated 5-game season ticket. A limited number of seats are still available. Buy your tickets while you can - Stanford and Oregon seats are selling fast!
Our photographers work hard each week to cover our games and bring the experience to life in pictures. We have created a video-slideshow of their work from the season opening football game against NAU for you to enjoy, and you can find a new one each week on our website.
ADDING TO THE COLORS
Students for Sustainability are adding "green" to our mix by volunteering for a Stadium Recycling Project after each football home game. The force splits into teams and picks up water bottles and paper throughout the stands, for recycling. We appreciate this group working with us on game days. And it’s a great reminder to all of us to take advantage of any UA recycling bins on campus.
Hats off to four student-athletes for their work since the 2010-11 school year ended. Sophomore Erica Barnes of women's basketball, senior Dahlys Marshall of women's track and field, sophomore Jordin Mayes of men's basketball and sophomore Jonathan McKnight of football all earned C.A.T.S. Academics Student-Athletes of the Month honors. Their attention to their scholastic responsibilities, their progress toward a college diploma and the example they set in that determination and effort are to be lauded. Congratulations, students, for a job well done. Keep it up and infuse all our student-athletes with your resolve.
BASKETBALL RENEWAL REMINDER
Basketball season will be here before you know it. The Men’s Basketball Renewal Deadline is this Friday, September 9th. We have gone paperless with our renewals so you will not receive a paper renewal statement. If you haven’t already done so, please go online to renew your tickets.
Our teams are road warriors this week. The football squad plays on national television (ESPN) tomorrow night at Oklahoma State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Stillwater -- 5 p.m. in Tucson and Pacific Time, 8 p.m. in the east. Volleyball plays three matches in Evansville, Ind., Friday and Saturday. Our soccer team plays in Tempe at 2 p.m. Friday against Missouri and against Oklahoma at 11 a.m. Sunday. Men's tennis has a fall appearance in the NMSU Invitational in Las Cruces Friday through Sunday... Go Cats!
FRESHMEN PACE THE FIELD
At last weekend’s NAU George Kyte Classic cross country meet, freshman Haley Stenquist put forth a memorable performance in her Wildcat debut. Getting clipped from behind about halfway through the 5K, she ran for a bit with her right shoe half on, half off. She then ditched her right shoe instead of stopping to put it back on. She finished the 5K second overall and first among collegians. She led the Wildcat women to a win in the team race, finishing ahead of Pac-12 and regional foes ASU and NAU.
On the men's side, freshman Kenji Bierig was Arizona's top finisher in 14th place. As a team, UA finished third with 87 points behind ASU in first and NAU in second.
A couple of Wildcats on deck for some color displays this summer. Below is Stephen Tuttle aboard the historic battleship USS North Carolina at her mooring in Wilmington, N.C., and Dr. Rick Benedict ('94, '98) topside during a cruise in Glacier Bay, Alaska. There's some history and some nature, with the ever-present Wildcat Movement in evidence. (By the way, we're a bit envious of the sweatshirt weather...)
Thanks for your votes last week and don’t forget to vote for Wilbur in this week’s mascot matchup! You can vote multiple times a day via:
Make sure to “Like” us on Facebook for videos, photos and highlights of all our sports. We are choosing a Facebook fan of the game for all our home football games. Make sure to become a fan for your chance to win and see your picture on the new, huge board.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and: