Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
Oct. 17, 2012
FAMILY WEEKEND The University of Arizona will celebrate Family Weekend October 19-21, with various events from Thursday to Sunday to show parents, family and friends a number of programs and highlights of students’ educational and social activities. Here is a schedule of activities. Our football game against Pac-12 foe Washington, at 7 p.m. Saturday, will be one such special event. Please join us, especially if you have a daughter, son, sibling, relative or friend attending this great University. Tickets are still available, including the new value packs. Get a game ticket, hot dog, soda and either peanuts or popcorn for one low price. Click here to get your tickets now. DAYTIME FOOTBALL IN ARIZONA STADIUM The Oct. 27 football game in Tucson against USC has been set for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff for an ABC regional broadcast. It has what’s called a “reverse mirror” on ESPN2 -- outside our market area the game will be shown on that ESPN/ABC affiliated network. (In Tucson, for example, a different game would be on ESPN2). At any rate, it will be a change of pace and nice to have a mid-day fall kickoff in Arizona Stadium. Let’s plan on showcasing our program and University in a big way. Increased exposure on ABC/ESPN is one of the benefits of the new Pac-12 broadcast rights agreement. While we wait and hope for an agreement with DirecTV to carry the Pac-12 Network, we are realizing the upside to the monumental television rights agreements secured for the Conference with national distribution on ESPN/ABC and Fox. While we have default start times for our football games, kickoff times for each of the Pac-12 institutions are ultimately set by our television agreements. However, there are limitations. For example, games will not begin before 11:30 a.m. and there will be no afternoon games during the month of September for the Arizona schools due to concern for heat (players and fans). The 12:30 p.m. kickoff will be a change of pace for us from our typical late afternoon and night starts, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to showcase our program, University and Tucson under the daylight of what should be another beautiful late-October day in Tucson. Since the early start time was announced it’s been an interesting mix of opinions that I’ve received through Twitter. I sent a tweet to announce the 12:30 p.m. kickoff and you can see the first two responses below. As you might expect, there are those who like the earlier start time and others who do not. While consensus on a start time is elusive, there is one thing that’s certain – a 12:30 p.m. kick changes our customary Saturday game-day schedule. Whether it’s a 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. or even 8 p.m., we very much appreciate that you are willing to adjust your day to attend the game and support the Cats. Bear Down! ANOTHER SELLOUT FOR THE MCDONALD’S RED/BLUE GAME We are excited to announce Sunday’s McDonald’s Red/Blue basketballgame sold out this morning, four days prior to the event! This is a testament to the amazing passion and enthusiasm our fans have for Arizona basketball. It’s second to none! It’s going to be a fun day at the McKale Center. With it being a sellout crowd, there are a few reminders/encouragements I want to pass along. Our volleyball team plays Oregon State on Sunday at 11 a.m. If you have a McDonald’s Red/Blue game ticket you can attend the volleyball match (and vice versa, if you have a volleyball ticket you can stay and attend the basketball game). The building won’t be cleared after the volleyball match, which means fans can arrive as early as 10 a.m. to claim seats for the basketball game. Another reason to arrive early is to be one of the first fans to receive a complimentary commemorative 1988 team schedule poster. This one is a classic and must-have for your collection (only available to fans with a game ticket, one per person, while supplies last). With the exception of reserved seat volleyball tickets, all seats are first-come, first-serve general admission for the McDonald’s Red/Blue game. If you’re coming to the basketball game with a group of family or friends and want to sit all together, the earlier you can arrive the better chance you’ll have finding seats together. Parking will be free on Sunday in the Cherry garage and surrounding lots on campus. It’s a big day for our men’s basketball program. It’s a day to celebrate the past, present and future of Arizona basketball. Thank you for selling out the game once again. I can’t express in words how appreciative Coach Miller is for your support. MEN’S BASKETBALL SELECT-A-SEAT When talking to our fans about men’s basketball, I hear comments about how McKale Center is sold out for all home games. That has been a misconception for a couple of years now. Yes, there was a time, for many years, when you couldn’t buy a ticket because we were sold out. And yes, we’re close to still being sold out, but we do have some tickets available. If you’ve ever wanted to get men’s basketball season tickets, but didn’t think it was possible, now is the time to purchase seats. Coach Miller’s team is only getting better, and McKale is going to be rockin’ this year. This Sunday at the McDonald’s Red/Blue game our tickets sales team will be marking available seats with a yellow tag. Fans can look around and select seats to buy right then and there. Of course you don’t have to wait until Sunday to buy season tickets. Just call 520-621-CATS or click here to buy online. SOCCER SUPPORTS THE COMMUNITY AND THE COMMUNITY SUPPORTED THEM BACK Thesoccerteam traveled to UMC’s Diamond Children’s Medical Center on Wednesday, Oct. 10 to visit with patients, doctors, staff and to promote their season. The team had a very memorable experience when they visited a young boy who had recently had surgery on his leg. While watching SportsCenter is one of his favorite things to do, his first love is soccer. According to the team, the boy had a “priceless” smile, which encouraged the student-athletes. Additionally, the team was able to promote their season and encourage employees to come out and support the Wildcats in their match against Stanford. With a sold out stadium on Thursday, Oct. 11, the Wildcats took on No. 2 Stanford. Although the match didn’t have the outcome that we would have hoped, the Wildcats played hard knowing they had the support of the community there with them. A-CLUB LETTERWINNERS UPDATE Arizona swimming letterman Denton Taylor ‘07 has a unique opportunity to travel overseas to China where he will be teaching English to high school students. Denton also hopes that while he is teaching his students, that he can also learn from them. “I hope to learn Mandarin during my year out here. I am excited to see new things and push the University of Arizona to kids that want to go to school in America.” We are always supportive of our letterwinners who work hard to positively represent themselves, The University of Arizona and Arizona Athletics. Denton, please keep inspiring others and make sure the first thing you teach your students is to…Bear Down! REMATCH OF THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES Wilma the Wildcat continues to compete in the Mascot Challenge. She’s now 3-3 on the season and takes on a familiar foe this week with a head-to-head matchup with Cocky from South Carolina. Wilbur and Wilma got the best of Cocky in Omaha when baseball defeated South Carolina in the College World Series final. Cocky is currently in first place. Help Wilma pull off the upset by voting for her every day this week. Click here for information on how to vote.
NOTES… Congratulations to UA grads Todd Walsh, Jason Lewis and Gregson Frampton of FOX Sports Arizona on winning honors from the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter Emmy Awards last week. Walsh picked up an anchor Emmy and Lewis and Frampton co-produced a live-unedited sporting-event piece that took honors… Our football game next week (USC, October 27) occasions the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Day at the University. Baseball Coach Andy Lopez is an honorary captain for the fete. More information is available here.
Check out our weekly schedule graphic at the bottom of this email. Right click, save and share! A REMINDER FROM THE COMPLIANCE OFFICE This is a big recruiting weekend for all of our sports. Our compliance folks asked me to pass along this cartoon as a reminder to leave the recruiting to the coaches. You do your part by wearing the colors and showing up to the games. CATS FROM A TO Z Below, Dave and Joan Ashcraft with Alcatraz behind them in San Francisco Bay, while at bottom, a host of mostly 1999 graduates got together for an outing in ZionNational Park – Paul Ruggeri, Michael Jacobs, James Northam, Peter James, Evan Engle, Tiim Ostapuk, Darryl Anderson, Nick Ravden and Matt McCabe. (Hey, let’s get everyone wearing the colors, fellas, not just a couple of caps.) Bear Down, and wear your Arizona colors proudly, and far and wide.
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