Oct. 26, 2011
GRADUATION SUCCESS RATE
The NCAA released annual Graduation Success Rate figures yesterday and we showed some improvement. That's the good news. More extended news is that in this area we are aiming quite a bit higher. Our academic services people indicate we will again show improvement next year, and that's what we expect. It's not easy for a major-college student-athlete to create the balance between competition and scholastics, but it's a requirement at the University of Arizona. I cannot reiterate too many times how important it is for us to foster and maintain academic success, and graduate our athletes. That's why we're here, and that's why they're here.
Thanks to all of you who came out and supported us last Thursday for the football game against UCLA. Having the game on a Thursday at the end of rush hour caused some special problems for many, and we recognize that. But, what a game. The team did a great job of playing with a mission and was rewarded with our first Pac-12 victory...
HOWEVER, THERE WERE OTHER PROBLEMS
I'm sure you're aware that four of our players were sanctioned by the Pac-12 for their part in an unnecessary and unfathomable fight between the teams on the field, and a spectator was arrested. A couple of things: If you're a spectator we expect that you remain in the stands and support the team in the best spectating fashion possible. There is no place or time for fans to run onto the playing field or courts. These events are for the student-athletes and our customers, not stages for people to draw attention to themselves. As for the unfortunate skirmish, a couple of our student-athletes have been suspended from competition because of their actions. We stand for the principle of sportsmanship and expect it in all corners -- coaches, student-athletes, staff, fans and observers. The Pac-12 acted quickly to review the incident and determine some appropriate punishment. The suspensions surely will not help our team this week at Washington, and there's where individuals put their agenda ahead of team and program goals. We have to be a poised program in all aspects, and we will.
SNAPS FROM THE SNAP-BACK GAME
Here are some photos from the Arizona-UCLA football game last Thursday, taken by our ICA photographers.
RED AND BLUE AND AWESOME
The men's basketball Red and Blue Scrimmage on Saturday was amazing. More than 14,000 Wildcat partisans joined the team and former Wildcats in providing a glimpse of the 2011-12 team. We're fortunate to have that kind of support and hope to engender that type of dedication for all of our sports. Thanks for helping, and continue to do so. The men's basketball team will open its season on Thursday evening in McKale Center. Our women's basketball team opens next week (Wednesday, Nov. 2) in McKale. Men’s and women’s season tickets are still available.
A few weeks ago, more than 100 student-athletes participated in the filming of the Thriller video at McKale Center. After a dress rehearsal, as well as extensive wardrobe and make-up planning, representatives from various teams were ready for their spooktacular debut. We consider ourselves a family here in the athletics department, and this was a great opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches and staff to get together, have fun and show off some of their most frightening dance moves.
We hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. On Sunday give the kids an extra day to show off their costumes and to have some Halloween fun at our Arizona Soccer Halloween Hoot. Join us at 10:00 a.m. for fun activities, candy, an obstacle course and more. Be sure to wear a costume and receive a discount on game tickets. Then stick around as our the soccer team hosts Washington State at 11:00 a.m. atMurphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium.
SUPPORTING YOUTH SPORTS
I was recently told that the State of Arizona offers a school tax credit program to support physical education and athletics. Obviously I’m a big believer in the positive experiences and important lessons that participation in athletics can provide, so I encourage you to learn more about these tax credit programs and consider supporting local youth sports in your area through your tax credit contribution. While many people and kids support our programs, we want to encourage and support youth athletics in our community and throughout the state of Arizona.
HOMECOMING GAME TIME SET FOR 4 P.M.
We are looking forward to next weekend and welcoming back all UA alumni for Homecoming 2011 – Red, Blue & Bold! Kick-off is now set for 4:00 p.m. for our football game vs. Utah. Tickets are available for the game. Please don’t forget to join us for the Wildcat Walk which will begin at 2:15 p.m.
If you are an Arizona letterwinner please visit the A-Club/Letterwinners website for updates on events and times, including the golf tournament, hall of fame ceremony and breakfasts.
Tailgating will begin at 10 a.m. Due to the homecoming activities, tailgaters will not be allowed to park vehicles overnight along the street next to or on the UA mall. Tailgate vehicles with the required tailgate pass will need to wait until 9:00 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 5 to begin lining up.
The Homecoming Parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. and is scheduled to last approximately 1.5 hours. Access to southbound Cherry Ave. from Speedway Blvd. will be restricted starting at 12:30pm to approximately 2:45pm (start of parade to end of Wildcat Walk).
Other events this week include the SOCCER squad at home against Washington on Friday, before theHalloween Hoot and Sunday match against WSU; SOFTBALL at home to conclude exhibition fall ball at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday; WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL on the road Friday (WSU) and Saturday (UW) at the northwest school... The Pac-12 CROSS COUNTRY Championships will be held Saturday in the Phoenix area, with both our teams working for top finishes... WOMEN’S GOLF will play in a tournament in Austin, Texas, next Monday through Wednesday... Men's hoops will continue play with home games tomorrow night againstSeattle Pacific and another contest on Monday against Humboldt State. The winter sports programs are under way…This week’s mascot matchis WILBUR vs. BUZZ from Georgia Tech. Only three more matchups to go before the playoffs but Wilbur needs your help each week to make it in the top eight in order to be in the playoffs and keep him in the hunt for the grand prize that will go towards a scholarship endowment for the mascots. Don’t forget to cast your vote by texting Wilbur to 78527, or vote online by clicking here.
FIRST UP - CROSS COUNTRY
Our men's and women's cross country squads take to the course in Litchfield Park, Ariz., to challenge for the Pac-12 Championship. We have solid teams on both sides and can look forward to some outstanding performances. This meet also helps us begin defense of our (second consecutive) State Farm Territorial Cup Series title, as it's the determining meet for the first points in the competition between the Wildcats and Sun Devils for overall program excellence. The next event in the SFTCS is soccer playing host to ASU on Nov. 5. Please come out and support the team. Go Cats!
Don’t forget to wear the colors on Fridays and encourage your friends and co-workers to do the same. Below, Kellond Elementary School (Tucson) teacher Mr. Leong and his 4th grade pupils on their Wear Red day. That's a lot of young Arizona Wildcats! Be sure to send us pictures of you in your Arizona gear to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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