Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
Dec. 14, 2011
LARRY SCOTT TO CHINA
The commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference, Larry Scott, traveled to China this week in his continuing effort to expand the league's reach in the Pacific Rim. This kind of effort by our league's leadership may one day mean league games on the Chinese mainland, but it also underscores the extensive outreach Pac-12 institutions have through research and academic missions in China. Certainly his move is a forefront excursion and not likely to be mirrored by other leagues in the immediate future. It's yet another example of the creative thinking and planning that's under way by the Pac-12 to cement our innovative and positive push for greater things.
CONGRATULATIONS DUE ON HALLMARK DAY
The University will use McKale Center on Saturday for the Winter Commencement Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and a number of Wildcat student-athletes will graduate and receive diplomas. Our No. 1 objective is to help our students receive degrees and kudos to the following for jobs well done: Andres Arango Patino of tennis, Marcus Benjamin of football, Brittany Benvenuto of golf, Thomas Conran of golf, Stefan Cox of golf, Michael Diaz of football, David Douglas of football, Derek Earls of football, Colleen Fisher of gymnastics, Nick Foles of football, Jay Goldman of tennis, David Highberger of football, Latisha Holden of track and field, Peter Ireland of golf, Victoria Kemp of softball, Jonathan Khan of golf, Robert Koubratoff of swimming and diving, Brittany Lastrapes of softball, Alejandra Llaneza of golf, Tarquin MacManus of golf, Borja Mal Casado of tennis, Rebecca Nelson of track and field, Tiffany Owens of volleyball, Oliver Padre of football, D'Aundre Reed of football, Lauren Schutzler of softball, Terrell Turner of football, Paul Vassallo of football, Devin Veal of football, Trevin Wade of football, Amy Webster of volleyball and Alex Zendejas of football. Congratulations to all of these students!
ONE WAY OF LOOKING AT IT
"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment..." Heard that on TV recently, and it rang a bell. Our charge here, of course, is to not make bad judgments. I think it's very wise to learn from your mistakes, and I think the quote can be interpreted that way. When it comes to the rules and compliance, we can't afford to use poor judgment. That's why you'll sometimes hear from us in regard to following a straight path. I bring this up during a heavy recruiting period to remind you that the business of recruiting is the province of a few -- and none of them are fans or supporters. It's permissible to show prospective student-athletes, in their own environment or on our campus, your courtesy and the colors. That's about it. Please do not try to exert influence or contact them in any manner.
KUDOS, SWIM CATS!
Arizona's swimming and diving program has been busy this week, headlined by the men's team, which earned a unanimous No. 1 ranking in the CSCAA poll on Dec. 8, after an impressive showing at the Texas Invite. The women's team also moved up in the polls from No. 8 to No. 5. Leading the men's team is senior and two-time national champion Cory Chitwood, who raked in the awards after earning College Swimming's Swimmer of the Week and being named the Pac-12's swimmer of the month last week. In addition, senior diver Ben Grado was named the Pac-12's diver of the month and will compete in the USA Diving National Championships under newly-appointed diving head coach, Omar Ojeda.
GIVE THE GIFT OF ARIZONA ATHLETICS
Can you believe how fast the month of December is flying by? As you are wrapping up your holiday shopping (or if you're like me and just starting) don't forget to think of Arizona Athletics for the Wildcat fans in your life. Our ArizonaWildcats.com team store has a great selection of Wildcat merchandise. There is a special sale on Arizona jerseys and hats, which ends tonight. And of course 2012 Arizona football season tickets would look great in those stockings hung by the fireplace.
I've been finding myself rising to stand when the band plays our fight song, "Bear Down, Arizona," and wouldn't be disappointed if that little show of pride became commonplace at our events. It always feels good to stretch the legs and support the team while you are at it.
A reader (Mr. Waling) wrote to note that wearing the colors on Friday also has another meaning if you wear red, since for the past 15 years, a Red Friday has been indicative of support for our nation's armed forces and their families... If you send photos to our Facebook page or to the athletic department, please include the name(s) of everyone shown. We tend to look foolish if we identify only the sender and not the people depicted -- so those particular photos never make the cut.... We had another reader (Diane Castro) commend football coach Rich Rodriguez for his support in a surprise visit to the recent UA Hispanic Alumni dinner. Coach Rodriguez has been doing a great job of connecting with all kinds of constituents, including prospective student-athletes, in his early tenure on the job. Monday night he wowed the crowd at a Tucson Welcome Reception at La Paloma and yesterday we spent the day traveling around Phoenix to meet with supporters, letterwinners, and the Phoenix media. The day was capped off with a fantastic evening at the Phoenix Country Club with a room full of Wildcats fans.
Men's basketball travels to Seattle Saturday to play a semi-neutral game against Gonzaga in the State Farm Battle in Seattle at Key Arena. The game is televised on CBS and tips off at 2:00 p.m. MT... Women's basketball will play on the road at Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday... Next Monday, divers Ben Grado and Samantha Pickens will participate in the USA Winter Nationals in Nashville, Tenn., Monday and Tuesday... And men's hoops will be back in McKale for a game Tuesday against Oakland...tickets are available at www.arizonawildcats.com
ROCKING THE CATS
Below, former UA Vice President Saunie Taylor (right) and lecturer emeritus Kit Taylorshow the colors at Courthouse Rock near Sedona, Ariz., recently. The Taylors are staunch Wildcats and steady supporters at many events.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and: