|A New Year
9:10 P.M. THURSDAY, FEB. 18, 2011
The world of college athletics has become a 12-month a year enterprise with very little down-time for our staff, coaches and student-athletes. With that, it seems that the early spring is the busiest time of year in the athletics department. Basketball season is in its stretch drive; spring sports are underway; and spring football is about to get started. At the same time, these are some of the most exciting and successful days for Baylor Athletics.
The Lady Bears are ranked No. 1 in the nation and in position to claim a Big 12 championship. I have been very pleased with the crowds at the Ferrell Center this year as we have already surpassed the previous Lady Bear single-season attendance record. Ticket sales are brisk for the NCAA First and Second Round (March 20, 22) games that will be hosted at the Ferrell Center, so I encourage you to purchase your seats while they last.
The men's basketball team has several pivotal home games in the coming weeks against in-state rivals Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Texas. The March 5 match-up against UT will bring College Game Day to Waco. Festivities will begin at 7:00 a.m. with a complimentary breakfast sponsored by Rudy's. There will be games, posters and entertainment, including performances by fan-favorite The Amazing Christopher.
The College Game Day telecast will be from 9:00 until 11:00 a.m. and afford Baylor and the community tremendous national exposure. The Baylor-Texas game will tip-off at 8:00 p.m. and we are looking forward to another sellout crowd in the Ferrell Center. This will be another great opportunity for Baylor Nation to rise up and Fill the Stands!
As mentioned above, our spring sports are now underway and most teams are nationally ranked. Baseball, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and equestrian are all in the Top 25.
This is also an important time of year for the Baylor Bear Foundation as the annual fund drive will kick-off shortly. The BBF has had six consecutive record years including last year when more than $6.5 million was raised for student-athlete scholarships. The annual cost of scholarships has increased to more than $12 million for the athletics department, so we need to continue to grow the base and increase giving levels of our generous donors to meet this need.
Also, I want to encourage each of you to consider supporting the President's Scholarship Initiative. The athletics scholarship endowment stands at approximately $20 million. With its continued growth, there will be additional resources available on an annual basis for funding student-athlete scholarships.
We have received several Ask Ian questions in the past few weeks.
My question is regarding the Rise Up intro, for the football games. Why have we not incorporated it in to our other sports team's entrances? I felt that the song brought all of Baylor Nation together, and cheering on our Bears.
Thank you for the e-mail and question. The Rise Up campaign including the music of Baylor graduate David Crowder was very successful for football and we are planning on building upon it for the 2011 season. Moreover, it has become a source of pride for Baylor Nation that we will continue to promote.
The marketing plans for each sport are developed in concert with the various coaching staffs and there were desires to incorporate different ideas and themes to meet the individual needs of each program.
What is the projected cost of the new track facility? Is there a possibility we could have an indoor track, either within the planned facility or elsewhere?
Are we planning an indoor tennis facility, and if so, what is the projected cost? Is the lack of an indoor tennis facility interfering with our efforts to host NCAA regional meets?
Fred C. Weekley
Editor's Note: A similar question about the track facility was received from Joseph Hawkins (Memphis, Tenn.).
Thank you for the questions about facilities. The two projects that were not completed as part of the Victory With Integrity campaign were an on-campus track and field facility and indoor tennis facility. The approximate costs for the projects are $15 million and $7 million, respectively.
Both of these projects are important and in need of support from our donor base in order to bring them to fruition. I am hopeful that our alumni and friends will rally behind these successful sport programs and support these vital projects.
The lack of an indoor facility does not hamper our efforts to host NCAA Regional competition, however, it hinders our ability to host the NCAA Championships.
Why haven't there been more Lady Bear Basketball games on TV this season?
Editor's Note: Similar question received from Pete Nelson (Hampton, Va.).
Thank you for the question about Lady Bear basketball. The Lady Bears have actually had more games televised this year than ever before. There will be 12 regular season games televised, including 10 nationally, along with all Big 12 and NCAA Tournament games.
At the same time, we want to encourage our local fans to `Fill the Stands' in the Ferrell Center to give the Lady Bears a homecourt advantage every time that they play.
Hi Mr. McCaw,
I am a fan of both Baylor Lady Bears and Bears basketball, too! I have season tickets to all the Lady Bear games and have really enjoyed each and every game. Why doesn't Baylor embrace more BU gifts or accessories to be sold with the BU logo at the games or at the Bookstore.
Sic 'Em Bears!!,
I appreciate your strong support of Baylor Athletics. The University has made a concerted effort to expand the merchandise available in the Baylor Bookstore and athletics venues over the past year. The great news is that licensing royalties are up more than 110 percent from a year ago and we are in the midst of our third consecutive record quarter.
As consumers continue to purchase Baylor apparel, we will be able to offer a wider array of items. Moreover, this will create more demand in the marketplace and enable our licensing partners to gain access into more retail establishments. Bottom line: we need Baylor Nation to rise up and buy Baylor gear!
We did ask our licensing agent about your specific request (I-Phone cover) and the response we received was that one was in the process of being made for Baylor.
With UT signing a huge contract with ESPN for its own network, how do you see this affecting the strength of the Big 12? Is there any discussion of Baylor and some of the other schools starting their own network?
The University of Texas' recent television announcement is positive news for both the Big 12 and Baylor University. The University of Texas has found a way to significantly monetize its third tier television rights and in doing so optimize its position within the Big 12 conference. The fact that ESPN is willing to substantially compensate UT for the value of its third tier rights is most encouraging news for the Big 12 as it enters upcoming television negotiations.
We anticipate that Baylor will enjoy significantly increased conference revenue and exposure as a result of these negotiations. Moreover, once these negotiations are complete, Baylor will be exploring the best alternative for utilization of its third tier rights.
This is not a question but I wanted to let you know you have one of the best ushers I have ever met. Her name is Tina and she works in section 101. She is the kindest most hospitable person. You have a great employee there and just thought you should know. Baylor is just great in every way.
Thanks for making the games wonderful. My daughter loves basketball and Baylor. God bless you all!
It is always a pleasure to hear a wonderful story of a staff member providing great customer service. We are blessed with terrific game day staff members who graciously serve our loyal fans each and every time we open the doors for an athletics contest.
Thank you for sharing this kind e-mail about Tina and your strong support of Baylor Athletics!