3:25 P.M. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2012
It has been gratifying to see so much enthusiasm among Baylor Nation as we begin the new athletics year. We have witnessed record football season ticket sales, a surge in Bear Foundation donations and a tremendous season-opening crowd of 43,514 for the Baylor - SMU game.
At the same time, our fall sports are off to great starts with football's 59-24 victory over SMU; volleyball and women's soccer looking impressive on their way to 5-1 starts; and, cross country's strong showing in its opening meet.
Our staff has been busy working on the football stadium project. Fundraising efforts continue to go very well and we have received a strong response from fans interested in suites. We are in the final stages of designing the facility and I believe that it will afford a special environment for our student-athletes along with being one of the nation's most fan-friendly stadiums.
We anticipate some exciting news from the Big 12 in the coming days with an announcement regarding its television contracts. I am deeply appreciative to Commissioner Bowlsby and his staff for all of the hard work that they have put into these negotiations with the Big 12 television partners. This agreement will provide significant resources for the member institutions and provide long-term stability for the Big 12 conference.
With that, Baylor will retain "third tier rights" for a significant amount of inventory that will include one football game, men's and women's basketball and some Olympic sports. We will be seeking to secure a telecast partnership with the goal of increasing exposure for our programs.
We have number of very good questions this week from our fans, so let's find out what people want to talk about:
I've been anxiously watching for any word on Whitney Canion's surgery and progress. Is she on the mend, and will she be ready to lead softball to a great 2013 season?
Did we succeed in getting a redshirt for this season?
So much promise in the batting order, I can't wait to see what we look like next spring.
Thank you for the questions. Whitney Canion is progressing very well and we look forward to her having another great season. She did receive a medical redshirt which will allow her to have two remaining seasons of eligibility.
Congratulations on securing the go ahead for the new stadium that will be on the campus. My main concern is seating. It is my hope that the bleacher seats will be non-existent in the new stadium. The new stadium deserves to have theater style seats throughout the entire complex. Do the right thing and make it comfortable for every fan not just a select few.
Congrats also on the Year of the Bear that was just completed.
Thomas E. Waden
We are thankful that the Board of Regents has approved the Stadium project. It is the culmination of a great deal of work and generous contributions from many people and organizations.
Regarding your question about seating, at this point in time we anticipate having a variety of different seating options including: chair back; bench with back and bench. Chair back seating throughout the entire stadium as you suggest would significantly limit the stadium's total seating capacity (chair back seats take up more space than bench seating).
All of Baylor Nation is extremely proud of the job than you and the entire athletic department has done this past year. Congrats on a job well done!
My question has to do with Floyd Casey Stadium. If/when the football team moves into Baylor Stadium, what does the university plan to do with Floyd Casey? If a decision has not yet been made, can you discuss some of the options that the university is considering?
Thank you for the e-mail and kind words.
We anticipate that Baylor football will move into Baylor Stadium prior to the start of the 2014 season. With that, the University has asked our architect Populous to help us identify alternate uses for Floyd Casey Stadium. At this point, there hasn't been a preferred use for Floyd Casey.
Do you think we will ever expand to add lacrosse? Do you see any other sports being added in the future?
Editor's Note: Similar question relative to possible sport additions at Baylor also received from Victor Brook (Houston, Texas)
Thank you for the e-mail regarding lacrosse. It is one of the fastest growing sports in many regions of the country, and a number of schools have added the sport particularly on the women's side.
Baylor is in compliance with Title IX and we believe that we are best served to invest our resources in the 19 programs that are in place to provide the best experience for our student-athletes and achieve excellence. Therefore, I do not anticipate that we will add new intercollegiate programming.
Thanks for all the work you've put in during the year of the Bear. Previously on your Ask Ian blog, I read where there was mention of an all sport outfitter for athletics, instead of the current setup where each team has their own contact with Nike, adidas, Under Armour, etc.
Has there been progress made toward a deal and do you expect something to be in place by the 2013-2013 school year? It would be nice to be a marquee school of one of the brands above, more gear.
We have explored an all-school arrangement for apparel and there are some advantages to move in this direction in terms of merchandising. However, when we factor in recruiting, coach preferences and maximizing revenue/product, it was determined that Baylor Athletics is best served at this time to contract with apparel companies on a sport-by-sport basis.