|Ask Ian: 2010 is Here
8:25 P.M. SUNDAY, JAN. 31, 2009
The 2010 year is off to a great start for Baylor Athletics and it is time to provide you with an update on some recent happenings.
We had a wonderful celebration of the successful completion of the Victory With Integrity campaign last weekend. On Saturday, we honored the campaign's 11 lead donors at a private luncheon in the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center. Following the reception, each of the lead donors was recognized on the court at the Baylor - UMass men's basketball game and presented with a Victory With Integrity trophy to commemorate building a championship level athletics program at Baylor.
It was a privilege to honor these individuals who have provided the leadership gifts toward the campaign. In total, we have raised $94.3 million toward the $90 million goal with $61.7 being dedicated to capital projects, $7.5 million in endowment and $25.1 from annual giving.
While the gifts went to buildings, scholarships, the Bear Foundation and various other designations, truly all the contributions were investments in Baylor's student-athletes. All of us can feel great about the difference that we're making in the lives of these student-athletes. I want to personally thank each of the more than 6,000 contributors to Victory With Integrity for making this campaign an overwhelming success.
Since the inception of the VWI campaign in 2005, Baylor Athletics has had its best five-year period in terms of academic and athletic success. This is no coincidence that it came during the course of this campaign where we had so much generous support from our donors.
Over the five-year run, Baylor has won one national championship and 23 Big 12 Conference championships - the second-most in the league in that span; had 474 student-athletes receive All-Big 12 honors; 143 earn All-America honors; won 10 NCAA individual national championships; and had 466 student-athletes graduate from Baylor.
I had the good fortune of travelling with the Baylor baseball team on its humanitarian mission trip to Cuba earlier this week. It was an incredible experience to have an opportunity to meet with Cuban government leaders, ministers and the wonderful people who live in that country. The baseball coaches and student-athletes represented Baylor in a first-class manner and made a tremendous impression on the people in the community where they worked and conducted a baseball clinic. L.M. Dyson from the Hankamer School of Business and Associate Athletics Director Tom Hill did a marvelous job of arranging and coordinating the trip. There is more information about the Cuba trip on the blog written by David Kaye.
We announced a change in dates for our 2010 football schedule earlier this week. The Bears will now open the season with home games against Sam Houston (Sept. 4) and Buffalo (Sept. 11 - Parent's Weekend) before playing at TCU on September 18. This move was initiated by our Big 12 television partners, but we believe that it gives Baylor a more favorable early-season schedule. In addition, we will be afforded some special considerations from our television partners that will be beneficial to our football program and fans.
National signing day for football, women's soccer and track and field will be held next Wednesday and I hope that many of you will be able to join us for these activities. Our coaches in these programs are doing an outstanding job in recruiting and I know all of us are looking forward to learning about their signing classes. For more information or to sign up for the events, please contact the Baylor Sports Network at www.baylor.edu/network.
The men's and women's basketball teams are having great seasons and I encourage fans to come out to the Ferrell Center for the upcoming games. We have had large and enthusiastic crowds for our home games and that gives the Bears and Lady Bears the extra energy that they will need to win tight games in the Big 12 this season. You may be aware that the Big 12 is the top ranked conference in RPI in both men's and women's basketball.
We have received several Ask Ian questions in the past several weeks.
I am a huge Baylor fan, especially women's basketball, but how does is reflect our Baylor values to beat a team 99-18? Thanks and keep up the great work. The programs have all really improved!
Thank you for the question in reference to the Lady Bears victory over Texas State and the kind comments about the overall state of the athletics program. Baylor competes in Division I which is the highest level of intercollegiate competition in the nation and our coaches expect student-athletes to perform to the best of their ability whenever they have an opportunity to play. During the game that you are referencing, Baylor played very well and Texas State did not have a good performance and in particular did not shoot well. While we never seek to embarrass an opposing team, please know that we are not going to encourage a Baylor team or student-athletes to intentionally underperform in order to reduce the margin of victory in the game.
Editor's Note: Similar question received from Mark Richards (Ohio).
First of all, thanks for all your hard work for BU Athletics. Keep it up!
Houston is a recruiting hotbed for hoops. Are there plans to have Baylor basketball (both men and women) play in Houston against one of the schools here or against another opponent in a venue like the Toyota Center?
Pastor H. Giraud
Thank you for the question about scheduling basketball games in Houston. There have been some discussions over the past couple of years on the men's side about playing a game at the Toyota Center similar to what we accomplished in playing Arkansas at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. At this point, we do not have anything finalized, but it will remain an opportunity that we continue to explore. I do not know of any plans for a women's basketball game in Houston although we played at Rice a couple of years ago.
Also, we are looking forward to Baylor football playing at Rice next September 25. It will be the first Baylor football game in Houston since 1994.
Could you please tell me the status of Bryce Petty, a freshman quarterback? What do the coaches think of him? Is he slated to play at QB or some other position?
Thanks for the e-mail and question about Bryce Petty. Bryce was one of six football players who enrolled mid-year and will participate in winter conditioning before beginning spring football practice. All six of these individuals are working hard with our strength and conditioning staff. Bryce projects to play quarterback at Baylor.
I keep hearing the Athletic Department is going to do reseating and increase ticket costs for the 2010 football season. I truly believe that considering the current economic situation that will be a wrongful thing to do.
Art Briles is the right coach who still needs all the right players. Maybe he can accomplish his goal with the recruits he hopes to sign in February, but at least hold off on reseating for now.
Thank you for the e-mail. We don't have plans to reseat or significantly change football ticket prices for 2010. We have not finalized season ticket prices or the cost for the Baylor - Texas Tech game at the Cotton Bowl, but should do so very soon. We remain committed to provide our fans with the most affordable ticket pricing in the Big 12 and at the same time provide an exciting product on the field.
Coach Briles and his staff are doing an excellent job in building our football program and we are looking forward to a great season in 2010!
Please do whatever you can to keep coach Briles at Baylor. We are so close to turning the corner.
I appreciate your e-mail. We are grateful that Coach Briles is our football coach and did not choose to interview at his alma mater, Texas Tech, when afforded the opportunity. He is a great fit for Baylor and we look forward to his leadership of our football program for many years to come.
Editor's Note: Similar questions were received from Juan Aguilar (Shreveport, La.), Jami Ivey (Athens, Texas), Guy Young (Quitaque, Texas), Linda Trice (Waxahachie, Texas), Carolyn Jones (Yantis, Texas)