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Best wishes to all for a happy and prosperous new year. I know that all of us associated with Baylor Athletics expect 2006 to be filled with great success academically and athletically.
One change that I want to make as we enter a new year is with the Ask Ian format. While I will continue to be accessible and answer some questions each week, too often we have been rehashing previously asked and answered questions. With that, I will start by writing a short letter to fans based upon questions that I receive or topics that you raise. At the end of the column, I will include a couple of select questions that cover new topics and other interesting information.
We need every Baylor Bear at the Ferrell Center on Saturday afternoon to support the men's basketball team in its home opener. Coach Drew, his staff and student-athletes have worked incredibly hard and had to overcome a great deal of adversity in not having a non-conference schedule this year. I thought that the team showed a lot of promise on Wednesday against Texas Tech, and the greatest improvement usually takes place between the first and second game. Let's give the team a raucous Ferrell Center welcome when it takes the court against Oklahoma State!
Congratulations to Coach Mulkey-Robertson and the Lady Bears on their 12-1 start and No. 5 national ranking. Sunday's game against Texas Tech will be a great test and will be televised on FSN beginning at 2:00 p.m. for fans unable to travel to Lubbock.
2006 Baylor Football tickets will go on sale in early February. With record-breaking season ticket sales last year and the excitement about the new offense and improved defense, we need fans to renew their seats by the deadline so that we can begin selling to new season ticket holders. We expect to experience significant season ticket sales increases beyond last year's record sales.
Season ticket prices will be announced in February and fans should expect an increase based upon going from a five-game home schedule in 2005 to a seven-game schedule in 2006. However, Baylor Football will remain the best value in the Big 12! On a side note, I noticed that Texas A&M now has single-game tickets which sell for $80.
We are excited to have Gary Joe Kinne join our football staff as linebackers coach. Gary Joe was an outstanding linebacker for the Bears from 1986-89 who went on to have a very successful high school coaching career capped off by being named National Coach of the Year at Canton High School this season.
Baylor student-athletes turned in a strong performance academically during the fall semester. Our staff is in the process of compiling all of the grades and it appears that our Equestrian program will have the highest team GPA in the athletic department.
In October, we submitted the final draft of Baylor's NCAA Certification self-study to the NCAA. We were recently notified that Baylor is one of only two institutions to ever submit a self-study report and have no areas of concern identified by the NCAA staff and certification committee. I want to commend our certification team on doing tremendous work in conducting the self-study. On February 15-16, an NCAA peer review team will visit campus to review the self study and conduct interviews before issuing a final certification report.
Our administrative staff has also been working on a Revenue Enhancement Plan. In order to achieve competitive success it is vital that our department continue to increase its revenue streams in order to appropriately fund each of our 18 intercollegiate teams. Thanks to the support of Baylor fans we are making progress in each revenue area. We appreciate your strong support and your commitment to fund excellence in Baylor Athletics!
This week's questions:
Can we at least get a monthly photo of the new basketball facility?
On the BaylorBears.com website, our media relations staff has posted updated photos of the new Basketball Practice Facility. The project remains on schedule for completion this August. We believe that this addition to the Ferrell Center will provide enormous benefits in terms of both recruiting and training of our student-athletes.
With the hiring of the new Offensive Coordinator, is Baylor going to scrap any attempt at remaining balanced (run/pass ratio). I believe that to win championships a team MUST have the ability to run the ball. Coach Morriss has said in the past that a 60/40 pass/run ratio is what he wants, but all this talk about the spread and copying Texas Tech has many fans nervous.
Here's hoping the "Bear Raid" becomes it's own monster and can dominate on the ground as well as in the air.
Coach Morriss addressed this question after hiring Lee Hays as our new offensive coordinator. He wants to maintain a 60/40 pass to run ratio, while we run a spread offense. We are very excited about the additions of Coach Hays and Coach Phillips to our football staff and the progressive spread offense that they will operate at Baylor.
Coach Hays had a great deal of success in leading Division II in total offense while at West Texas A&M. We expect that his system will be entertaining for our fans and make a difference on the scoreboard!
How exciting it is to see Baylor Athletics on the comeback trail. Your efforts have been most welcome to many of us old Baylor grads. What ever happened to three highly acclaimed Baylor football signees in last year's recruiting class.
Thanks for your response.
Thank you for the question. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a specific answer since the individuals you mentioned are prospective student-athletes who may be recruited. There will be plenty of exciting football recruiting news on February 1 which is national signing day.
Coach Morriss and his staff are very excited about the seven student-athletes who enrolled in January and the others who they expect to sign in February. There are a number in this group who they expect to make an immediate contribution, and as a whole they will improve both our talent level and depth.
Hi Mr. McCaw,
I wanted to congratulate you on an excellent job so far with our athletic program as a whole. With the numerous sanctions that the NCAA handed to the Baylor basketball program, I am a bit confused on when the team can or cannot participate in the post season.
I read something about how it can be either this year or next year? Can you clarify?
While Baylor men's basketball does remain on NCAA probation, it does not have a post- season ban and therefore is eligible to participate in either the NCAA tournament or NIT this year.
Thanks for the question.