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'Ask Ian'




March 5, 2008

  • Archive of past Q&A's
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    Baylor Family,

    I want to address the events toward the end of last night's men's basketball game against Texas A&M. While the attendance and enthusiasm of the record crowd was tremendous, unfortunately the actions of a small number of fans were totally unacceptable and reflected badly upon Baylor. We will not tolerate fans throwing objects onto a playing surface at games. This is a classless act and endangers student-athletes, coaches and game officials. Anyone who is found to have thrown an object risks losing future ticket privileges to Baylor athletics contests.

    We want our fans, and particularly our students, to focus on cheering for Baylor and not directing derogatory comments toward the opposing team or officials. Baylor teams need the encouragement of our fans and that does not occur when negative chants or comments are directed at others.

    Baylor is experiencing a resurgence in athletics and we are going to have many more opportunities to cheer on the Bears and Lady Bears to victory in the future. Let's make sure that all of us represent the athletics program and university in a first-class manner at all times, and prove to everyone that we have the best fans in the Big 12. Thank you for your support and being a Baylor fan!

    These are both exciting and busy times in the Baylor athletics department!

    There is so much great news to share on many fronts and I hope that the Baylor Family is relishing in the incredible success that is being enjoyed by our teams.

    With March Madness upon us, basketball is on everyone's mind. I believe that both the Bears and Lady Bears are poised to make exciting runs in the postseason beginning with the Big 12 Tournament next week in Kansas City. We expect to have a large contingent of Baylor fans on hand cheering on our teams. For those of you unable to attend the tournament, we expect that each Baylor game will be televised and available to our fans in many locations throughout Texas and the nation.

    Our spring sports are once again off to a tremendous start. There are so many outstanding accomplishments to point to already in the spring season beginning with our women's tennis team achieving its highest ever national ranking last week at #4. Of course, they are joined in the national rankings by many other Baylor teams including women's basketball (#8), baseball (#11), softball (#13), men's tennis (#11), men's (#19) and women's (#24) indoor track.

    I want to thank each of you for the support that you afford our student-athletes and programs. The aforementioned success would not be possible without our season ticket holders and Bear Foundation members. It is your financial contributions that fuel the success that our teams are experiencing, so thank you for all that you do in support of the Bears!

    Speaking of the Bear Foundation, the annual fund drive is right around the corner and we need to continue to break records in annual giving in order to build upon the success of our programs. If you have not already done so, please join the Bear Foundation or renew your membership. This is the best way for fans to ensure the immediate and long-term success of Baylor Athletics!

    We have received a number of Ask Ian questions in the past couple of weeks and below are the latest round.

    Ian;

    I am concerned about the number of collegiate football games being played on Friday night just to have the TV exposure. Friday night football in America should be for high school teams as long as they are still playing a regular schedule. Why are the university/college athletic directors "so excited" about the opportunity to take this spot away from the high schools?

    Mary Beth Scott Bastrop, Texas

    Mary Beth,

    Thank you for the e-mail and excellent question.

    You are not going to find any stronger proponents of Texas High School football than Coach Briles or me. Baylor hosts numerous regular season and playoff high school football games at Floyd Casey Stadium each year and goes out of its way to support high school programs throughout the State. Moreover, it is clear that Coach Briles is going to focus his recruiting efforts on Texas high school players.

    The Baylor - Connecticut football game is part of the Big East television package since it is Connecticut's home game, and their television partner ABC/ESPN has decided to televise the game in an exclusive national television window on Friday night. The Friday night college football game of the week has become an attractive window since there is no other college football being played at that time.

    While I regret that the television coverage of this game will conflict with Friday night high school football, it does present a very positive opportunity for Baylor in terms of exposure.

    Ian


    Mr. McCaw,

    I want to say on behalf of the student body great job on hiring Coach Briles. It is safe to say that as Baylor Bears we are blessed to have you as our athletic director. I just wanted to pass on a message that the ENTIRE student body is in agreement on, "We can't lose Coach Drew! We need him here at Baylor!" I know that the Lord has a plan for everything but I hope that we can find a way to keep him here at Baylor University.

    Jacob Wolter Houston, Texas

    Jacob,

    I appreciate your e-mail and encouragement. Thank you for the kind comments about Coach Briles and Coach Drew. They are both very special people and coaches, and Baylor is indeed fortunate to have them.

    In fact, we have a truly outstanding collection of coaches at Baylor who are building championship programs with student-athletes who have strong character and excel in the classroom. I am very proud of the work that all of our coaches are doing and look forward to working with each of them for many years to come. God has shown our athletics program great favor in the past several years and we will continue to work hard to achieve great success in the future!

    Ian


    Ian;

    Any chance we could make SMU a permanent non conference opponent in the major sports? In particular football and basketball would allow the two old rivals to square off each year. Here in the southeast a number of teams play annual rival games that are out of conference but in state. (Ex FSU vs. U of F or UGA vs. GT) It's a great way to bring rival intensity without hurting your conference standings.

    I noticed they were on future schedules, but was wondering if you plan to make this a permanent feature. For us older grads that remember SWC football it sure would be a great way to retain the best of the past while fully supporting our Big 12 conference. Here is to hoping you will keep the old rivals on the schedule, few things used to fire up the Baylor line more than the annual battle of the BMWs. All the best and I really appreciate the strides you have made as AD, keep the great work.

    Jeff Thetford Warner Robins, Ga.

    Jeff,

    This is another great question. We certainly value our relationship with SMU and have enjoyed the football series. We have been in communication with SMU about a long-term football relationship as it makes sense to both institutions due to our proximity and tradition. I am hopeful that SMU will become a regular football opponent for Baylor, and expect that our non-conference schedules in the future will feature a number of former Southwest Conference schools. Ian


    Ian,

    Not a question but did you know that as of 1/30, Baylor was the ONLY school in the NCAA ranked in the top 25 in the following 8 sports: w-basketball, m-basketball, softball, baseball, m-track, w-track, m-tennis, w-tennis.

    This is really good PR for us, I can't wait for the rest of the year!

    Jack Williams Hutto, Texas

    Jack,

    Thanks for the e-mail and sharing this wonderful accomplishment. I was aware of this note and it certainly should be a point of pride for the Baylor Family along with a testament to the outstanding performance of our coaches, staff and student-athletes. This has been a very special year for Baylor Athletics in so many ways, and this is another great example!

    Ian


    Ian;

    First, I am thrilled with Art Briles so far and cannot wait to watch the team in the fall. My question has to do with the football practice facility. Is it coming along on schedule with a fall opening date? Every time I drive by it does appear much has happened or changed in the last few months. Thanks

    Parker Willis Houston, Texas

    Parker,

    Thank you for the comments about Coach Briles. You do not need to wait until the fall as the team has begun spring practice and workouts are open to the public. Spring practice will culminate in the annual spring football game on Saturday, April 5 at 2:00.

    Regarding the Highers Athletics Complex and Simpson Athletics and Academic Center project, there is considerable sub-surface work that is required including the pouring of the foundation which is scheduled for next week. Once that is complete, you will see a great deal of activity above the ground. We expect a project completion in October 2008, and look forward to moving into this spectacular new facility!

    Ian


    Ian,

    Many thanks for getting Art Briles as the new BU coach. In the past, a search committee has always been formed to consider a candidate. But you apparently were on your own this time. Can you comment about the effectiveness of your solo search?

    William H. Horick Temple, Texas

    William,

    Thank you for the e-mail and your question. High profile coaching searches have become much more challenging due to the internet and intense media scrutiny of intercollegiate athletics. As a result, the traditional method of using a large search committee with broad representation is simply not viable in terms of maintaining order and confidentiality in the process.

    With that, in the case of our recent football search that culminated in the hiring of Coach Briles, Dr. Lilley was both wise and supportive in developing a streamlined process that allowed us to reach a successful outcome. Todd Patulski and I, along with our search consultant Bob Beaudine, were able to move swiftly and effectively while keeping senior administration updated daily on our progress.

    As I have said before, we could not be more pleased with the appointment of Coach Briles. He embodies all of the qualities that we sought in a head football coach and I am confident that he will experience great success at Baylor!

    Ian