Oct. 9, 2009
Hello Baylor Family,
The fall season continues to go well for Baylor teams and it is exciting to see so much enthusiasm on-campus and at our events. It is a great time to be a Baylor Bear!
The football team completed the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 3-1 record and we were pleased with the large crowds for the first two home games against Connecticut and Northwestern State. Football season ticket sales increased by nearly 2,000 and student ticket pickup went very well for these games. I know that the team is anxious to enter Big 12 play. We are excited about playing before our second ABC audience of the season as we visit Norman to play the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday (2:30 CT).
Single game ticket sales are also going fast for the three remaining home games and the Baylor - Texas Tech game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Both the Oklahoma State and Nebraska games are shaping up to be large crowds and we are projecting a sellout for the Texas game on November 14, so buy your tickets today! The Baylor - Texas Tech game is well over 55,000 tickets sold and they are continuing to go fast. You can purchase tickets for any of these games by calling the Baylor Athletics ticket office at 254-710-1000.
Baylor soccer is off to a 5-3-3 start and coming off a win over Big 12-leading Colorado. I am very encouraged by how hard and well the team is playing.
The volleyball team is having its best season in school history and moved up to 17th in the national rankings. The Bears are 17-1 heading into a critical match against Texas A&M on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the Ferrell Center. I encourage our fans to show up en masse to cheer on the team as they build on their early season success.
The cross country teams have performed well in the early season as well. The women's team is currently ranked 14th nationally while the men's team is much improved and will be a factor in the Big 12.
There are some important issues for our fans to be attentive to within the Big 12 Conference. As you may know, the Big Ten and SEC are realizing significant revenue and exposure through conference television networks. Most significantly, both of these conferences have encroached on the Big 12 footprint with their television entities. A cursory check of Texas television listings on Saturday afternoon will reflect an unusual number of Big Ten and SEC games in our market. My reaction is that the Big 12 membership needs to respond by expanding our television reach in order to successfully compete in the marketplace. My hope is that our membership can agree on this issue, develop a common vision and move forward at the appropriate time to develop a similar television plan that enhances exposure and generates revenue for our institutions to counter what we are currently experiencing.
The other important conference issue that is underway is the extension of bowl partner relationships. The Big 12 is fortunate to have wonderful, loyal bowl partners who cherish tie-ins with the conference. I expect that there will be an announcement forthcoming regarding the complete Big 12 bowl line-up for 2010 and beyond.
I continue to marvel at the success of the Baylor Spirit Program. To date, more than 500 businesses in Waco and surrounding communities have joined the program and are displaying Baylor posters, schedule cards, banners and flags in their businesses. I want to thank Becky Lindsey and the BSP committee along with John Garrison and his staff for their hard work in reaching out to the local business community and building Baylor spirit throughout McLennan County. Never have Baylor and Waco seemed so united in purpose as through this wonderful program.
Finally, we continue to make excellent progress with respect to the Victory With Integrity fundraising campaign. We have moved beyond the original goal of $90 million within the five-year campaign and are making a final push in the remaining four months of the campaign. I continue to be amazed at the generosity of the Baylor family and am grateful to all who have made gifts to this campaign.
We have received several Ask Ian questions in the past several weeks.
Do you think that Robert Griffin can get an extra year from the NCAA? He is the kind of role model we need playing in college football today. As a Husker fan I really loved watching Griffin play and I feel he is one of the best players in the Big 12 as well as the country. Thanks.
Gary D. Wiese
Editor's Note: Similar questions were received from Donald Atkins (Austin, Texas) and Matt Byers (Overland Park, Kan.)
Thank you for the kind words about Robert Griffin. He is a wonderful representative of Baylor football and the University, and I agree that he is one of the most exciting players in the Big 12. Robert does meet the criteria to receive a medical redshirt based upon his injury and we expect that the NCAA will grant him this opportunity.
I am so impressed with Baylorbears.com and its functions. I am currently studying abroad in Seoul, Korea, but look forward to getting up early Sunday morning and listen to streaming live audio of the football games! All the sections within the website provide great insight on the different sports.
This will probably be a hard question for you, but what has been your most memorable athletics moment since you have been at Baylor?
Our media relations staff has done a wonderful job with baylorbears.com and we have received a number of positive comments similar to yours. We have excellent functions and information and as a result have witnessed a dramatic increase in visitors and pages viewed.
As far as my most memorable athletics moment at Baylor, I would have to say that the national championships in women's basketball and men's tennis would rank at the top along with a couple of football wins against a Big 12 rival.
Dear Mr. McCaw,
I am a 1990 graduate of Baylor. I am writing to inquire if the athletic department asks their teams to volunteer at the Methodist Home in Waco, Texas. Those youths could really use someone that is older to look up too. Those youths have really had it bad and the players would make their world. I wish the athletic department would make it mandatory that all players have to volunteer time with agencies such as The Methodist Home.
Thank you for the question. Tierra Barber serves as our Life Skills Coordinator and does a wonderful job in arranging a variety of community service opportunities for Baylor student-athletes. We receive wonderful feedback from a variety of community organizations about what a tremendous impact that Baylor student-athletes have in their programs. I know that we have done some programming with the Methodist Home including inviting the youth to home athletics contests.
We recently purchased tickets to the BU/Texas Tech game and I am wondering when will they be mailed?
Janet L. King
Thank you for the e-mail and purchasing tickets for the Baylor - Texas Tech game. Our staff is in the final stages allocating seats for the game based on the Bear Foundation Priority Points Program and tickets will go in the mail the week of October 19th. As mentioned above, we are looking forward to a great crowd for this game and expect it to be a tremendous event for the Baylor family.
You did great hiring Art Briles for your head coach. I played football and ran track with Art in high school. It's been a while since I have spoken to Art, because I know he is real busy. Art Briles dad was a great man and I loved playing for him. He always treated each one equally, which I am sure Art does the same. I watched him several times while he was at Stephenville winning all his championships, hopefully he can bring one to Baylor. Of course I am a Bear Fan now.
Thank you for the positive comments about Coach Briles. We are grateful that he is a Baylor Bear and appreciate the excellent work that he and his staff are doing in building our football program. We are looking forward to him building a championship program at Baylor just as he did at Stephenville. Thank you for your support!
I appreciate the good job you've done at Baylor. My question is why hasn't Baylor proudly advertised the fact it was the first University in the old SWC, to play a African-American football player? That student-athlete, John Hill Westbrook, played in the 1966 season opener against Syracuse. I think Baylor should feature a story about him in the front of every Football press guide, in order to clarify this part of college football history.
Buddy F. Moore
Thank you for the question about John Hill Westbrook. You are correct that Baylor was the first University in the Southwest Conference to have an African American player on its football team. The athletics department and B Association are working together to develop appropriate recognition and celebration of John Westbrook's career and impact on Baylor and the SWC.