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I want to take a moment to share some thoughts and answer several questions as we prepare for Homecoming at Baylor. While most universities in the country celebrate Homecoming, Baylor's rich tradition with its pep rally, parade, football game and Pigskin Review make it truly unique and one of the year's highlights. We look forward to a great celebration of Baylor past and present this coming weekend.
All of our fall sports have shown progress to date and I am grateful to the hard work being put in by our coaches and student-athletes. It is rewarding to hear the excitement in the voices of our fans and so many positive comments about our programs.
We are just a few weeks away from moving into the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center. If you have the opportunity during Homecoming to drive down University Parks Drive, you can't help but notice this spectacular facility that is nearing completion. This will become the new home for Baylor Athletics and our football program.
We are greatly encouraged by the progress we have made in our fundraising efforts toward the development of an indoor football practice facility. This will be the final piece of the Highers Ahtletics Complex and a much needed building to afford our football program and other sports a place to practice during inclement weather.
As you may have read in the past couple of weeks, for the fourth consecutive year, Baylor led the Big 12 in Graduation Success Rate at 84 percent. In addition, all 18 Baylor teams have an APR rate above the 925 cut score and this accomplishment puts us in elite company within the conference and nationally. Congratulations to our coaches, academic staff and student-athletes on these wonderful achievements. I also want to commend the faculty at Baylor for their commitment to academic excellence and the outstanding work they do nurturing these young men and women!
Following my comments about ticket pricing in the last Ask Ian, I have received some e-mails suggesting that our ticket prices need to be lowered until we have sellouts at Floyd Casey Stadium on a regular basis. Earlier this month, we played at Oklahoma State and it was interesting to observe the Cowboys approach. The "least expensive ticket" to the game was $85 with others at $200 each plus seat options. With that, there were nearly 15,000 empty seats, but the crowd of close to 50,000 fans saw an entertaining football game.
Baylor football ticket prices remain the lowest in the Big 12 with our highest single-game ticket price at $50 for the Texas A&M game. Of course most of our fans take advantage of buying season tickets, which are the lowest in the Big 12, while others purchase discounted tickets through Bear Force One, Super Fan packages, group-priced tickets and the McDonald's Kids Club. With that, there is no one in our community or within our alumni base that is prevented from being a part of Baylor football every time we step on the field at Floyd Casey Stadium.
We need our student, faculty/staff, alumni and friends to mark every home game on their calendars and be in the stands cheering on the Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium as Coach Briles builds a championship program at Baylor. Having the stands full of fans is a common factor among the best programs in the country! We are grateful to each of you for your loyal support!
Finally, men's and women's basketball tickets are on sale now and going fast. You do not want to miss any of the action in the Ferrell Center this year (or in the future)! Purchase your season tickets today!
We have received a few Ask Ian questions in the past couple of weeks and below are the latest round.
First off congrats on the hiring of Coach Briles, he brings a contagious ammount of enthusiasm to our football program and that is what we need.
My question is simple, I have noticed at every single football game this year the majority of the men's basketball team and their coaches have attended. In the past you would not see as much football support at the basketball games. I think it would be a great idea if we could get half the football team to each home basketball game, and get them interacting with the students and make the Ferrel Center rock.
When I was at Baylor there was little interaction between the football team and much anyone else on campus. I think this would be a good suggestion to Coach Briles.
Thank you for the kind comments about Coach Briles and your observations. We encourage our coaches, staff and student-athletes to support one another and we have had wonderful results in this regard. You will frequently see entire teams supporting one another at contests and that is a great example of the unity and mutual support that exists within the athletics department. I cannot count the number of times that coaches and staff help one another and that is part of what makes Baylor so special.
Coach Briles and his staff are very busy during the football season, but he and his staff, student-athletes and prospective student-athletes attended a number of basketball games last winter and no doubt will be back again this year.
Saturday's BU vs. Iowa State game was the best Baylor football experience I've had in a long time. Congratulations on making the perfect hire in Coach Briles. If the Bears keep playing with such intensity, the attendance will go up!
Now my question - Why doesn't Baylor provide a radio broadcast in the bathrooms and the concourses? Seems to me be an easy thing to do and would help keep the fans "in the game" during necessary breaks. Thanks.
El Campo, Texas
Thank you again for the kind words about Coach Briles. He and his staff are doing a great job! We have added audio and video in various locations around the Stadium, but we have not done so in the restrooms at this time. This is a good thought and one that our staff will look into for next season.
The Baylor football uniform is the nicest in the Big 12 both Home and Road. They say class. Who picks the uniforms? Let's stay with this look and the interlocking BU on the helmet. I know wins are more important but Baylor uniform speak volumes about the class of the team and the University. The Baylor look is impressive.
I notice Art Briles always put the team first and the individual player second. Briles is a class act, he always giving thanks to the University and the Fans. His dress on the sideline also speak positive about the team and the BU class. Appearance speaks volumes. Who made decision on uniforms?
Thank you for the kind comments about our football uniforms. We have received a number of compliments this year. Coach Briles and his staff deserve the credit for the improvements to the uniforms and I understand that some additional changes are in store for next year.
Who selects the speaker for the tip-off luncheon that was at the Ferrell Center? Fran Fraschilla made a good speech last week.
The Waco Chamber of Commerce does a wonderful job organizing the football, basketball and baseball/softball luncheons and we were glad to have the opportunity to host this week's basketball tip-off luncheon at the Ferrell Center. Our staff, under Tom Hill's leadership, did a first class job with hosting the event.
Fran is an excellent speaker and very knowledgeable about both men's and women's basketball.I was excited to hear his positive comments about our programs and his call for local fans to "Fill the Ferrell Center" to make this one of the best basketball environments in the country. We are going to have some special times in the Ferrell Center over the next several years and you do not want to miss any of the action!
How much of a factor is Robert Griffin in recruiting? I would imagine that about every high school player in Texas would want to play with him for the next three years.
Robert is a great athlete, person and student. He is exactly the type of young man that we want at Baylor University and representing our athletics program. Coach Briles has commented to me on several occasions that Robert's success is having a major impact on recruiting and I expect his influence to increase with the upcoming class and in future classes. It is exciting to hear the national media and football community to speak about Coach Briles, Robert and our program in such positive terms. Baylor football fans can look forward to some exciting times ahead!