Nov. 18, 2009
Hello Baylor Family,
This is a great time of year to be a Baylor Bear fan with so many exciting events to attend.
This Saturday, the Bears play another huge rivalry game at Texas A&M beginning at 2:30 p.m. I took note that Texas A&M is selling the remaining 12,000 tickets for that game at a discounted price of only $35. Baylor will conclude the regular season by playing Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. At last count, less than 300 tickets remain for this game and are available exclusively through Ticketmaster. This promises to be an outstanding event and a great football game.
Both basketball teams had a great deal to celebrate last week with the signing of top national recruits. The men's team signed 6-10 forward Perry Jones, a consensus Top 5 national recruit, and guard Bakari Turner. The Lady Bears added the nation's top rated point guard, Odyssey Sims, to a roster that includes last year's number one ranked recruiting class.
I want to congratulate all of our coaches on a great early signing period as we announced outstanding classes in baseball, softball, volleyball, equestrian, tennis and golf.
Another point of pride for Baylor is our volleyball team which continues to have one of the best years in school history. The team is currently 21-7 and ranked 24th nationally. Congratulations to senior setter Taylor Barnes who had 21 assists last Wednesday to set the Baylor career record for assists with 4,956. Baylor plays its final regular season home match next Saturday when it hosts undefeated #1 Texas at 7:00.
Congratulations, as well, to Baylor's women's cross country team for finishing second at last weekend's NCAA South Regional meet and advancing to the NCAA Championships for the seventh consecutive season.
Last weekend the B Association and Bear Foundation hosted their annual meetings which are always a special time to visit with our former student-athletes and the generous donors who support our teams through donations to our annual fund. I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with both groups.
Finally, I am frequently asked about updates regarding the Victory With Integrity fundraising campaign. We have moved beyond the original goal of $90 million within the five-year campaign and are closing in on $95 million. I continue to be amazed at the generosity of the Baylor family. At a time when so many other athletics programs are reporting downturns in ticket sales and giving, Baylor is blessed to have achieved growth on both areas again this year. Thank you Baylor Family!!!
We have received several Ask Ian questions in the past several weeks.
For the last 3-4 years the Men's and Women's Basketball Teams have always been able to schedule several 'double-headers' generally on a Saturday. This was great for fans that travel some distance as it made it possible to see two games in one day. This year there are no 'double headers.' Can this 'tradition' be continued next year?
Thank you for the e-mail and question about doubleheaders. As you know, the Big 12 conference builds the schedule and generally has the men's team away when the women's team is home and vice versa. With that, there are occasions when both teams are scheduled at home during the same day, but often due to television opportunities the games are separated with the men's team playing Saturday and the women's team on Sunday. I have heard from our out-of-town fans that doubleheaders are very attractive and we will continue to explore these opportunities in future years. We are looking forward to a great year of Baylor basketball and appreciate your support!
Not a question, just a comment. I think Coach Briles is doing a fantastic job and I hope he stays at BU for a long, long, time. We need to give him everything he needs to be successful.
Douglas H. Johnston
Thank you for the kind comments about Coach Briles and his staff. We are fortunate to have such a great leader for our football program who is surrounding by an excellent coaching staff. There is no doubt that Baylor football is on the rise and will become a major force in the Big 12. Moreover, it is clear that we are recruiting at a level that will enable us to achieve a great deal of success in the Big 12 and nationally.
Beyond the team itself, sustained success requires strong support from the administration, staff, alumni and students. We have a wonderful base of support from these groups and I anticipate more progress as the team experiences further success on the field.
Women's field hockey and women's Lacrosse are up and coming women's team sports.
Is the Big 12 Conference looking at fielding teams in these sports...and specifically is Baylor?
Lake Bluff, Ill.
Thank you for the e-mail. The sports that you referenced are experiencing growth in certain parts of the country, unfortunately, it is outside of Texas and the Big 12 footprint.
We considered women's lacrosse and field hockey prior to making a decision to add competitive cheer as Baylor's next women's sport. The overwhelming choice of Baylor female undergraduate students based upon interest and ability was competitive cheer and we are currently in the process of hiring a head coach to lead the program.
Thanks for your part in bringing competitiveness to all Baylor sports. I noticed on the men's basketball schedule that UMass is scheduled 1/23/10 after we play 4 conference games. Do Big 12 officials schedule conference games more than one year out? How far in advance are you given the conference schedule so you can complete the schedule for this year and future years? Was this UMass game added after the conference games were set, or did the conference games get scheduled around this UMass game?
It is great to hear from you. The Big 12 develops the men's and women's basketball schedules annually and we generally receive this information in July.
In the case of the UMass game, we were able to accommodate a rare non-conference contest during Big 12 play by utilizing an open date and therefore holding this time for the game. In addition, we had assistance from our television partners at ABC/ESPN who agreed to televise the game on ESPNU.
I should point out that during this game on January 23 we will have a special recognition for the major donors to the Victory With Integrity campaign and celebrate the success that these gifts have brought to Baylor.
Everything is going so well for Baylor Athletics right now. But there is one nagging problem. When will we ever get the referee sound system fixed? You literally cannot understand the referee when he talks about penalties, reviews, etc.
I believe that we have finally solved this problem. The new public address system at Floyd Casey Stadium is a substantial improvement over the previous system and the headsets worn by the Big 12 officials seem more compatible. We have received very favorable feedback regarding the sound quality and lack of interference with officials calls during the last couple of games.