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Ian Answers Your Questions




Nov. 21, 2003

  • Archive of past Q&A's
  • Submit your questions for Ian now!

    Editor's Note:
    We appreciate the overwhelming response we have received to our new feature, Ask Ian, and encourage Baylor fans to continue forwarding their questions and comments. Because of time constraints and the heavy volume of feedback, Ian is not in a position to answer every email. Your ideas are important, though, and all questions submitted are read by Ian. He then selects the questions he wishes to answer in a given week, and prepares his responses which are then posted at BaylorBears.com.


    Dear Ian:
    Welcome to the Baylor family. My question has to do with the addition of women's sports. If you do add another sport, what about gymnastics? With no other Texas (Big 12) school participating in gymnastics we should be able to get our pick of the Texas talent. Go Bears Go!

    Kenneth L. Crowson
    Longview, Texas

    Kenneth,

    Thanks for your question and interest. We are in the process of updating Baylor's gender equity plan in advance of the NCAA Certification process which we begin next year. Through this process we will evaluate our projected undergraduate enrollment figures for men and women and consider whether participation opportunities should be added.

    In the event that programs are added for women, we will give strongest consideration to sports that would have competition opportunities in the Big 12, regionally and in-state.

    Ian


    Ian,
    Since coming on board with Baylor I would like an assessment of where our athletic department was when you found it. What was/is lacking and how will you go about fixing it? Is it up to Big 12 standards? Where can I send money because I desperately want to help!

    Dusty T. McGinty
    Houston, Texas

    Dusty,
    Thank you for your comments and strong expression of support.

    Our most critical need is to fund scholarships for student-athletes and the vehicle to support this effort is the Baylor Bear Foundation, 150 Bear Run, Waco, TX 76711. In addition, alumni and friends may also designate gifts toward individual sports excellence accounts to directly supplement the budgets of those programs. Your financial support is critical in our ability to achieve the level of competitive success that our alumni and friends both desire and deserve.

    My quick assessment of the athletic program is that we have four areas of strengths at Baylor: the university has a strong and growing national reputation as a high quality private, academic institution; we enjoy membership in perhaps the nation's strongest athletic conference in the Big 12; a number of sports have state-of-the-art athletic facilities; and, as a group, we have a very talented coaching staff. Clearly, there remains much work to do in order to elevate the football program into the upper echelon of the Big 12 and rebuild the men's basketball program.

    With the strong support of the Baylor family, I am confident that we will enjoy great success in the years to come!

    Ian


    Dear Ian:
    I haven't heard or seen any type of promotion for the exhibition games on campus this year. Obviously the die-hard fans know when the games are, but wouldn't it be nice to get some word out that our basketball team is actually starting to play games?

    Austin Anderson
    Waco, Texas

    Austin,
    As you may know, historically we have not charged admission for the first home men's basketball exhibition game. My sense is that we will change this policy in the future. However, that being said, it is challenging to market games with unknown and somewhat non-descript exhibition opponents. Coach Drew and I are interested in seeking more attractive exhibition opponents in the future including Athletes in Action and the Globetrotters.

    I appreciate your interest and support!

    Ian


    Ian,
    I was wondering about licensing out Baylor merchandise. Now that NIKE is our sponsor I would like to see NIKE merchandise that other universities have (Duke, Miami, Texas, Florida State) sold around campus and Waco. It is hard to find good Baylor t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and other gear at the local stores. Look up the reseller Eastbay's website to see the different types of gear they sell for colleges. I was in Clubhouse Golf the other day and they had Texas, Tech, and A&M Titleist hats in the store. I was disappointed not to see a Baylor hat among them. Ten years ago Starter and Logo Athletic put out good Baylor products. There was a big demand for them. I feel that this is free advertising for Baylor when you wear its merchandise. I know the demand may not be high right now but putting a small amount in the stores to see how they sell would be nice. I know that many fans have been asking about this and would be ecstatic if more products would be released.

    Anthony Johnson
    Waco, Texas

    Anthony,
    Thanks for your comments and you have hit an issue that is high on my priority list.

    We can and will do more in the area of merchandising and licensing. We will work with the university's licensing vendor, Collegiate Licensing Company, in order to expand distribution and increase sales of Baylor merchandise. In addition, we are seeking ways to drive additional traffic to the BaylorBears.com website in order to enhance on-line sales. Baylor shirts, caps and decals serve as moving billboards that dramatically enhance our marketing efforts.

    Ian


    Ian:
    I saw where our final game with Oklahoma State has been picked up for TV by FoxSportsNet and the kickoff has been moved up to 11:30. While TV exposure is a definite positive, I am afraid that the TV coverage will cause some OSU fans to stay away and the early start time may encourage some of our own fans to stay at home and watch (especially those who have to travel a long distance to attend). With the game a little more than a week away, is there anything that the Athletic Department can from a promotional standpoint to boost attendance (especially among Wacoans and our students) so we have a decent crowd?

    James E. Wright
    Dallas, Texas

    James,
    I agree that at this point in the growth of our football program, we are not best served by an 11:30 a.m. start for television. However, there are financial and recruiting benefits that television affords that are valuable to our program.

    We are working with the university's telecommunications office to arrange for 10:00 a.m. wakeup calls for students from Coach Morriss encouraging them to come out to Floyd Casey Stadium and support our seniors in their last home game. We have several other on-going youth and student marketing initiatives that we are hopeful will increase attendance for Saturday.

    Ian


    Ian:
    What are your three-year goals for wins in the Big 12 Conference for the football program? What are your ideas on how we can recruit better athletes to make Baylor more competitive in conference play (in football)?

    James Mitchell
    Houston, Texas

    James,
    I have not established future win total goals for the football program. At this point, we are focusing on achieving progress on a number of different fronts including recruiting, support services and facilities. Coach Morriss and I are working together to insure that the program has the resources and infrastructure in place in order to make rapid progress and ultimately become a highly competitive football program in the Big 12.

    In order to achieve improved success in recruiting, it is imperative that our coaching staff do an excellent job of evaluating talent and identify student-athletes who will succeed at Baylor and make a strong contribution to the football program. We are fortunate to have outstanding talent in the state of Texas and we need to take full advantage of our location. In addition, the Christian mission of the university affords Baylor a special niche that attracts student-athletes who will thrive in our environment.

    Ian


    Dear Ian:
    Why play Midwestern State in men's basketball at 7 p.m., Dec. 6th, when the Big 12 football championship game is at the same time. It seems to me we would have a better opportunity at a crowd if basketball played a Saturday afternoon contest. After all, it is OUR conference championship event and Midwestern State gets back to Wichita Falls quicker anyway with a contract adjustment that provides for a 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, or even a 4:00pm start. Thank you.

    John B. Myers
    Waco, Texas

    John,
    This is an excellent question that our administrative staff has discussed at some length earlier in the week. The prevailing opinion is that Baylor basketball draws better for night games. In addition, we are committed to a contract that specifies a 7:00 p.m. start time for the Midwestern State game.

    This is something, though, that we will attempt to keep in mind as we develop future schedules. Thank you for your interest in our programs.

    Ian