Nov. 25, 2008
I want to wish everyone in the Baylor family a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. It has been a busy fall season and I am sure that everyone will enjoy spending time with family and friends.
Baylor Athletics has much to be thankful for these days and it begins with being grateful to God for showing us favor. Our department is enjoying great prosperity and is blessed to have such great coaches, staff and student-athletes.
It has been a special couple of weeks for Baylor teams with success coming on so many fronts. Winning is contagious and it is spreading throughout our programs!
At the same time, we have moved into our new offices in the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center in the Highers Athletics Complex. If I had to select one word to describe this facility it would be "spectacular". The most enjoyable aspect of this move has been to see the expressions of excitement on the faces of coaches, staff and student-athletes as they tour this facility.
This beautifully crafted facility located on the banks of the Brazos River on the corridor across from the Baylor Sciences Building affords our athletics program a setting beyond any in the Big 12. This is the dawning of a new day for Baylor Athletics as our football program and administration move to campus.
I want to invite each of you to join us for the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center and Highers Athletics Complex open house beginning at 3:00 p.m. on December 12. We will hold a reception and conduct tours of our new athletics facilities, and hope that you will join us for this celebration.
Earlier this month, we had the groundbreaking for the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility. We are deeply appreciative to the Allisons for their support which allows us to complete the final phase of the Highers Athletics Complex. The indoor project has already begun and will be completed prior to the start of the 2009 season.
There is a great deal of excitement about Baylor basketball with the men's and women's teams both off to 4-0 starts and being ranked heading into Thanksgiving tournaments. The fan support at the Ferrell Center has been terrific in the early season, and we look forward to it building as we advance toward conference play. If you have not already purchased season tickets, time is running out and I encourage you to contact our ticket office at 710-1222.
We have received a few Ask Ian questions in the past couple of weeks and below are the latest round.
This may seem like a negative and I realize there have been successes in the Big 12 Conference and there are positives occurring now. But would Baylor and the conference be better off if it switched conferences?
Dakota Dunes, S.D.
There is an easy answer to this question, and it is no! Baylor benefits enormously from membership in the Big 12 in academics, athletics and reputation. In athletics, Big 12 membership affords vast amounts of revenue, media exposure and built-in competition against some of the best programs in the nation. This allows us to recruit outstanding coaches, staff and student-athletes who in many cases would not come to Baylor or remain at the university, if it were not a member of a BCS conference.
Baylor teams have won two national championships and 20 Big 12 championships in the last five years while competing at the highest level. We have even better days ahead, and they will come as a proud member of the Big 12.
It's great to see and feel the excitement around Baylor football again! Realizing that a large portion of our athletic budget is going to the new athletic complex, are there any plans in place to update the scoreboard and sound system in Floyd Casey?
For the record, I think we have an amazing deal with tickets being as reasonable as they are and I, along with many other fans, would be willing to pay higher prices to help update our facilities. Can't wait for basketball season!
Thanks and Sic'Em Bears!
Actually, the funding for the Highers Athletics Complex and Simpson Athletics and Academic Center has come exclusively from private gifts through our highly successful Victory With Integrity campaign and does not impact our annual budget. We are grateful to the generous donors who have made this possible and there are still naming opportunities available to others who want to be a part of this wonderful project or support Baylor Athletics in other ways.
Thank you for your comments on ticket pricing. Baylor does offer the most affordable tickets in the Big 12 and great family entertainment!
Among all the positive happenings in our athletic programs...two minor issues. Can we possibly make Clay Avenue etc., one way before and after the games?
Is the "no water entering the stadium" a Big 12 rule or a Baylor rule?
Thanks for a great job!
De Soto, Texas
Thanks for the comments. Our campus police do make adjustments in traffic flow based upon volume and the good news is that we are drawing larger crowds to home games. Hopefully, some of the parking improvements that we are planning at Floyd Casey Stadium will further improve this situation. Regarding your water question, Baylor's policy is a common practice among Big 12 institutions and most professional organizations.
What are your plans to renovate the North End Zone Complex now that you are leaving? Will the letterman's association get to take over this space?
It is great to hear from you. Now that we have moved into the Simpson Center, the campus architect has been engaged along with our facilities staff to review possible usage of the vacated components of the North End Zone Complex. We have several possible uses for this space and are waiting on recommendations from our campus planners. Among the possible uses are a new visitor's locker room, additional suites, expanded space for the B Association, improved concessions and hospitality space, and a Hall of Fame area. Each of these alternatives will be considered based upon available space and fundraising or revenue generation potential.
We are also studying the repurposing of the current football practice fields in order to improve tailgating and parking at Floyd Casey Stadium. In addition to the incredible new facilities on campus, improvements to Floyd Casey Stadium will make it better than ever!