McCaw’s open letter: As conference stabilizes, “increase your support”

Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw released this open letter to the Baylor community Friday, praising the Big 12 Conference’s members for pledging substantive, long-term unity, Baylor administration for working to secure the Big 12, and Baylor fans and supporters for supporting the university and Baylor sports programs.

To the Baylor Nation –

Thank you for the incredible support that you have offered Baylor Athletics and our teams, coaches and student-athletes during the recent turbulent days of BCS conference realignment. We have been uplifted by the great attendance at Floyd Casey Stadium this season, constant affirmation of our position and steady stream of encouragement from alumni and friends.

We are greatly encouraged by the excellent work that is being done to stabilize and strengthen the Big 12, and are thankful for the leadership being provided not only by Baylor’s Board of Regents, Judge Starr and his executive council, but our colleagues throughout the conference. While we are not yet at a point where we can declare stability, there is much progress to be celebrated.

We are pleased that the Presidents of the Big 12 institutions came together last evening to re-commit themselves to our Conference. Our efforts are now focused on working together to make the Big 12, for the long-term, one of the nation’s strongest athletic conferences. These actions pay tribute to the needs of student-athletes and their families, and preserve the storied historic rivalries valued by our alumni and the region’s citizens.

Big 12 membership is arguably one of Baylor’s greatest institutional assets, and one that should not be taken for granted. Over the last 15 years, Baylor Athletics has produced many academic and athletic successes, and we believe even greater success is on the horizon for all of our programs. Baylor’s 42 conference championships in eight different sports are 13 more than it won in 81 years of Southwest Conference membership, and our student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom evidenced by their combined 3.20 cumulative grade-point average during the 2010-11 academic year.

Numerous fans have asked what they can do to help Baylor and support its efforts. At the top of the list is purchasing tickets for any of the remaining home football games, including our game at Cowboys Stadium against Texas Tech, and cheering on our 17th-ranked Bears to victory. With excitement for the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball teams at an all-time high, fueled by pre-season rankings for both teams, there is no time like now to demonstrate your commitment by securing season tickets today.

Moreover, we need our alumni and friends to join the Bear Foundation or make an endowment gift to support our student-athletes. While the Bear Foundation has enjoyed seven consecutive record-setting fund-raising years thanks to your generosity and continued loyalty, they hope to double the number of members over the next three years, and the And 1 Referral Program is a great way for every Foundation member to made a difference and help us grow. You can find out more on this exciting program or making an endowment gift by calling 254-710-2582 today!

Baylor Athletics is poised for a tremendous year and bright future, however, we need Baylor Nation to demonstrate its strength in a more powerful way than ever before. Please find ways to increase your support of Baylor Athletics and encourage others to do the same.

Thank you for all you are doing for Baylor.

Ian McCaw
Director of Athletics