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Nov. 4, 2010

Rice Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan welcomes your questions about Rice Athletics and will answer them online on a regular basis. If you'd like to submit a question in the future, please go to our online form and submit your question. If you'd like to review previous answers to questions, please check the Archive page.

When will Arizona (basketball tickets) go on sale?

Benson,

Individual game tickets are on sale now. You may call our Athletic Ticket Office at 713.348.4068 or 713.522.OWLS. Tickets can also be purchased at www.TicketMaster.com.

My OwlVision experience has abysmal and embarrassing. Also, why can't all games be on OwlVision, even if they are also broadcast on TV? Some of the games are only on TV in Houston, meaning those of us outside Houston can't watch the game at all.

Jason,

We do have some infrastructure issues in football that we are assessing and, frankly, it will require some funding to fully correct our current situation as it relates to upgrading the production facility, new fiber for the stadium, etc. Our video board was installed in 2006 as a basic stand-alone system. While that basic configuration allowed for a web cast for the first few years, the rapid development in the web cast technology has surpassed the capabilities of our equipment. Conference USA recently launched a New Media Initiative this fall which included some new equipment (cameras, etc.). We are in the process of adapting this new equipment into our future offerings. This will impact not only our web casts, but expanded video features on the web that we hope to create additional value to our Owlvision subscriptions. We are committed to serving Owlvision subscribers. We understand that Owlvision gives our out-of-town fans a way to stay connected to our home events, and offers all of our fans a greater selection of our road contests.

To address the second part of your question - not every event can be made available through Owlvision. Any games that are carried by one of our broadcast partners are blacked out, and non-conference road contests are not always available due to incompatible webcasting platforms (as determined by the school's web host). It is worth noting that in a number of conferences, no football games can be web cast, regardless if they are carried on television or not. It's also important to remember that while the transmission of a home contest is solely on our shoulders, road web casts are generated by the host school. Any technical issues that might arise are beyond our control. Lastly, it is important to remember that no other entity, other than the host school, has the right to offer these events through webcasts. Third party web site that offer subscription content at no charge are taking money from the department, the very revenues that allow us to make greater improvements to the quality of our offerings.

Would Rice U. consider joining the Big East Conference in all sports along with one of the Dallas/Ft. Worth schools?

Gary,

We are very committed members of Conference USA. With all of the recent conference realignment activity and the interest it has generated, I am still a firm believer that it is important that conference affiliation provides opportunities for geographical rivals, television exposure, meaningful competition and championship opportunities for our student-athletes, revenue generation and the opportunity to compete for a national championship. The best thing for Rice University as it relates to whatever may lie ahead in conference realignment is to continue to field as competitive programs as possible in all sports and continue our standing as one of our nation's preeminent Division I athletic programs in the area of academic achievement, graduation rates and Academic Performance Rate (APR).

Has thought been given to expanding the beer concessions at Rice sporting events (in both permitted consumption area and in quality beer selection)? It seems to me there's a good bit of revenue being left on the table.

Tex,

We feel it is very important to create a family atmosphere where people feel comfortable bringing children to our athletic events. As you are aware, we do have designated areas ("The Roost") in football and baseball where fans can purchase beer in a social environment inside the stadium. My experience has been that when you open up an entire venue to alcohol, you run the risk of losing the family and collegial environment that we are aspiring to create. In theory, there could be some money left on the table in the way of concession commission off of beer sales, however, I think we may be best served forgoing them for the risk of losing fans who enjoy bringing their young children to our games.

Besides some advertising, what did Rice realize out of State Farm adding their name to the Bayou Bucket game?

Bob,

A few years back, Rice Athletics sold its sponsorship rights to IMG, a sports marketing company that specializes in sponsorship sales. Along with the advertising for the event that was coordinated by IMG, any funds realized as part of the sponsorship was put toward the guarantee we receive from IMG as part of our agreement.

Interim Head Coach Nicky Adams continues to do a great job. What needs to happen for her to be the New Head Coach?

Mark and Jimmy,

We have all been pleased with the job Coach Adams has done with our soccer program. As I said when a change in leadership was made, we will evaluate the soccer program at the end of the season. We are very proud of the efforts of Coach Adams, her staff and our student-athletes this year. Transitions are rarely easy - but I am pleased with how the year has transpired, despite the adversity.

One thing I am concerned about is the lack of "Rice" people on the football coaching staff. I was lucky enough to have coach from the Air Force Academy that understood the requirements and to teach us about the pride involved in being the best. Is there anything being done bring on past Rice athletes to coach?

Rod,

Coach Bailiff hired former quarterback Chase Clement upon his graduation. Chase served on the staff before moving on to the new United Football League where he is a member of the Las Vegas Locomotives. I have been very impressed with Coach Bailiff and his staff's understanding of the requirements of Rice and the pride they instill in our young men. Although I have only been at Rice for less than a year, I hear constantly from people close to the program, especially those who have been with us for a long time, that Coach Bailiff not only understands our institution, but embraces it. He treats everyone around him with the highest degree of respect and holds our student-athletes to high standards on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. During my 35 years in collegiate athletics and specifically during my time at West Point, I learned that it takes a special leader to be successful in a special environment like we have at Rice - a leader like Coach Bailiff.

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