Straight From The Hart
May 3, 2013
Special events were the focal point this week on the Hilltop.
On Sunday, we celebrated the achievements of our current student-athletes with our Student-Athlete Awards Banquet. A list of award recipients can be found here here. Congratulations to all of the young men and women who wear the Red and Blue!
Finally, tonight is our SMU Athletics Hall of Fame Ceremony. I look forward to celebrating the achievements of our former student-athletes with over 600 friends of the university. I would like to extend special thanks to the Lettermen's Board and our sponsors. More information can be found here. Congratulations to this year's inductees!
I also want to wish our women's golf team the best as they head off to NCAA Regionals next week. It's our first trip since 2007, so congratulations to Coach Sutherland and her team on a great season so far. Keep up the good work!
And now, to the mailbag...
Phillip (Lake City, Colo.): If I lived in Dallas, I'd attend as many SMU sporting events as possible - whether the Mustangs were winning or losing. Nevertheless, the reality is we need a winning SMU team on both the conference and national level to "stir our fans into the stands." As we wait for those victories, what things can out of state SMU alumni/fans do to help generate more "fans in the stands"?
Answer: I appreciate your enthusiasm and "can-do" spirit, Phillip! For out-of-town fans like you, your advocacy is appreciated. A tangible way of helping us achieve our goals is to consider a donation to the Mustang Club. Creating a winning program requires resources; and the Mustang Club is our primary fundraising arm. Click here for more information. We can also use your help as we spread the story of SMU Athletics. Follow us on Twitter (@SMUMustangs) and other social networks (SMUMustangs.com/Social) and retweet and share our stories to your friends and followers as we grow the Mustang Nation.
Terri (Woodstock, Ga.): I REALLY want to support my Mustangs here in Georgia. As a 1973 graduate, I have never been as proud of my school or my football team as I am now! I just got a new Samsung Galaxy S III smart phone and was planning to get a MUSTANG phone case but when I went on line, there were only covers for the iPhones. I would love to see a Mustang checkbook cover, too. How can we get more SMU merchandise in stores and online? (I do ride around with my Mustang license plate cover!)
Answer: We are exploring options to expand the SMU brand, to include a more robust array of merchandise. Locally, we are working with the bookstore and nearby vendors; however, we need to extend our reach beyond Dallas. The most likely solution will be to develop a more comprehensive online store at SMUMustangs.com. Until then, please let the manufacturers and retailers know that you are interested in SMU products - and buy the SMU products you see and like. The consumer is king and stores will carry what they think they can sell, so your involvement in the process is important.
Robert (New York, N.Y.): I've noticed the trend to go with red and drop blue off the color scheme. At the SMU/UH game last year, it was difficult to tell the Cougars from the Mustangs. The red and blue has a rich history and tradition at SMU and I feel the switch to red and white has brought us to a more common look. Please Bring Back Blue to the Hilltop!
Answer: Harvard red and Yale blue are our school colors and we want to be true to our traditions. However, sometimes initiatives have called for an orientation towards one color, as with our Wear Red Fridays and Wear Red efforts at games, but that's to create a sense of unity among SMU fans and the SMU community. However, we incorporate both red and blue across our facilities, equipment and apparel and have no plans to change that. Go Red! Go Blue!
Phillip (Houston, Texas): SMU has played Rice nearly 100 times in football. Is there any chance this longstanding rivalry will continue? It seems a shame to just toss it away due to conference realignment.
Answer: The rivalry is not being tossed away. We have already contacted Rice to explore opportunities to continue to play them as often as possible. Conference realignment will disrupt the consistency of our rivalry across certain sports - that is the reality of the current environment - but we will try to schedule Rice in as many sports as possible in the future.
Laura (Houston, Texas): What about having the various Greek organizations team up and other clubs and organizations team up and compete to have loudest and most clever cheers? Maybe after each quarter of football and during basketball games, etc.?
Answer: We are working with student leadership and student organizations to develop strategies to increase attendance and participation. The students have several ideas, including "rewards" programs, location of tailgates, access to seating, etc. We agree that our strong Greek community could help to establish athletics as an important part of the SMU campus experience.
Thanks to all and Pony Up!