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February 5, 2013
Dear Auburn Family,
It came as no surprise recently when a national survey named Auburn fans the most loyal in the country. The spirit of Auburn men and women, especially the student-athletes who represent us, inspires all of us who have the great privilege of working at Auburn Athletics.
Even as our basketball team has suffered several tough losses recently, the support you have shown has been outstanding. The atmosphere at Auburn Arena at our last home game was electric despite a heartbreaking loss to Ole Miss in the final seconds of the game.
I know we can count on you to continue supporting Coach Barbee's team as they head toward the midway point of conference play. After a promising start to conference play, the team has struggled lately. They need our continued support with a lot of basketball left to play.
Coach Barbee recently said we have to change the culture to elevate our program to a new level. History says he is right. We need to remember that it took the great Sonny Smith seven years to get Auburn to the NCAA Tournament. Auburn’s patience paid off with five consecutive NCAA appearances. Coach Cliff Ellis' historic 29-win season and his team’s first trip to the NCAAs came in his fifth year on The Plains. Our history says we can be successful in basketball, but it also says we have to be patient.
Make no mistake about it. We are doing everything we can to change the culture and support Coach Barbee’s effort to build our program into one that can win consistently. It started with the construction of Auburn Arena and it continues today.
I want to thank the fans who have been terrific at Auburn Arena so far this year, and especially our students. Student attendance at basketball games has been phenomenal. We were pleased to change our admission policy recently to allow as many students in, free of charge, as we can fit into available seats in the arena.
Women's program rebuilding
If you haven’t seen Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy's team play, I would encourage you to come out to a women's basketball home game. The team's fast-paced style of play is fun to watch, and the future of the program looks bright. In Coach Flo’s first season, the team has equaled last season's win total with eight regular-season games remaining.
It will be exciting to see our women's program return to its storied past as Coach Flo and her staff recruit more players that fit her system.
Tiger baseball on deck
It’s hard to believe that baseball season will soon arrive, but Coach John Pawlowski’s fifth Auburn team held its first scrimmage on Friday. A team with 17 newcomers looks to have plenty of offensive firepower. One national publication ranked this year’s incoming class the ninth-best in the country, our highest rated class since 2007.
Auburn opens the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. at Plainsman Park against Maine. Season tickets can be purchased at aubtix.com.
Ticket Office enhancements
A concern that I have had in recent years is doing everything we can to make sure seats are filled for Auburn sporting events. We've made some significant steps in the Ticket Office to make it easier for season ticket holders who may not be able to attend a game to get their tickets in the hands of other Auburn fans eager to support our teams.
Through Tiger Ticket Share, basketball and baseball season ticket holders can quickly and easily pass their tickets to other Auburn fans electronically. Season ticket holders simply log into their ticket account and transfer their tickets by entering a name and email address for the recipient. The recipient instantly receives the tickets and can print them at home.
We also have a Ticket Donate program that allows fans to electronically donate their men's basketball and baseball tickets back to the Auburn Athletics Department. We do not resell those tickets. They are distributed to non-profit, youth and military groups at no cost.
Auburn fans also have the option of buying or selling tickets through a new arrangement we have with StubHub! You can access the StubHub! Fan to Fan Ticket Marketplace of Auburn Athletics by visiting aubtix.com.
Another recent improvement is the ability to select your seat when purchasing basketball tickets. If you are interested in purchasing single game basketball tickets, just log on to aubtix.com, select the game you'd like to attend and you will be shown what seats are available. That system has been in place for a few weeks now and the response has been positive.
You may have also seen news this week that we have just this week launched a program enabling fans to upgrade seat locations at men's home basketball games using their Smartphones. The new service will be available beginning at the Alabama game on Feb. 6. You can download the Experience app HERE.
As you can see, there are now several ways to purchase tickets and share or sell tickets you may not be using. As we continue to work to improve the gameday atmosphere at Auburn Arena, I would encourage you to share your tickets with fellow Auburn fans.
'New Day' for Auburn football
As the football recruiting period enters the stretch run, I am excited and encouraged by what I have seen from Coach Malzahn. He is a tireless worker who knows what a championship program looks like. He has a very clear idea of how he wants to run the program, and he has hired a stellar staff of assistants who understand and believe in his vision for Auburn football.
Recruiting is all about building relationships, and that takes time for any new staff. National Signing Day will be an exciting time for Auburn, but the best is yet to come as the new staff build relationships for 2014 and beyond.
To follow the news on Signing Day, get it first by following @footballau and @CoachGusMalzahn on Twitter. You can also find great information on our official Facebook page at facebook.com/auathletics.
As Coach Malzahn said at his introductory press conference, it’s a new day at Auburn. I have no doubt that the future of Auburn football is bright.
God Bless and War Eagle!
You can also follow me on Twitter at @jayjacobsauad.