Dear Auburn Family,
The committee I appointed to review operations of Auburn Athletics as part of the Department’s annual evaluation has provided its findings. I’m grateful to members of the committee for their hard work, good thinking and dedication to helping Auburn Athletics move forward.
We asked the committee to review the Department’s total body of work with a focus on five areas: academic and support services for student-athletes; financial management; customer service; competition, including winning, sportsmanship and compliance; and management structure.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Auburn University wheelchair basketball team will play its first regular season game in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Intercollegiate Division on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Augusta, Ga.
The three-year-old program’s shift to the intercollegiate division is a move forward for the team, which began competing in Division III as a community team including students and non-students. Though they are not affiliated with the Athletics Department or the NCAA, Auburn’s wheelchair basketball team, which is now comprised completely of student-athletes, will compete with other college and university teams around the country. There are just seven other universities in the Intercollegiate Division this year.
“Competing in the Intercollegiate Division means not only a step up in the competition, but also a more authentic student-athlete experience for our team,” said team member and co-founder Jared Rehm. “It is a unique experience to play in this kind of competition.”
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Auburn University Athletics Department announced today it has pledged $1.5 million to the Auburn Marching Band for its capital campaign to fund a new band practice facility.
The Band Practice Facility project was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2010 and will provide more than 32,500 square feet of space for the nationally renowned program. The total cost of the facility is estimated at $10 million and will feature a concert band rehearsal hall, percussion studio, marching band rehearsal hall, practice studios, administrative offices, archive gallery and a music library.
“The Auburn University Marching Band is an integral part of the pageantry and fabric of our gameday experience, and we are pleased to be able to help the band program move closer to its goal of building a first-class rehearsal facility,” said Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – As a lifelong sports enthusiast, Wendi Weimar will watch everything from soccer to gymnastics as athletes chase gold medal glory during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. As a scientist, however, Weimar will in all likelihood notice nuances imperceptible to the typical TV viewer.
Weimar, an associate professor and director of the Sport Biomechanics Lab in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, has worked with a number of Olympic athletes to refine their techniques and training methods to achieve faster times and better finishes. Several members of Auburn University’s 28-member Olympic contingent – comprised of 24 athletes and four coaches representing 13 countries – have enlisted Weimar’s assistance in recent years.
AUBURN – Two former Auburn student athletes are among the six finalists for the 2012 Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, the NCAA’s highest academic award. Auburn’s finalists are Dan Mazzaferro, diving, who graduated in 2010 from the College of Sciences and Mathematics and in 2011 from the College of Business; and Mary “Katy” Frierson, women’s soccer, who graduated in 2011 from the College of Liberal Arts.
Each year, three male and three female finalists are invited to interview for one of two awards. One male and one female former student-athlete will be selected later this month for the renewable award, which provides $24,000 annually.
AUBURN – Former Auburn diver Dan Mazzaferro has been named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, marking the third straight year the Auburn swimming and diving program has produced a Rhodes finalist.
The Rhodes Scholarships, founded in 1904, are the oldest international fellowships. Winners of the scholarship have the opportunity to do graduate work at the University of Oxford located in Oxford, United Kingdom.
“An engaging scholar, a world class athlete and a true servant, Dan’s motivation for doing world class research in Dr. Mike Squillacote’s organic chemistry lab all the while competing at the top levels of his sport is so extraordinarily strong, his promise so unparalleled, that I am confident in predicting that Dan will accomplish something awesome and huge in his life’s work,” said Paul Harris, associate director for National Prestigious Scholarships at Auburn University.