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From the Desk of Athletics Director, Chip Smith

September 27, 2006

I apologize.

We are well into the fall seasons and the letter box has been empty for a while. But it is about the only thing that hasn't been at full throttle recently.

There has been a lot of competition this fall, with the fall sports underway. But there has also been a great deal of activity taking place off the fields and courts as well, all of it designed to make Catamount athletic events more successful and enjoyable.

One new entry this year is the "Parkway Series," a head-to-head competition between the Cats and UNC Asheville in several sports. The Series, presented by Arby's, includes community service by both schools and benefits the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters program.

Another initiative this year is designed to increase the overall awareness of Catamount Athletics. Starting on campus, several hundred T-shirts were distributed to faculty and staff members. Recipients were encouraged to wear them (or anything purple) on Fridays as a way to promote school spirit. The "Wear Purple" campaign was taken off-campus as well, by way of billboards, advertising, signage and giveaways. So when you are here, join us by wearing your Catamount clothing or anything purple.

In addition, we are working to gauge the financial impact that Catamount Football games have on the local economy. Prior to the Georgia Southern football game (this Saturday, Sept. 30 at 6 pm), you may be asked to participate in a study. Students will request your E-mail address in order to send you an electronic survey. The results of this survey will help us better understand our fans, what they do while visiting and how this affects our area. If asked, please take a moment to participate; your help will be invaluable to this effort.

Other events include the introduction of a new and improved look for Paws, our mascot; this year's Hall of Fame inductions; the retirement ceremony of Kirk Roach's No. 14 jersey on September 30; Homecoming festivities; the Bob Walters Memorial Golf Tournament; a basketball rouser at Broadmoor Golf Links on October 11 and, of course, the Appalachian State football game in Whitmire Stadium on November 11. You can go to for more information on these activities or other activities.

Our goal, as you know, is to be the best. Success depends on more than coaches and student-athletes and it includes more than buying tickets or giving money. It is also keeping the faith with a team during a difficult stretch and recognizing that mistakes will happen in competition as they do in life. As a program, we have achieved some success, but are not successful yet. We aren't perfect and there will be some bumps along the way. Your constant support will help determine the timetable to reach that goal.

Thank you for backing the Cats.

Chip Smith
Director of Atheltics