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 Mizzou and Oregon State will face off in the 73rd Brut Sun Bowl on Friday, Dec. 29.

SunChat: A Q&A With Eric Morrison and Todd McCubbin

On Dec. 8, Eric Morrison, associate director of athletics, and Todd McCubbin, executive director of the Mizzou Alumni Association, sat down to answer your questions about the Tigers' upcoming trip to El Paso for the 73rd annual Brut Sun Bowl. Eric just returned from a two-day site visit of El Paso, and the duo answered questions about getting there, what to see and do, as well as any ticket and other trip-related questions.

Morrison is in his eighth year as a member of the University of Missouri's Department of Athletics, and first as the associate director of athletics for external operations. Morrison has elevated through the ranks in a number of capacities since joining the Tiger staff in 1998, including stints in media relations, suite operations, external operations and development. That multifaceted background made him a natural selection for his current role, which has him overseeing each of those aforementioned departments, with the added oversight responsibilities of the ticket office, broadcast operations and Tiger Team Store. Morrison also moderates the department's relationship with Mizzou Sports Properties, a division of Learfield Communications, the multimedia rights holder for Mizzou Athletics. Morrison earned a communications degree from Mizzou in 1998.

McCubbin became the executive director of the Mizzou Alumni Association and associate vice chancellor for alumni relations in October of 2004. He directs the operational and financial activities of the Alumni Association, and manages a staff of 20 that provides services to more than 37,000 dues-paying members of the Association and 239,000 addressable alumni. McCubbin joined the staff of the MUAA as the Coordinator of Alumni Relations in 1995. In 1996 he was named the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and became Director of Marketing in 1997. He was appointed Assistant Executive Director of the Association in 1999. A 1993 journalism graduate of Truman State, McCubbin received a master's degree in education from Mizzou in 1995.

Moderator: Folks -- We're set to get started in a couple of minutes. Keep the questions coming!
Eric Morrison: OK folks, Todd and I are ready to take your questions. Fire away.

Joe (Columbia): Is there going to be a student package available for the Sun Bowl?

A.P. (Columbia): Will they be taking any type of buses for fans and students down to El Paso?
Eric Morrison: Right now, the department is finalizing plans for a student trip from Columbia with MSA and Student Affairs on campus. I would anticipate publicizing this trip over the weekend, or at the latest, on Monday. Information will come to students via e-mail, and an additional press release will be put out. Certainly, the trip will be at a minimal cost to students.

Frank (Jeff City): What's your recommendation on the best way to get tickets? We've already got our flight down to El Paso.

Alan Spires (Columbia): What is the best way to obtain tickets for the Sun Bowl?
Todd McCubbin: MUTigers.com is the best place to get tickets, especially if you already have your travel plans shored up. We are aware of some fans getting their tickets directly through the Sun Bowl, but those tickets will not necessarily be with other Mizzou fans.

Danny Lawhon (Saint Joseph, MO): CBS has two main college football announcing crews. I know that CBS also has the rights to the Gator Bowl this year. Do you know which announcing crew we will be receiving for the Brut Sun Bowl?

Phil (Columbia): Will the game be broadcast in HD?
Eric Morrison: Chad Moller has informed me that Craig Bolerjack will be providing play-by-play, Steve Beurlein is the color analyst, and Sam Ryan will be on the sidelines. As of right now, the producer believes the game will be broadcast in high definition.

Michael (Springfield, Ill.): I was wondering if Todd was working on getting all Alumni Association members free Brut cologne samples.
Todd McCubbin: We don't have enough for all of our alumni, but I do have some extra samples down in my office if you want to make the trip over!

Lloyd Weber (Columbia, Mo.): 1. I want to park in the publically available lots. Where should we park and what time should we get there? Does it fill up early with other tailgaters?
2. What is the bathroom situation like in an around the public parking lots? Is it as bad as it is in Shreveport (had to hike quite a ways to get to a bathroom)?
3. It seems most fans are paying between $400.00 and $600.00 for RT airfare. With American Airlines a sponser of the bowl why couldn't there have been a "promotional fare" available for those of us flying?
Eric Morrison: On our visit the last couple of days in El Paso, we found the majority of general public parking to be to the south of the stadium, pretty much within the confines of the UTEP campus. There are small lots available to the north, and the bowl does provide a complimentary fan shuttle with a couple of stops around the UTEP campus. You might access sunbowl.org for more information.

On arrival time, I would advise arriving early. The Sun Bowl has come close to selling out the last 10 years, so I would expect a capacity crowd.

As for the restroom question, I'll have to get back to you, but given this is the 73rd Sun Bowl, and the universally positive experience of past participants, I would suggest that the Sun Bowl knows how to take care of its fans.

As for the airfare, we had discussed promotional airfare, but were unable to come up with suitable partners.


Fredericktown: Will Brian Smith be back for the bowl game?
Eric Morrison: According to Coach Pinkel, unfortunately we believe Brian Smith will be doubtful for this game.

Renee (Columbia): I will be driving to El Paso from Columbia. Is there a shorter route to take than what I'm seeing via the net map (22hr Drive)?
Todd McCubbin: In our plans for our Young Alumni bus trip, we plotted a 22-hour trip, so without knowing your exact route, that sounds about right.

James (Columbia): What is the capacity of the stadium? How are the total number of tickets divided up?
Eric Morrison: The total capacity of the stadium is 50,426. Per NCAA guidelines, each school receives 1/6 of the stadium's seating capacity, so for Mizzou, the most tickets we would be responsible for is 8,404.

I'm sure you all have read about fan turnout/attendance and its effect on future bowl selections. This is 100% true. However, we know that for a lot of different reasons, Mizzou fans may not be able to get to El Paso. In the coming days, look for us to launch a program that allows Tiger fans to buy tickets and give them for a) charitable use or b) to send Mizzou students to the Sun Bowl.

Todd McCubbin: On that note, it's time to wrap this thing up. If you haven't already, secure your travel plans through the Official Bowl Tour. There are still Land packages available. Go Tigers!
Eric Morrison: Thanks for everyone's interest, and we hope to see you in El Paso. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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