Monarchs' Tournament Win Has Positive Ramifications Beyond the Basketball Arena
It's only a game. But for so many reasons, it's more than that.
The Old Dominion University men's basketball team won its sixth CAA tournament title in thrilling fashion Monday night, holding off a stubborn Virginia Commonwealth team 70-65.
The win vaults ODU into its second straight NCAA tournament. The team finds out where it will play during Sunday night's selection show on CBS. A crowd will gather in Webb Center at 5:30 p.m. to hear the announcement, and celebrate the Monarchs' success.
An achievement like this is worth celebrating for many reasons. For a school like Old Dominion, a trip to the NCAA tournament represents an invaluable opportunity to promote the university nationally, in a variety of ways.
"First of all, I couldn't be prouder of this team, its coaches and support staff, and everyone associated with ODU Athletics. These young men, and indeed all of our teams, really are a credit to Old Dominion University," said President John R. Broderick.
"But anyone watching Monday night's game knows they're also really good. It's exciting to think about this team representing our school in the NCAA tournament. That kind of exposure is great for our entire university, not just Athletics."
Broderick said that after Boston College stunned the University of Miami in football in the 1980s, led by future Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, the school experienced what became known as the "Flutie factor." Admissions rose and donations increased, and not just to the athletic department.
Alice McAdory, ODU's associate vice president for enrollment management, said the number of Web hits and phone calls to the Office of Admissions increases with every high-profile athletic success.
"Even at our admissions events, whether on or off campus, parents and students express excitement for our athletic success," McAdory said. "The Monarchs are not only a great team, but they are respectful, mature leaders. I never miss a game!"
ODU's Office of Alumni Relations was especially busy, as it is every year, during the CAA tournament weekend.
"There's a stronger desire to wear some extra ODU gear, a bolder feel in the stride, and a sense of complete and total camaraderie with all 114,000-plus alumni - and the five future alumni on the court at any one time during the game," said Dana Allen, assistant vice president for alumni relations.
"This year's squad has shared their desire to win and infectious spirit with alumni, and that makes this season seem even more special. What's great is that this means more mentions of ODU in conversation, more visits to the website to read the latest news and hopefully more incentive to come back and visit campus if they haven't returned in a while. "
The positive effect of the team's success also is felt across the entire athletic department. Athletic Director Wood Selig said they're very proud of the job head coach Blaine Taylor and his staff do directing the men's basketball team in one of the most competitive conferences in the country.
"Our four seniors certainly led the way by example all season, and I am happy for them that they will be rewarded with one more March Madness opportunity," Selig said. "A high tide elevates all boats and I am sure the other 17 ODU athletic programs will benefit in the success of our men's basketball team and the positive impact this success creates for ODU throughout our community."
Associate head coach Jim Corrigan said the players and coaches know they carry the university standard every time they take the court. And he added that the players and coaches like that fact.
"Back-to-back CAA championships are exciting for our team and for the university. It's great to see the tremendous support we have from students and fans who came to support the team in Richmond, especially the students who came during their spring break," Corrigan said.
"Some great memories are being created for all the members of the Old Dominion community. And hopefully we will make some more memories!"
This article was posted on: March 10, 2011
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