Since 1939, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament has been around to motivate, strengthen, and celebrate the talents and successes of renowned college teams, their players, and their coaches. But, it does more than simply provide entertainment for college basketball fans around the world.
The NCAA encourages athletes to dig deep into their hearts to bring out the fire, push themselves to new limits in training, and strive to become the best they can be. The NCAA basketball tournament opens a world of opportunities for schools that can be benefited from for years to come.
By watching NCAA basketball coverage on CBS, college basketball fans are able to catch every shot, every Cinderella moment and every unlikely tournament run, like the miraculous journey of the George Mason University Patriots in 2006. George Mason barely even made it into March Madness tournament that year and there were a lot of people who believed they didn’t belong and would get destroyed easily in the first round. Regardless, the George Mason Patriots went through the entire tournament, with hardly anyone pulling for them, and went from bracket to bracket until they made it all the way to the Final Four.
George Mason’s Growth & Success
A lot has happened since George Mason’s NCAA tournament win in 2006 as far as the university’s educational growth (enrollment and degree programs), new and expanded facilities, research endeavors, and increased operating budget are concerned. The 2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship put George Mason University in a whole new light. Not only did the win change the lives of the men’s basketball team, it changed the entire spectrum of what the university can offer and do for its faculty, staff, and current and aspiring students.
Already in the fiscal year of 2015, there are three buildings under construction according to the Office of Institutional Research & Reporting (IRR): Taylor Hall, a new housing community in Fairfax, VA; Life Sciences Lab, a research facility in Prince William, VA; and Point of View, a new off-campus academic/research facility. As of Fall 2014, there are a total of 151 buildings including academic/research/administrative buildings, student unions/sports and recreation centers, student housing, parking structures, and auxiliary support facilities.
Eight of these buildings are open to the public including the Patriot Center, the school’s sports and entertainment arena, which the IRR reports attracted more than 480,000 guests in 2007. In 2013, the Patriot Center ranked number six nationwide and worldwide for top grossing venues as reported in the Venues Today trade publication.
Admission Applications & Enrollment
Almost instantaneously, admission applications “increased overall 3.8% from fall 2005 [with 28,432 applications] to fall 2006 [with 29,519 applications],” according to the George Mason University admissions summary of the 2006-2007 school year. It is apparent the 2006 NCAA tournament win had a major impact on students’ interest in George Mason University. For the 2013-2014 school year, there were a total of 40,876 applicants, resulting in an overall 43.7% increase in admissions applications.
Of the 28,432 applicants in Fall 2005, 15,316 were accepted and 7,025 of those applicants were enrolled. For Fall 2013, 23,426 were accepted and 8,678 of those applicants were enrolled. As the years go by, it is clear George Mason University is experiencing a healthy and continuous growth with much thanks to other aspects such as an increase in the university’s operating budget and their revenues and expenditures.
According to the Office of Institutional Research & Reporting (IRR), George Mason has a total of 33,791 enrolled students for the 2014-2015 school year. For the 2006-2007 school year, the IRR reported 29,889 students, resulting in a 13% increase in enrolled students.
In the 2005-2006 school year, there was a total of 156 degree programs offered, including bachelors, masters, doctoral, and professional (law). In the 2014-2015 school year, there are a total of 208 degree programs available to undergraduate and graduate students breaking down to 19 additional programs each for bachelor and master degrees and 14 more doctoral programs. George Mason University has made it easier for its students to continue pursuing their education at their alma mater.
Even the operating budget for the school grew. The total budget was $528.7 million for fiscal year 2006 and $945.7 million for the 2015 fiscal year as reported in the George Mason University Quick Facts of 2005-2006 and 2014-2015. In the almost nine years since George Mason’s NCAA tournament win, the university managed to increase its entire operating budget by 78.8%, meaning in a few years, the 2005-2006 numbers could possibly double to 1057.4 million or more.
The 2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament did more than announce the Patriots as its champion, it continued to help transform the university into an expansive learning and engaging experience for all.
Article Submitted By Derrick Manning ( Community Writer)