Winning a spot in the 32-team National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament means a lot more than pride for many of the teams. It means money.
Take Georgetown, for instance, and a lot of other schools do not play big time football and field quality basketball teams on limited budgets.
A first-round appearance in the NCAA tournament this season will be worth about $50,000, NCAA spokesman Dave Cawood estimates. A firstround victory will increase that to about $130,000.
In Georgetown's case, winning a first-round NCAA game almost would cover its $150,000 basketball budget (that figure does not include scholarships).
Only the final four teams nationally earn any more money, likely to be about $260,000 apiece this year. Last year, qualifiers earned $35,387 each, first-round winners $106,161 each and the final four teams $212,322 each. Cawood's estimates this year are based on higher television revenues.
At Georgetown, revenues from playing in the NCAA tournament would go into the school's general fund and would not have direct impact on the basketball budget.
But, according to Athletic Director Frank Rienzo, whose Hoyas have made it to the NCAA tournament twice in the past three years, there is a significant indircet effect.
"You can't budget it, because it's not guaranteed income and the budget is already made for the next year," Rienzo said. "But, as the program develops and grows and you make requests (from the administration) to keep pace with the growth of the program, you don't meet the resistance as if you had no extraordinary income."
The latest on Catholic University's proposed new gymnasium:
Plans for the $5- to $6-million, 4,000-seat multipurpose facility have been approved by the university's exterior design and review committee.
The school is preparing a final scale model and other materials for a possible fund-raising campaign. It will be presented to the university's board of trustees at their next meeting, March 15.
The much-needed facility could include indoor tennis courts, an indoor track and four basketball courts. The site would be on a hill above the football field.
If CU has a dilapidated gym. at least it has one it can play in. Manhattan College's on-campus facility, Alumni Fieldhouse, is so small the Jaspers played only one game there this season. A new gym is under construction.
The Jaspers have worn their white home uniforms twice this season. Their second "home" game was against Georgetown last week at Madison Square Garden, where they blew a 22 point lead with 12 1/2 minutes to play.