“Another proposal that had originally been laid out but has since been redacted was the plans for a new basketball practice facility and academic center. The plans were scrapped after Mason men’s basketball coach Paul Hewitt advised against it, citing the Recreation and Athletic Complex as a suitable practice facility.
“We wouldn’t have done it if coach said he didn’t like it, but we would have been into a big fundraising campaign and that would have pushed the baseball aside,” O’Connor said. “In my mind, baseball was a big priority and basketball was going really well and it’s all a matter of needs instead of wants.”
In an interview with GoMason.com, Hewitt mentioned his approval of the basketball facilities and the privacy, accessibility and availability that the RAC provides. Since it was completed in 2009, basketball coaches including Georgetown’s John Thompson III, Marquette’s Buzz Williams and Minnesota’s Tubby Smith, while scrimmaging Mason, have raved about the RAC wishing they had something similar on their own campuses.”
I can understand other sports like baseball, are in dire need of upgraded facilities but to me the basketball program does so much more for the university. I’m sure both VCU and ODU could use those funds to help out other sports teams on campus but they are putting their headline teams first. The RAC is a great facility but it’s was meant for recreational sports and I don’t care what O’Connor says, recruits would be more impressed with the team having their own dedicated facility on campus. To me this is just another example of how George Mason doesn’t seem interested in building on the school’s basketball brand and clearly others are willing to spend money to do so.