To the editor:
For Florida Gulf Coast University, the NCAA Tournament is a season to shine.
The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, a 15th seed, became part of the NCAA history when they reached the tournament semifinals after defeating Georgetown and San Diego State. This past week they have had many stories in USA Today (as well as other national publications) calling them the "Cinderella team" of the tournament. The Eagles have had front-page stories and front-page headlines.
A couple of interesting facts: Friday's opponent, the University of Florida, has an enrollment of 50,000 - a Goliath compared to the David that is FGCU, with just less than 13,000. UF had averaged 72 points per game in the 2011 season - while FGCU had averaged 73.5.
The outcome of Friday's big game - whether the Eagles had won or lost - meant less than what the team had already achieved: a profound sense of pride for the people of Southwest Florida, in a university that is just 16 year old. The FGCU men's' teams place high in both basketball and baseball, and the university's women's teams are spectacular, too.
Be assured that the FGCU coach of two years, Andy Enfield, and the Eagles players gave it their all. When it comes to supporting the university's academic and athletic programs, the citizens of Southwest Florida should give it their all, too.