Yesterday, we learned that Virginia Tech had some sort of system in place to fine its football players as a disciplinary measure, when Budd Foster made this remark to the media:
#Hokies DC Bud Foster said coaching staff will explore fining players money from cost-of-attendance funds as future disciplinary measure.
— Norm Wood (@normwood) August 26, 2015
What was Bud talking about? This season, college athletes will receive "cost-of-attendance" funding, essentially stipends to cover food, books, transportation, and other non-tuition costs of attending college. For VT's football players, the yearly stipends were $3,280 for in-state students and $3,620 for out-of-staters.
The internet was NOT happy about these revelations, as college athletes are unpaid amateurs and Bud Foster makes about $1.5 million per year. That's not a good look. To Virginia Tech's credit, Athletics Director Whit Babcock quickly announced that he had been unaware of the system, and he would ensure it was "stopped immediately'
However, it looks like the "fine" system was more than just something that the staff was exploring, per this report from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The RTD reports that a total of $330 in fines had already been assessed against five players (though a school spokesman noted that no money had actually changed hands). Wilcock noted that fines were not allowed to be levied against cost-of-attendance money, but VT did have a system of deducting money from bowl funds for discipline.
These fines are pretty steep. $15 for forgetting to bring a computer charger to study hall? $10 for missing breakfast? $50 for a messy dorm?!? Playing football at Virginia Tech would have been an expensive proposition if public outrage hadn't ended the practice last night.
What's your favorite part of this? Mine is that if you show up to study hall but realize you left your computer charger at your dorm, you may as well walk out and head home to save 5 bucks. (Or more, if your dorm is getting messy...)