Virginia Tech under scrutiny over fine system for football players
Virginia Tech’s football program is under scrutiny for imposing an apparent fine system as discipline for its players.
The system came to light on Wednesday night when Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster told the media they would look into fining players.
“We’re going to look at doing that. Some people got in trouble for getting up and punishing people at 6 a.m. in the morning. You need some discipline and I think that’s one way you can potentially do that,” Foster said Wednesday.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch photographed monitors at the Hokies’ facility that show messages relating to the team. Two screens have info about the fines, including the apparent fine structure:
— RTDSports (@RTDSports) August 27, 2015
Taking grant money away from student-athletes would constitute an NCAA violation, as would taking it out of cost of attendance money. Foster said that the “fine” money was not being taken out of the cost of attendance stipend given to student athletes, which amounts to over $3,000 per person.
“There has been, in place for a number of years, not to this extent, but for a number of years, a little bit of a, and I hate to use the word, but I can’t use another one, but a fine system, disciplinary for our players and such. And I think it’s come out of bowl type stuff,” athletic director Whit Babcock said via the Times-Dispatch. “So I was not aware that we were doing that. It’s not against NCAA rules. It’s probably more prevalent than people think, but I was not aware of it.”
A school spokesman says no player has actually paid a fine this year, so it’s unclear whether the program actually takes this money away from players in some form. A 2006 Daily Press story notes that head coach Frank Beamer took fine money out of a player’s bowl allowance.
Babcock also said the practice “will be discontinued immediately.”
Aside from the absurdity of the idea of taking actual money away from college players, do I need to point out the misplaced priorities by Virginia Tech if they consider a messy locker or dorm room to be a greater offense than missing class, study hall or a tutoring session? Glad to see they have their priorities in the right place.