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  1. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by HokieFan14 View Post
    How about this....go eat every meal off campus for the entire semester, then come back and let us know where you spent more money.
    Actually I have. If you spend just cash, there's not really any difference. The problem comes in when you purchase a dining plan. You receive a 50% discount at most all the facilities (and pay no tax), however you receive an initial balance of substantially less than 50% of what the plan costs up front. You *have* to either put more money into it to take advantage of the 1:1 offering at that point, or you have to eat primarily all your meals at D2, the only facility with a higher than 50% discount, to make up the difference.

    I'll be happy to locate and post my exact figures if you or anyone else is interested, though I don't want to hijack this thread too much. The bottom line though is, every single one of the dining plans is a rip-off as opposed to what you'd get if you just spent that dining plan's cost instead as cash. It's a very shady part of VT imo.

  2. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by GFallsFan View Post
    Are you the one who posted the analysis on Reddit? Because if so, thank you. My son is moving off campus this year and he wanted some sort of meal plan, but I showed him the analysis and we have decided just to use dining dollars for a smaller amount. Then, he'll get a grocery allowance too. He's been learning to cook this summer.
    I didn't post it anywhere, but it was part of a group effort, so if this was recent, it could always have been one of my group members. If I can find my data, I'll be happy to share it with anyone that's interested. It's really quite interesting, even factoring in not paying tax with a meal plan, there's no plan except dining dollars that's worth the cost unless you dump in about 300-500 dollars extra. You just wind up paying *more* for the equivalent amount of food than if you'd paid cash.

  3. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by GFallsFan View Post
    Are you the one who posted the analysis on Reddit? Because if so, thank you. My son is moving off campus this year and he wanted some sort of meal plan, but I showed him the analysis and we have decided just to use dining dollars for a smaller amount. Then, he'll get a grocery allowance too. He's been learning to cook this summer.
    Oh I just found the reddit post with the analysis. That wasn't me or the people in my group. I looked it over though. The math is a little bit off, but not enough to cause any real problems with the results. The conclusions are all still correct: the minor dining plans are never worth it, the major plans only are worth it if you eat at D2 nearly all the time, and you need the premium plan and adding more cash to the major plans to break even. Dining Dollars is actually the best value overall.

    The part I find pretty despicable is how VT pushes these dining plans and discourages people from adding additional money, which is the only way to not get ripped off.

  4. #114
    Walkin' Willie's Avatar
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    Well, I "dined" in the late '70's and the fare was horrible. Those cheeseburgers would give one the runs within a half hour...or less. Wilted lettuce for salads, Powdered eggs for breakfast, etc. At least the boxed cereal and milk was OK. It might be mediocre now but I'll bet it is TONS better than what it used to be back in the dark ages.

    Quote Originally Posted by novahokie03 View Post
    Slightly off-topic, but as someone who uses the dining halls during the semester, I can say that entire Dining Services department needs some serious auditing. For all the praise about "award-winning" food and the money supposedly being dumped into dining facilities, it doesn't show. They are constantly understaffed, the food from non-WestEnd facilities is pretty mediocre, and the pricing structure of the food and dining plans is designed to make people overpay and lose money.

    I did an analysis of the dining plans last year. Unless you eat all your meals at D2 (where it's a 66% discount instead of a 50% discount), or dump several hundred additional dollars into your meal plan, you have actually spent more money than if you just paid straight cash at all the facilities. This is because of the "overhead" Dining Services charges for the plans vs the amount actually put in the dining accounts. And anyone living on-campus is *required* to buy a dining plan, so they essentially get forced to pay some extra money. And they try to convince off-campus students to buy the minor plans, which cannot have additional money added to (so you never get an equal or better value than if you just paid cash).

  5. #115
    Walkin' Willie's Avatar
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    One of the greatest posts I've ever read on TSL - Nailed it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gobbler-100 View Post
    No, I don't think so. I'm certainly interested in the long view also. I've been a Virginia Tech sports fan of some sort for about 35 years now. Aggressively so for almost 30 years. Got two degrees at Tech specifically to facilitate my pre-existing sports fandom and relationship to Blacksburg. (My dad went to school at Tech; my mom's whole family is from Blacksburg.) This is a life-long interest for me. I would prefer 20 years of "really good" to 1 or 2 years of "brilliant" followed by 20 years of "mediocre to terrible."

    It's not that I don't care if we break the bank because I need my winning fix right now and don't care what happens afterward. It's that I'm not convinced there's a meaningfully strong relationship between an athletic department's debt load and its ability to survive and/or flourish. Maryland and Tennessee are collectively about a trillion dollars in debt, but: a) that didn't stop Maryland from recently joining the most important and recognizable college athletic conference (give or take the Ivy League) and b) the biggest problems that Tennessee has right now are that they are still recovering from a couple of bad hires (Kiffin and Dooley) and aren't selling out Neyland Stadium anymore. If Butch Jones gets them winning again, nobody is going to care about the credit rating of the UT athletic department. There are terrible athletic departments in the red and terrible ones in the black. There are also excellent ones in the red and excellent ones in the black. (Maybe instead of "terrible" and "excellent" I should use the words "unenviable" and "enviable.")

    I want Virginia Tech sports to be successful in the future also. I just don't define that success by the balance sheet. That doesn't make me "right." It just makes me a sports fan. If your actual day job involves intercollegiate athletics, then you're going to have a totally different perspective. Success takes on a different meaning and you experience it in a different context. It's a job and you have to care about the same kind of minutiae that other people have to care about at their jobs. You understand things that other people don't about the complexity of the world in which you work.

    So, to circle back to whatever the point was more or less...do I expect Jim Weaver to lure Tom Izzo from Michigan State? No. Do I judge him a failure for not doing so? No. Am I disappointed that we hired a DOBO from a high school gig? No. Categorically, no. I couldn't care less about that. My expectations are, actually, really quite reasonable. (I can't emphasize this enough. From a stereotypical "sports fan" standpoint, my expectations are insanely reasonable. All I really want is to just not be tortured.) That said, I don't need to hear that we can't spend money on men's basketball because we're managing debt or we're still paying the last guy or Steger's dropping the budget hammer or this, that, or the other thing even if all of those things are true.

    I don't have to care about any of that. It's not in my job description as a fan. My job is to care irrationally about the teams, go to the games, and provide financial support to the greatest extent that I can justify. From a fan's perspective, the fact that the athletic department is run in a fiscally sound fashion is a terrible trade-off for being a non-factor in men's basketball for an entire generation. Occasionally going to NCAA tournaments is, like, 50% of the point of being a college sports fan. Taking that off the table as even a possibility is just aggressively anti-fan. It might be different if we weren't being actively encouraged to consider our relationship with Virginia Tech sports to be essentially a business transaction. There was a time that I would happily give the benefit of the doubt because, you know, we're all in this together, we're all Hokies, blah blah blah. But over the last couple of years we're now just being brazenly trolled by the athletic department with respect to men's basketball, and I am not remotely interested in JLARC or the role that student athletic fees play in any of this. I understand that there's no fixing it under the current regime, but I don't want to hear justifications for why we are where we are now. All there is to do now is just wait for the circus to leave town so we can start over.

  6. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gobbler-100 View Post
    I am not remotely interested in JLARC or the role that student athletic fees play in any of this. I understand that there's no fixing it under the current regime, but I don't want to hear justifications for why we are where we are now. All there is to do now is just wait for the circus to leave town so we can start over.
    Me too, I know exactly where you're coming from. For whatever reason this regime has never shown any desire or commitment to have successful basketball based on their head coaching hires so I've given up ever expecting it to change, and just resigned myself to waiting them out and hoping the new president and AD do care. It doesn't take a lot of analysis to know what's wrong with this basketball program. All you have to do is go back through our head coach hires since Weaver has been AD. What you find is nothing but assistants, or assistants with no head coaching experience, or head coaches that have been losers. Anyone who would expect to have a successful basketball program with those kinds of hires isn't being realistic. If we want to compete in the ACC then we have to hire coaching talent of that level. Otherwise we will just remain the doormat of the conference.

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