Virginia Tech Athletics Unveils Pylons of Promise

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BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced today the unveiling of the Virginia Tech athletics “Pylons of Promise,” a document that sets forth the university’s and athletics department’s commitment to student-athletes during their time at Virginia Tech and beyond.

The highlights of The Pylons of Promise include the following:

  • Cost of Attendance – In addition to tuition, fees, room, board and books, as part of a full athletics scholarship, Virginia Tech will provide the full maximum allowable cost of attendance for all 22 sports.  (Note from TSL: VT’s cost of attendance will be approximately $2,500 per year)
  • Four-Year Scholarship Commitment – Athletics scholarships may be awarded on an annual or multi-year basis. Virginia Tech will make four-year scholarships available for deserving student-athletes.
  • Excellence in Academic Support, Athletics Support and Career Development – Virginia Tech will continue to provide quality academic support, including tutoring, mentoring, individualized degree completion planning and laptops distribution. Virginia Tech’s athletic support will include (but is not limited to) first-class coaching, sports medicine, nutrition and training services, top-quality facilities and elite Nike apparel and equipment. Also, the athletics department will provide its student-athletes with a comprehensive career development program that gives them the tools to interview and secure employment. The Virginia Tech Athletics Department will also provide student-athletes a business suit complements of the Monogram Club as they embark on their career paths.
  • Loss-of-Value Insurance – The institution will provide assistance for student-athletes to purchase loss-of-value insurance based on their values as professionals consistent with the athletics department’s protocol for disability insurance.
  • Continued Commitment to Landmark Concussion Research – Virginia Tech will follow all NCAA concussion protocol, and in addition, continue its landmark study of the topic. Last year, Virginia Tech was one of three schools awarded a $30 million Department of Defense grant to study the effects of concussions and ways to combat them, and the University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics has been studying concussions since 2003 in a leadership capacity.
  • Meet Needs of Student-Athletes through NCAA’s S.A.F. – In addition to providing the full cost of attendance for its student-athletes, Virginia Tech also will continue to meet student-athletes’ needs through the Student Assistance Fund, a fund established by the NCAA that allots approximately $425,000 to Virginia Tech to use for student-athletes’ needs provided he or she meets necessary criteria.

The Pylons of Promise is based on the ideals emblazoned on the eight pylons at the Virginia Tech War Memorial Court and the athletics department’s core values of integrity, service, honor, and excellence and strong together.

“We developed the Pylons of Promise to specifically lay out what we’re going to be doing for student-athletes at Virginia Tech,” Babcock said. “We have committed to this extensive set of values and set it out transparently in writing, so that we can be held accountable for them by our student-athletes, our recruits and others invested in Virginia Tech, such as our faculty, our Board of Visitors, our alumni and our fans.”

The Pylons of Promise is Virginia Tech’s response to the changes in the NCAA governance landscape. The document serves as a pact, with Virginia Tech holding its student-athletes to high standards while sharing in the commitment to help its student-athletes reach those standards.

“The NCAA’s governing structure continues to change, and never before has the focus been so squarely on the needs of the student-athletes and their experiences while in college,” Virginia Tech President Dr. Timothy Sands said. “We are committed to fully supporting our student-athletes and insuring that they have the wonderful collegiate experience that they deserve. The Pylons of Promise reflects that commitment. This is our response to the changing environment around us – and it’s a response that Hokie Nation should be proud of as we move forward.”

Virginia Tech’s holistic formula of athletic, academic and personal development has proven that success on the field, in the classroom and in the community go hand in hand, as 13 teams represented Virginia Tech in NCAA postseason play in the past year, two teams – men’s swimming and diving, and wrestling – captured ACC titles, the Hokies’ cumulative team GPA is near a 3.0, and Virginia Tech student-athletes impacted over 16,000 individuals through community involvement last academic year.

To learn more about the Pylons of Promise, please click here.

 

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6 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. As for the Cost of Attendance amount, most of the athletes being recruited will simply look at the bottom line (total amount). For most of these kids (that is what they are coming out of high school) that is all that will matter. VT is going to suffer in recruiting because of this.
    Also, looking at the overall package, I don’t want to hear how colleges are taking advantage of these athletes. It is a sweet deal no matter how you cut it. And for the elite althetes, VT is a great stepping stone to a pro career where they will make millions.

  2. How does the distribution of the cost-of-living reimbursement work? Do the student-athletes get a once-per-semester payment (of roughly $1250 based on TSL’s estimate of the reimbursement amount) in one lump sum? Is there anything preventing a student-athlete from taking this money and going on a twelve-hundred dollar vacation? If the money is uncontrolled/unregulated, then I can see a bidding war going on between competing schools within the limits that the laws set. Hopefully there will be some controls in place to make sure the money gets used appropriately. Then VT recruiters will be able to say “Look, don’t pay attention the larger dollar amount at school X. It’s cheaper to live in Blacksburg, so the lower amount we give you will buy the same things you get for the amount they’d give you at school X.”

    “Virginia Tech will make four-year scholarships available for deserving student-athletes.” Deserving how? Financially burdened? Academically gifted? Athletically gifted?

  3. Very interesting read. Assistance getting “loss of value” insurance, a laptop for every scholarship athlete and an “interview suit” following successful completion of training for career position are just a few of the items that jumped out at me.

    I wonder what the UNC equivalent is? A class-free degree?

  4. Wow, great example of strategic leadership here by Whit. I’d be curious to understand how these efforts are funded.

    1. My guess is that aside from the cost of attendance stipend, the majority of the components are already in place. However, having it in writing for all to see is a good move that can be leveraged to recruit top talent to Blacksburg regardless of the sport.

    2. Whit said in later interviews that the money will come originally from cash reserves, but that the Hokie Club will be expected to raise the funds (estimated to be $900k per year) in the future.

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