The First Bank & Trust Friday Q&A: Spring Ball And Contract Extensions

First Bank & Trust, Whit Babcock
Sometimes NIL and the Hokie Club are fighting for the same dollars. (Jon Fleming)

1) It seems in reading interviews with Whit Babcock and then talking with a few big donors that the powers in Blacksburg would rather we give to NIL versus the Hokie Club. Is there any talk of getting any credit for NIL giving? Could it count towards seats or something? Those of us who want good seats and parking are in a bind. — HOKIEVET

Chris Coleman: I don’t know whether or not Babcock would prefer folks to donate to NIL or The Hokie Club, because the Hokies need both, but he does want to bring both under one umbrella so he could do exactly as you suggested — count NIL donations towards seating, parking, etc. People who run the NIL program could also then be employed directly by Virginia Tech. The Hokies could then directly control the staff members, their numbers, their salaries and the entire operation. Everything could be streamlined.

Unfortunately, he’s not allowed to do that, as far as I know. “Them’s the rules,” as they say. Some of these NIL rules and laws vary by state, so they are very difficult to keep up with. Last I heard, Virginia Tech does not have the option to bring the NIL operation in-house. It must operate as a separate entity. The employees of Triumph/The Hokie Way can’t take a salary from the athletic department, and NIL donations are not donations to the school; they are donations to Triumph/The Hokie Way.

What you’re suggesting makes complete sense. I agree with it, and as far as I’ve heard, so does Whit Babcock, and many think that NIL will eventually be brought “in-house” across the NCAA. However, under the current rules structure, it’s not possible.

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