LBS- 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.
“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.”
Babcock also said the practice “will be discontinued immediately.”
I'm going to be honest. I really wanted to go rogue on this one. I was all set to defend Virginia Tech for fining their players out of pocket. Was going to take some stance that the only way to successfully deter unwanted behavior is to hit the players where they, quite literally, can't afford to be hit. Really just harp on the fact that you shouldn't fight against a system that is ultimately responsible for your biggest vulnerability. You know, just to be an asshole and play devil's advocate even though I detest everything that the NCAA stands for. Like I said, I WAS going to say those things...
That's when I thought the infractions would read something like "Theft: $20", not "Accidentally dripped on a toilet seat: $100". I thought I was basically going to see a list of rules that would fit seamlessly into a bunk at a teenage summer camp, not a list that looks like it was pulled directly from a concentration camp. Shit, shave off Bud Foster's goatee and die his mustache jet black and Virginia Tech football is basically a mirror image of Auschwitz. With that said, let's delve into some the more ridiculous transgressions on this sheet...
Missed Classes: Thank God I wasn't talented enough athletically to play for the Virginia Tech football team, I guess? No joke, I would have needed every penny of that scholarship if I went there, because I would have paid an entire tuition in fines for missed classes. More importantly, we now know who wasn't crushing the college scene in his day. Missed classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are less expensive than Tuesday and Thursday? Uhh, well worth it. Come on Bud. Football Sundays?Two-for-Tuesdays? Thirsty Thursdays? If you're going to be a dick, at least be a well studied dick.
Study Hall: Wait, is this Virginia Tech football, or Virginia Junior High football? Listen, I understand that it makes sense to have a designated time devoted to the players academics. However, when you institute something that's generally meant for children, you can't turn around and fine them for missing it like they are adults. Not to mention that disciplining a student athlete for being 5 minutes late is just chastising good behavior. In college 5 minutes late is the equivalent of 15 minutes early. My roommate didn't even know what time one of our classes started until he almost showed up 30 minutes late the day of the final.
Dirty Dorm/Dirty Locker: So we aren't even penalizing players are actual infractions anymore? We are just going to penalize them for minor inconveniences? Why don't you just change this rule to read "Being between the ages of 18-21: $50". Young adults are disorganized, that's just a fact. Especially when those young adults are trying balance school, football, and a social life. Cleaning? Ain't nobody got time for that.
I get it. College coaches view football as more than just athletics. They treat it as opportunity to teach their players how to become men. With that said, they aren't truly men until they are getting PAID for their hard work. The NCAA is already treating them like interns, we don't need universities stepping in to treat them like servants. It's okay to mix in a little tough love without bankrupting these kids. At the end of the day, they should be able to grow as people and still enjoy college life. That's not possible when you are jacking their lunch money for missing breakfast.