Blog Entry

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

Posted on: May 25, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 2:39 pm
Posted by Matt Norlander

If it ensured your school would make a Final Four, would you be willing to add $50 to your annual tuition?

Most students that give a whiff about college hoops would answer "yes" without much hesitation. And so it is so for the undergraduates at Virginia Commonwealth University, who will be putting some change into the hat to help pay for the university's athletics budget. After spurning more lucrative offers from other schools in April, Shaka Smart opted to stay at VCU and receive a raise for doing so, earning reportedly $1.2 million per year.
VCU's overall university fee will increase $50 per full-time student for the 2011-12 school year, and the athletics department will receive a greater percentage of total fee revenue than it did in 2010-11, VCU spokeswoman Pam Lepley said Monday. The result, Lepley said, will be an $875,000 net revenue increase for athletics. Based on 2010-11 enrollment, that's an increase of roughly $30.50 for each full-time student.
VCU, a public university, will now also charge $700 more per year in tuition. There is a distinction and difference, as tuition money cannot legally go toward funding athletics; thus: fees. These decisions weren't made exclusively because of Smart's salary, but they certainly play a role. In a sense, this isn't all that uncommon. While in college, I was at the student newspaper, and being part of such an enterprise, you get the chance to see how the wheels are greased at higher-education institutions. These kinds of fees are slipped into tuitition costs all the time, often for things many would find completely unfair.

Fortunately Shaka Smart is such a valued commodity, this new arithmetic won't bother too many. This could be beneficial for the university in terms of public relations, when you consider VCU will absolutely receive a bump in applications after such a prominent run on the national stage.

If there was ever a time to make this kind of move, it's now, when the school has a popular young coach who's helped put the school and the basketball program on a level it's never been before.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Shaka Smart, VCU

Since: Feb 17, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:49 pm

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

What a joke.  The guy overachieves and has ONE good year, suddenly he's the hottest coach in America.  Talk to me in a few years, when he misses the NCAA tourney and goes back to being a no name.

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:34 pm

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

He's is having the year of his life.  By this time next year..nobody will even remember him, or he will bolt. They are all scum, these coaches. Period.

Since: May 20, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:49 pm

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

Didn't you read the article.  It is not a $50 tuition hike.  It's a $50 student "fee" hike along with a $700 tuition hike.  Maybe you went to VCU so it is understandable you couldn't comprehend the details of the article.

Since: Aug 6, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:34 pm

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

I love sports -- I love watching them, playing them -- but the money is so ridiculous -- plus can anyone really say without Shaka that they will make the final four or without they wouldn't have any shot? Over a million dollars for any coach in college sports is just plain too much (I am fully aware his salary is not much compared to many others). I think asking students to pay a fee to pay a coach more is wrong in many ways. I wonder can you get a matching grant for the school so their basketball/football coach can make 2 million instead of 1 million? Just saying.

Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:28 pm

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

If you want to or are attending VCU and you do not like the $50 tuition hike, go somewhere else.  You are not entitled to pay what you think the cost of college should be.  The college determines a price and you can price shop just like any other product you purchase.  If VCU is a bad deal, find a good deal elsewhere.  Every other university in this country that has any type of athletics is paying their coaches.  As a student at any university, you are helping pay for a coach's wages whether you want to view it as "tuition" or not.   

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:21 pm

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

As a Virginia tax payer (and graduate from George Mason, one of its other public universities), I applaud this move and the transparency (as someone already noted).  The Commonwealth of Virginia does not print money, so Shaka's salary, and the salaries of all coaches at all the public universities, are being paid by someone, and up till now that has been us tax payers.  Mason's public visibility rose when it had its run in 2006.  It was fun to "claim kin" to my old alma mater in social settings, though I dare say there was no tangible or monetary benefit from it.  Still, the cost-benefit is / should be more closely related to the students.

In the overall scheme of things, Shaka is still relatively low-paid.  I wonder what the per student cost is for Calhoun at UConn and Coach K at Duke.

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:12 pm

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

Heaven forbid our country wants to become more competitive in math and science - as long as we're number 1 in basketball we can go around and thump our chests.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:04 pm

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

Simple answer is no. We have always been told coaches and sport teams bring in money and do more than pay for themselves.  They help reduce tution costs.  If this is not the truth college athletics should go away all together.  College costs are continuing to rise at such a level that soon college will be useless for the middle class. We are now beginning to find out that a lot of students are defaulting on loans that they took out to attend college (and pay for spring break) because they aren't able to get jobs that they were told were out there for college grads.  

I know that this is a mere $50, but the point is no student should have to pay anything extra to keep a coach at a school for one miracle NCAA tourney run.  If they want to take up student collections that are voluntary to keep him around go for it.

Since: Mar 5, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:24 am

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

If the extra cost per student was $500-$1000 per year then this might be a major issue....but $30-$50??  Students spend more than that in one pub night! lol

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:16 am

VCU increases fees to help pay Shaka's salary

I guess if you told me that the 50 dollars would help me by making my subsequent degree more recognizable down the road then there would be a tangible gain to me personally and therefore I would not have a problem with it. It is nice at least that VCU was transparent with this and not tried to hide it like most university fees.

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