Despite what University of Virginia fans think, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg is a special place.
Today, Virginia Tech is a far cry from its humble beginnings. Thanks to extraordinary vision from administrators, faculty, support staffs, and students, Virginia Tech has impacted our world.
Recently, I have read about the university’s $400 million fundraising campaign for the school’s athletic department. In a blink, this campaign has obscured the remarkable vision that propelled Virginia Tech into a world class university.
As reported in The Roanoke Times by Mike Niziolek (“A place where Hokies can play,” April 26), a part of this campaign includes the development of a lounge for football players. Football Coach Justin Fuente wants the lounge modeled like the national chain Dave & Buster’s.
Coaching a football team at a university that wants an even higher national profile is dangerous work. Every year a coach puts his life, his livelihood in the hands of 18, 19, 20 year old players.
Winning seasons are not enough. Alumni want conference titles, bowl game appearances and a national championship.
Virginia Tech officials see this campaign as a means to propel their program into the upper crust of college football.
I am not against college athletics.
But, if a players’ lounge is going to sway a prospective recruit and his family to commit to Virginia Tech, then something is amiss in their reasoning.
Quite simply, this players’ lounge proposal indicates to me that Virginia Tech’s athletic and administrative leadership are suffering from too many helmet-to-helmet head knocks. Their vision, logic, and rational thinking have been concussed.
I wonder what non-scholarship students, students who are food insecure, adjunct professors, and professors who have requested urgent upgrades to their labs think about this lounge?
Students who are not football players find a place to “play video games, play cards, watch TV, fellowship, and hang out together”—why can’t football players?
Virginia Tech is a special place for many reasons.
A lounge for football players shouldn’t be one of those reasons.
That lounge is a sharp contrast to the “lunch pail” mentality.
And, real Hokie hearts know this.
Bill Pike, Richmond