I often hear complaints from Hokie fans. Things like why do we have to play games AT Old Dominion? Why can’t we recruit 4 and 5 star recruits like Clemson? Why do the top recruits in Virginia go out of state? Why don’t we win the ACC anymore? When are we going to be able to compete for a national championship? A lot of this is because of money. Success in big time college football these days is dictated by how much you have to spend and how big your budget is. It’s no surprise that some of the most successful teams in college football also have the biggest revenues to reinvest.
Where is Virginia Tech on this list? Here:
That’s 44th. There are only 65 Power 5 programs. That’s in the bottom-third of the Power 5. Why is Virginia Tech so low? Largely because it lags behind its conference peers in terms of donations.
These numbers are a little dated (they are from 2014) and they have improved some since the start of the Drive for 25 fundraising program. But the Hokies still lag behind. As of June 25, 2018 there are still only 13,787 Hokie Club members. Even if you compare that to the 2014 numbers, we’re still lagging well behind Clemson, Florida State and even NC State.
The bigger issue for me is that we have a HUGE alumni base. Virginia Tech has almost 250,000 living alums and only 4% give to Hokie Club. I get that not all of those alums are fans of athletics but still we can certainly do better than 4%. I’m sure more than 4% of our alums attend football and basketball games. I feel like I’ve seen more than 4% of our alums at football and basketball games.
So at this point you might be rolling your eyes say I don’t have a lot of money to give to Hokie Club. I get it. The great thing is you don’t have to. If you give the minimum, it’s only $100 a year or $8.33 a month. If you have a degree from Virginia Tech you can probably afford that. And every little bit helps. Virginia Tech can make up a lot of ground with a lot of small donations rather than a few big ones. Which is why the Drive for 25 wants 25,000 Hokie Club members – not a specific dollar amount. They just want new members.
So consider giving to Hokie Club. First, because you’re giving to a good cause. Virginia Tech athletes work very hard and you’re giving those young men and women the opportunity to get a world class education. Secondly, it’s for the reasons I led off with. With a bigger budget, the Hokies can compete at a level that they haven’t been able to in the past. It gives us more control over who we schedule, who we recruit and where we spend our money – facilities, dorms, support staff, etc. But more importantly, do it because you love Virginia Tech.