What Can Actually Destroy Virginia Tech

What Can Actually Destroy Virginia Tech
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Dec 15, 2020

Photo Credit: ACC Media

There are plenty of fans who are disappointed by Whit Babcock's decision to retain Justin Fuente as head coach of the Virginia Tech football program. I'll be honest, I'm personally split on the decision, but that's a column for another day.

However, some of the reaction have led to coordinated campaigns among some fans to pull their money out of athletics completely because they feel that the decision to keep Justin Fuente is going to completely destroy Virginia Tech.

What they don't realize is their actions to pull their funds is the type of thing that can actually set Virginia Tech for 20 years rather than just a few if Justin Fuente can't turn things around next season, not the other way around.

That's because college football has become an insane resource game where Virginia Tech has gone from a leader at the turn of the 21st Century to being mid tier but well behind Clemson among ACC schools. Some of these same people have also publicly stated the fact that the football program specifically needs more money and not just from some allocation shifts within the athletic department but more so from new and increased donations.

However, instead of at least sticking with their donations, fans who know the program needs more resources are supposedly pulling their donations. The logic in that is even more non-existent than the logic of trying to run out the first half down a score against Clemson with 3 timeouts and a minute left knowing that the Tigers will get the ball to start the second half in a game where your best chance of winning is likely in a well-managed, efficient offensive game.

To pull money when you know the program needs more money is as illogical as calling a timeout when a kicker is attempting almost a 60-yard field goal and is consistently inaccurate from beyond 30 with the game on the line. Hopefully, it doesn't make you look like a fool and you own yourself by having the field goal blocked and returned for a game-winning touchdown due to the whistle not being heard before the snap.

Now this isn't an excuse for losses to Liberty, ODU, Duke, and Wake Forest. Those are completely unacceptable and should require that changes be made including a new offensive coordinator and potentially a schematic overhaul on the offensive side plus a program that engages a whole lot more with the public and the media.

Recruiting also must improve though to think a new coach can't bail out bad recruiting by finding new talent via the transfer portal and JUCO ranks ignores what their eyes saw with Khalil Herbert, Amare Barno, Justus Reed, and others from those ranks helped lead the way for Tech this season.

However, the life or death reactions to this also show how some people are way too obsessed with Virginia Tech football.

Yes, there are plenty of real life consequences to the local economy of the NRV and Southwest Virginia if things at Virginia Tech aren't turned around soon and apathy leads to decreased fan engagement and gameday attendance whether that's just for a year or an extended period.

But for some fans to suddenly lose their minds means maybe that you are too obsessed with football and sports. There's nothing wrong with passion but when it becomes an idol that you look to for soul satisfaction, you're going to be let down most of the time. It's why we see some of the craziest Alabama fans even call for Nick Saban's job not jokingly after a single loss.

To quote Aaron Rodgers, take a second and RELAX. Think about your actions rather than let your frustration and rag drive you to do something that may have greater consequences than you can imagine.

Maybe you should ask yourselves why you donate in the first place. Is it because you want to support the diverse impact that athletics can have on lives at Virginia Tech? Is it because you want to put the Hokies with the best chances to win and afford the type of resources required to do so? Is it because you want to support the scholarships that can be life-changing for many especially those who are first generation college students?

Because when an athletic department is properly funded, the resources are there that can help change a life of someone who has earned the chance to use athletics to build a better life and career beyond sports. When an athletic department is well funded, the resources are in place to compete at high levels across all sports but driven by the biggest revenue generator to build more prestige and wealth that helps you climb back to the highest ranks in a sustainable manner.

Now I'm not going to tell you if you should or shouldn't donate to the Hokie Club if you aren't already, but I will state the hypocrisy in your comments. In this case though, to claim that the program needs more money and then yank it away doesn't make sense because guess what, decreased money means a slower car that starts to get left farther and farther behind, and goes laps down.

Fortunately though, these are Twitter and message board things that really don't make much of a difference whether it's a fundraiser or a fund-cutting effort. There have been other people who have organized donning efforts tied to gams this season but last I checked, while those provided some nice four-figure sums, none of those reached the type of 6 and 7 figure donations that really make a difference. This is what is almost certainly is playing out right now with these threats of sorts.

However, if you are a large donor threatening to pull funds knowing that the program needs more funds, think about what you're doing and why you actually donate.

One coach can only do so much damage. Virginia Tech going deeper in the financial hole compared to their peers because people aren't happy with who may be the coach for only one more year can actually cause a generational setback and ultimately destroy what has been built up over the past decades.