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Virginia Bill to Micromanage Athletics Funding Hurts Smaller Schools

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Virginia Bill to Micromanage Athletics Funding Hurts Smaller Schools
James Madison vs. Virigina Tech (

This article from the Virginian Pilot-Online might have escaped your attention, but it could be something that has deep-ranging effects on collegiate athletics.

While the bill only affects schools in Virginia, if other state houses take up similar legislation across the country, it could deeply impact and potentially hurt smaller public universities across the country.

The article, written by Harry Minium, says it like this:

Old Dominion, Norfolk State and many other state schools will have to depend more on fundraising and ticket sales and less on student fees to fund their athletic budgets under a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe Sunday night. 

McAuliffe signed HB 1897 without any amendments. The bill, sponsored by Del. Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, sets limits on the percentage of athletic budgets that can be funded through student fees. 

“I am very happy to see that Governor signed the bill,” said Cox, the House Majority Leader. 

Cox said he introduced HB 1897 to try to slow the increase in student athletic fees, which he said has been one of the major drivers behind a 122 percent increase in tuition and fees since 2002.

At first glance, this bill might seem to have a worthy goal – an attempt to halt the reliance on certain public institutions on reliance on soaking students in order to fund their athletics departments.  Look at the bill more closely, though, and you start to wonder if that was the intent of the legislation at all.
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