Virginia Tech to pay student-athletes for academic progress

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Tech will pay student-athletes for their “academic progress” starting in the fall 2022 semester.

Each athlete could get up to $5,980 a year under rules adopted by the NCAA in August 2020. The school’s decision, announced Thursday, makes Virginia Tech one of 22 FBS-level schools that say they plan on making academic bonuses available.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this financial incentive for our student-athletes to make the type of academic progress that will benefit them for years to come after graduation,” Whit Babcock, Virginia Tech’s director of athletics, said in a statement.

Virginia Tech and other schools can offer such bonuses to their student-athletes after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a federal judge’s ruling last year that the NCAA violated antitrust law when putting limits on the benefits students can get based on academic performance.

According to ESPN, only 22 of the 130 NCAA FBS-level schools have confirmed plans to provide academic bonuses to athletes. It is unclear how the school will dole out the potential bonuses, what the academic standard threshold will be or if there will be differences for student-athletes with scholarships and others.

“We are currently finalizing our criteria for this program and plan to roll out the details to student-athletes, their families and our coaching staffs this summer. We anticipate beginning this financial reward package beginning in Fall 2022,” Babcock continued. “Thanks to the tremendous success of our Drive for 25 campaign and the generosity of our Hokie Club donors, we intend to be very competitive in this space to ensure Virginia Tech remains a very attractive destination for the nation’s top student-athletes.”

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