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VCU students to chip in for hoops

5/25/2011

At the Final Four, I had the opportunity to share a conversation (and a drink) with a rather enjoyable VCU student in the bar of the Houston hotel where both of us were staying. This ebullient, outgoing fan had just arrived after an unfathomable drive -- something like 22 hours with minimal stops, packed in a van with sleeping friends -- and the first thing he wanted to do wasn't, say, pass out on a comfortable bed. He wanted the bartender to warm up his burrito. And then he wanted a beverage.

In other words, I'm betting VCU students are going to be just fine with the school's latest financial decision. From The Associated Press:

According to VCU's budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the school plans to increase its mandatory university fee by $50 per student to raise about $11 million for intercollegiate athletics, an $875,000 increase.

Money doesn't come easy in college, and just like any school, I'm sure there are a few students who prefer not to know even more of their limited cash is going to pay for coaches that are, compared to most Americans, already very well-paid. (Head coach Shaka Smart was given a $1.2 million contract after his team's insane run to the Final Four in April.)

But judging by images from this video, I'm going to go ahead and guess most VCU students would happily chip in $50 to ensure that Smart and his staff are paid well enough to stay at the school for the foreseeable future. That seems like a fair price for 22 hour drives and warm burritos at the Final Four, no?