January 22, 2015
Virginia Tech Athletics unveils Pylons of Promise
Document shows commitment to student-athletes, including the covering of the cost of attendance

Website: http://www.hokiesports.com/pylons/

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced today the unveiling of the Virginia Tech athletics “Pylons of Promise,” a document that sets forth the university’s and athletics department’s commitment to student-athletes during their time at Virginia Tech and beyond.

The highlights of The Pylons of Promise include the following:

• Cost of Attendance - In addition to tuition, fees, room, board and books, as part of a full athletics scholarship, Virginia Tech will provide the full maximum allowable cost of attendance for all 22 sports.

• Four-Year Scholarship Commitment - Athletics scholarships may be awarded on an annual or multi-year basis. Virginia Tech will make four-year scholarships available for deserving student-athletes.

• Excellence in Academic Support, Athletics Support and Career Development – Virginia Tech will continue to provide quality academic support, including tutoring, mentoring, individualized degree completion planning and laptops distribution. Virginia Tech’s athletic support will include (but is not limited to) first-class coaching, sports medicine, nutrition and training services, top-quality facilities and elite Nike apparel and equipment. Also, the athletics department will provide its student-athletes with a comprehensive career development program that gives them the tools to interview and secure employment. The Virginia Tech Athletics Department will also provide student-athletes a business suit compliments of the Monogram Club as they embark on their career paths.

• Loss-of-Value Insurance – The institution will provide assistance for student-athletes to purchase loss-of-value insurance based on their values as professionals consistent with the athletics department’s protocol for disability insurance.

• Continued Commitment to Landmark Concussion Research – Virginia Tech will follow all NCAA concussion protocol, and in addition, continue its landmark study of the topic. Last year, Virginia Tech was one of three schools awarded a $30 million Department of Defense grant to study the effects of concussions and ways to combat them, and the University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics has been studying concussions since 2003 in a leadership capacity.

• Meet Needs of Student-Athletes through NCAA’s S.A.F. – In addition to providing the full cost of attendance for its student-athletes, Virginia Tech also will continue to meet student-athletes’ needs through the Student Assistance Fund, a fund established by the NCAA that allots approximately $425,000 to Virginia Tech to use for student-athletes’ needs provided he or she meets necessary criteria.

The Pylons of Promise is based on the ideals emblazoned on the eight pylons at the Virginia Tech War Memorial Court and the athletics department’s core values of integrity, service, honor, and excellence and strong together.

“We developed the Pylons of Promise to specifically lay out what we’re going to be doing for student-athletes at Virginia Tech,” Babcock said. “We have committed to this extensive set of values and set it out transparently in writing, so that we can be held accountable for them by our student-athletes, our recruits and others invested in Virginia Tech, such as our faculty, our Board of Visitors, our alumni and our fans.”

The Pylons of Promise is Virginia Tech’s response to the changes in the NCAA governance landscape. The document serves as a pact, with Virginia Tech holding its student-athletes to high standards while sharing in the commitment to help its student-athletes reach those standards.

“The NCAA’s governing structure continues to change, and never before has the focus been so squarely on the needs of the student-athletes and their experiences while in college,” Virginia Tech President Dr. Timothy Sands said. “We are committed to fully supporting our student-athletes and insuring that they have the wonderful collegiate experience that they deserve. The Pylons of Promise reflects that commitment. This is our response to the changing environment around us – and it’s a response that Hokie Nation should be proud of as we move forward.”

Virginia Tech’s holistic formula of athletic, academic and personal development has proven that success on the field, in the classroom and in the community go hand in hand, as 13 teams represented Virginia Tech in NCAA postseason play in the past year, two teams – men’s swimming and diving, and wrestling - captured ACC titles, the Hokies’ cumulative team GPA is near a 3.0, and Virginia Tech student-athletes impacted over 16,000 individuals through community involvement last academic year.

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