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Virginia Tech Ranks 42nd in Reported NCAA Revenue, Per USA Today

Virginia Tech's athletic department revenue ranks 42nd in the country among schools reported, the USA Today announced this week. How does this impact the Hokies moving forward?

The Virginia Tech Hokies have made great strides within the athletic department in recent years under the direction of director of athletics, Whit Babcock. 

However, there is still plenty of room for improvement within the athletic department from a revenue standpoint. 

The USA Today released its annual listing of athletic department revenue this week. It is important to note that these figures are lagging, as these numbers are for the 2018-19 school year. It is important to notate that fact for full context, as Virginia Tech could have numbers as an athletic department that are either a bit better, or due to the pandemic, a bit worse, than what was reported this week.

It is also important to note that these financial figures are for public universities only. Schools like Notre Dame, Miami, and Boston College for example, who are major Power Five institutions, do not have their revenue numbers reported by the USA Today.

For the 2018-19 school year, Virginia Tech ranked 42nd nationally in athletic department revenue, with $96.77 million in total revenue reported. The revenue figure puts the Hokies sixth in the ACC in reported revenue. In the USA Today rankings, Tech finished behind Florida State, Louisville, Clemson, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Clearly, there is need for continued upgrades and improvement across the board in the athletic department, which has been a priority for Whit Babcock since he took over as athletic director. Babcock has overseen a dramatic change in the sports landscape in Blacksburg, with the renaissance of both basketball programs, intuitive baseball and softball hires, the women's lacrosse program returning to prominence, and continued success in men's and women's soccer and wrestling.

The one criticism that Babcock has received, however, is the lack of total support of the football program. There is no question that Babcock understands the importance of football success to the broader athletic department and university as a whole, but there are sections of the fan base who believe that Babcock should push more money to the football program at the expense of other sports at the school.

Fair or not, this criticism has followed Virginia Tech's football program to the recruiting trail, where the Hokies have not had as much success of late as most have come to expect. What is noteworthy as well, is that each program listed ahead of Virginia Tech in the revenue rankings has been more successful in football recruiting over the last year and a half.

Babcock has supported the football program with the development of the new practice facility, as well as upgrades to the weight room and football support buildings in the athletic wing of campus. Within the last six months, he has also empowered the football program to open up more positions on staff for recruiting support, which has been a major black-eye for the program for quite some time. 

Without adequate support for recruiting from the athletic department, how is Virginia Tech expected to compete with the schools ahead of them in the revenue rankings? 

To put it more bluntly - the fan base can't have champagne taste on the recruiting trail with a beer budget.

Virginia Tech has made great strides within the athletic department under Babcock's leadership, and not a single person would truly question his ability to lead. Babcock has been, and continues to be, a major asset for the university. Virginia Tech is a better school and athletic department with Babcock in charge.

But there is always room for improvement, and revenue is at the head of these discussions.

With additional team success comes additional contributions to the Hokie Club. Winning doesn't cure all ills, but it sure does help.

Virginia Tech needs to continue to win games across all sports, but especially football, if the university wants to improve upon these rankings in the future.