The Official Off Season Thread

Feb 8, 2010
4,722
1,399
Hartford's president decided he didn't want the school to be D1 anymore. It's not about money as much as it is about the president wanting the school to be known more for visual and performing arts than for athletics (which, sure, I guess? VCU has a nationally recognized visual arts program and we're also pretty good at athletics, so it's not like the two have to be mutually exclusive). He even admitted to fudging the numbers to make the finances seem more dire than they really are.

Moving to D3 won't increase enrollment, it will only serve to piss off students and alumni. Nobody wants this except for the President and the Board of Regents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WillWeaverRVA

share the ball

Top Member
Dec 16, 2013
659
997
So maybe I wasn't clear - my issue with Liberty is it's the Amway of higher education and grossly abuses its undeserved tax-exempt status to the point of flirting with fraud. I don't care if a school's religious or not, I care if they treat their students like payday lenders treat their clients.
not sure I understand your observation that Liberty "grossly abuses its undeserved tax-exempt status to the point of flirting with fraud" could you clarify

Would I ever go to Liberty (no) but I recognize it serves a cohort of people that like it - as far as Amway of higher ed - many referred to VCU as K-mart of higher ed in Va in 70s (when I got my 2nd degree here) - Liberty is not the most selective University in who it admits by traditional measures of SAT scores etc.. but just like some people shop at Nordstrom's some shop at WalMart too for their needs - I don't look up or down on either group but recognize it is simply a choice -

BUT; Liberty's early move into its online education platform was pure genius from a business standpoint in that it rocketed their financial resources to grow and build - the Athletic facilities alone they have added are probably top 5 in all of America's colleges and universities over the past 20 years - Whereas, VCU has only added the BDC over the last 20 years, created multiple plans for new facilities and started serious land accumulation for an athletic village on Hermitage rd
during the last 24 months (yes I recognize Siegel and Sportbackers opened a little over 20 years ago )

I readily acknowledge that Liberty's governing board and administration has recently ventured into areas of political activism around supporting individual political candidates that could endanger their tax-exempt status with IRS - (probably gets resolved with a fine and agreement at most)
Am I missing something else
 

mrgeode

Top Tuna
Top Member
Mar 22, 2013
8,604
18,484
not sure I understand your observation that Liberty "grossly abuses its undeserved tax-exempt status to the point of flirting with fraud" could you clarify

Would I ever go to Liberty (no) but I recognize it serves a cohort of people that like it - as far as Amway of higher ed - many referred to VCU as K-mart of higher ed in Va in 70s (when I got my 2nd degree here) - Liberty is not the most selective University in who it admits by traditional measures of SAT scores etc.. but just like some people shop at Nordstrom's some shop at WalMart too for their needs - I don't look up or down on either group but recognize it is simply a choice -

BUT; Liberty's early move into its online education platform was pure genius from a business standpoint in that it rocketed their financial resources to grow and build - the Athletic facilities alone they have added are probably top 5 in all of America's colleges and universities over the past 20 years - Whereas, VCU has only added the BDC over the last 20 years, created multiple plans for new facilities and started serious land accumulation for an athletic village on Hermitage rd
during the last 24 months (yes I recognize Siegel and Sportbackers opened a little over 20 years ago )

I readily acknowledge that Liberty's governing board and administration has recently ventured into areas of political activism around supporting individual political candidates that could endanger their tax-exempt status with IRS - (probably gets resolved with a fine and agreement at most)
Am I missing something else
The Amway comment isn't a reference to quality (although Liberty's quality of education is demonstrably awful), but instead to it being quite similar to what is today called a multi-level marketing company - credulous people have their money happily taken from them for a dubious or non-existent benefit, while the people at the top of the pyramid make out like bandits. That may or may not be fine as a business venture, depending on how far you push it, but Liberty operates under the premise that they're not a for-profit enterprise while providing a learning experience pretty comparable to Corinthian Colleges or ITT Tech, both of which are well known to take advantage of folks who enroll hoping to get ahead and end up with varying amounts of debt and nothing else to show for it. The growth you mentioned is certainly something, but it's built on a titanic amount of student debt, a large percentage of which I'd be willing to wager the public at large will be on the hook for after defaults.

There are other schools that do the same thing without being as brazen that I'm no fan of, either, but I have a special distaste for Liberty since I grew up in the Lynchburg area and know many well-intentioned people who were taken for a ride there financially. I'd love to see Liberty lose its non-profit status but realistically that wouldn't be likely to happen even if it wasn't a religious school and brought that can of worms to the regulatory table. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's a scam on multiple fronts, but will likely be allowed to continue flying under the radar thanks to its institutional structure. Honestly, Junior getting too big for his britches to the point he forgot to zip them up was like manna from heaven for their board. He conceived of the school and himself by extension as a law unto itself, which is perfectly fine until all of a sudden it isn't.