Pay to play: Virginia Wesleyan University raises $30k for sports seasons

Virginia Wesleyan University basketball
Posted at 11:10 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 23:23:26-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Liz Hudy is suited for statistics.

"I was a math major, so I love numbers," Hudy admitted.

But not all digits are desirable. Hudy, the head women's basketball coach at Virginia Wesleyan University, learned it will cost her program - and the other 21 teams at the Virginia Beach school - nearly $40,000 to play this season.

"The whole year has kind of been turned upside down," Hudy said honestly.

The $40k is the price of COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) for student-athletes and coaches. Joann Renn is the school's Executive Director of Athletics.

"The kids were willing to take a chance," Renn told News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler. "And there was no question we had to try to do everything we could to get that happening for them."

Therefore, in advance of Saturday's home openers for the Marlins men's and women's basketball teams - the first athletics events on campus since last March - Virginia Wesleyan raised more than $30,000 to cover costs. Men's basketball coach Dave Macedo says it's a priceless return for the players.

"Their attitude - I couldn't ask for more," Macedo said. "They're choosing to be positive. They're making the best out of a tough situation."

Making the best and giving their all for nothing more than a passion to play sports.

Because, as an NCAA Division III institution, Virginia Wesleyan does not provide athletic scholarships.

"Seeing their pure desire and love for the game, it brings an extra component to being a coach," Hudy revealed. "It also brings an extra component to being good teammates - and an extra component when they're on the court."

And for Coach Hudy, a math major, it adds up to this season of sacrifice being worth it.