Home UVA Athletics rolls out Sabre Society: Big money for sports disguised as philanthropy

UVA Athletics rolls out Sabre Society: Big money for sports disguised as philanthropy

Chris Graham
government money
(© jackson – stock.adobe.com)

UVA Athletics is wasting no time positioning itself to take advantage of the new Virginia state law that will allow the athletics department to directly compensate student-athletes via NIL deals.

The Virginia Athletics Foundation, the fundraising arm of UVA Athletics, announced on Tuesday the launch of an entity that it’s calling the Sabre Society, described in a press release as “a philanthropic giving society” that will support UVA Athletics and the more than 750 student-athletes it serves.

Gotta love the “philanthropic giving society” nomenclature they’re trying to sell us on here; it took a few heads banging together to come up with that bit of clever BS.

What’s really going on here is, per the release, Sabre Society members will be able to buy access to “unique stewardship opportunities” including team travel considerations, invites to unique events, and special behind-the-scenes access.

Basically, the kinds of things that the guys you see tooling around in orange blazers have been getting access to for years.

Which is to say, this isn’t for you or me: membership levels within the Sabre Society start with a commitment of $25,000 payable over a five-year period.

“The Sabre Society will provide critical support to elevate the experience of all 27 sports at the University of Virginia,” UVA athletics director Carla Williams said, per the Tuesday news release.

“This new philanthropic giving society positions UVA Athletics to compete for championships while continuing to provide a world-class experience for our student-athletes,” Williams said. “The Sabre Society will keep Virginia Athletics at the forefront, which is especially vital at this moment in college athletics.”

Donors can give money to any of six funds being set up under the auspices of the Sabre Society, including one for NIL compensation, which will be done through the Cav Futures Foundation, with Sabre Society benefits for donations made there taking effect on July 1, in concert with the effective date of the new state law.

To learn more about the Sabre Society, visit VirginiaAthleticsFoundation.com.

Additional information is also available by contacting Ryan Schulman, the senior director of development, major gifts, and campaign strategy, at (434) 982-5515 or via email at [email protected].

If I were you, I’d ask if a complimentary orange blazer comes with your donation.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].