The athletic department, which Szul said pays the summer school bill from the Mountaineer Athletic Club and revenue received from logo licensing, spent just $1,654,206. Luck told the faculty senate earlier this month he expects the athletic department to lose around $50,000 for the 2012-13 year. The goal again is to see the summer school policy do its part.
"We still exercise some discretion with regard to what we pay for," Luck said.
There is the case-by-case evaluation applied to every request, but also a financial factor. Szul said decisions could vary from year to year based on available funding, which is affected by how much money is donated to the MAC. The cost could dip if donations are low, but it could rise and WVU would have planned for it and have it covered.
The cost could also jump because of necessity. Following the 2011 season, the FBS and FCS decided to make its student-athletes pass nine hours in the fall semester, as opposed to just six, and maintain the required progress toward graduation (40 percent after four semesters, 60 percent after six semesters and 80 percent after eight semesters).
If a football player didn't make the cut, he'd be suspended the first four games of the following season. An appeal was available for first-time offenders in which he could have the suspension removed as long as he passed a combined 27 hours during the fall, spring and summer sessions.
"If a student-athlete comes to us and says, 'I need this class in the summer to stay eligible,' then absolutely, we'll pay for that," Luck said. "If he comes in and says, 'I need this class to stay on track for my degree and this is a tough math class I'd rather take in the summer than the football season when I'm stressed out,' then absolutely, we'll pay for that. But if the request is just to get 12 hours in the summer to graduate in three years, that probably gets denied."
The other somewhat inevitable increase is WVU's desire to improve its Olympic sports to better adjust to life in the Big 12. Many of those sports compete in the fall or have a preseason program that happens during the summer.
"We probably didn't spend any money five years ago on summer school for volleyball student-athletes," Luck said. "Now we are. (Head coach Jill Kramer) wants them on campus, maybe just for the second summer session, so we're bumping up the summer school numbers there. We're certainly paying for more kids to be in summer school in that regard now, which is why we have to be more selective with other requests."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.