- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RICHMOND, VA. (AP) - Virginia Commonwealth University plans to increase student fees so it can give $733,000 more to the basketball program, including for coaches’ raises.

Head coach Shaka Smart was given a $1.2 million contract after taking the Rams to the NCAA Final Four this past season.

According to VCU’s budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the school plans to increase its mandatory university fee by $50 per student to raise about $11 million for intercollegiate athletics, an $875,000 increase.

VCU figures show that 37 percent of the $1,637 per-student university fee for 2011-12 will go toward intercollegiate athletics. That includes salaries, scholarships, and sports-facility repairs.

Spokeswoman Pam Lepley said Tuesday that private donations and ticket revenue, along with the university fee allocation, fund VCU athletics programs.