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Fewer Than Half of College Presidents Say Athletics Has Positive Financial Impact

Only a quarter of college presidents at four-year public universities say intercollegiate athletics has a positive financial impact on their institutions, according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, in association with The Chronicle. Thirty-nine percent of presidents at four-year, private universities say it does.

By comparison, 22 percent of public-university presidents and 15 percent of private-university presidents said sports has a negative financial impact on their institutions.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the rigor of recent debates on many campuses over the financial sustainability of athletic programs during a time of fiscal uncertainty, 42 percent of college presidents at public universities said they believed athletics did not affect their universities’ finances one way or the other. (Thirty-two percent of presidents at private institutions felt this way.)

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