On July 1st, Grand Canyon University (NASDAQ:LOPE) was officially accepted as members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Western Athletic Conference (NYSE:WAC). The university's acceptance made it the first for-profit institution in America to earn Division I sports status.
The announcement provoked immediate outrage from American academia.
"A university using intercollegiate athletics to drive up its stock value - that's not what we're about," said Arizona State University president Michael Crow.
Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC-12) commissioner Larry Scott shared the same concern, stating, "There's a discomfort with the idea that the sole accountability around athletics would be to a company that might use athletics as a marketing tool to drive up stock price."
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