Nearly 72 percent of students favor a return to sporting events on-campus in the fall semester, a new survey shows. Additionally, 60 percent of students want fans in attendance.
The survey was conducted by the Optimist and distributed in conjunction with the Student Government Association. The survey, which had nearly 900 respondents, was conducted via social media from June 29 to July 5.
Phil Schubert, president of the university, was pleased with the turnout of the survey. However, the Senior Leadership Team has no involvement in the decision regarding sporting events.
“It’s important to know that decisions around football, basketball and other Division I sports are not ours to make,” Schubert said. “These decisions will be made by the conference.”
According to the survey, 82 percent of incoming freshmen favored a return to sports on-campus, the highest approval of any student classification. Meanwhile, faculty and staff were relatively split, with only 47% supporting sports on-campus.
Additionally, incoming freshmen had the highest approval of having fans in attendance, nearly 73 percent. Other groups were less-approving. Only 46 percent of graduate students wanted fans and 32 percent of staff and faculty.
Nearly 81 percent of students want classes to return in-person for the fall semester. The NCAA has addressed that students need to be on-campus for sports to even be considered.
“College athletes are college students, and you can’t have college sports if you don’t have college [campuses] open and having students on them,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said May 8. “You don’t want to ever put student-athletes at greater risk than the rest of the student body.”
60 percent of students want extracurricular actives on-campus in the fall semester, while 17 percent were against the idea and 22 percent undecided.
Schubert was cautiously optimistic about student activities but realized that the health and safety of students is the top priority.
“We will have to lean heavily on guidance coming from local and state health officials, as well as the governor’s office,” Schubert said. “We certainly hope we can move forward with intramurals and other student activities. I think we all want that, but we have to do so safely.”
ACU’s first home game is slated for Aug. 23 when soccer hosts UTEP.
“Our conference, and all conferences across the nation, are discussing athletic events,” Schubert said. “I think we can look for those announcements soon since football season is racing towards us”