Plan in works to save sports programs at Pa. state universities being merged

By: | January 29, 2021

State System of Higher Education officials say they have a plan to save the current complement of athletic teams on all six state-owned universities facing mergers, including California, Clarion and Edinboro in Western Pennsylvania.

The fate of those sports programs has been a sticking point as officials contemplate blending those three institutions into one, as well as combining Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield universities in the Northeast. All are among the system’s 14 state-owned universities facing redesign amid declining enrollment, sharp workforce changes and other stresses that now include a pandemic.

Those sports programs, aside from engendering campus affinity, are a significant recruiting tool for a system hoping to rebound from a 22% enrollment loss since 2010. But each program costs substantial amounts of money for operations and facilities.

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