- Associated Press - Sunday, February 26, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - Grand Canyon University will be eligible for the NCAA tournament next year after completing its transition to Division I basketball, making it the first for-profit school to make such a move.

The question of whether the school will ever schedule games against cross-town Arizona State University is a touchy issue, reported the Arizona Republic (https://bit.ly/2lZ2t0D).

ASU President Michael Crow told the newspaper in 2013 that the university is against using athletics as a money-maker. He directed the university to schedule no games against GCU.

“It’s challenging enough to balance academics and athletics,” he said at the time. “We are against using athletics as a mechanism to make profits. It’s contrary to what we’re trying to do.”

Arizona’s two other public universities do schedule games against GCU in certain sports.

An ASU statement says there are no plans to change the university’s approach to scheduling.

GCU President and CEO Brian Mueller said he’d welcome scheduling games against ASU. Two of his sons are ASU graduates, and the oldest golfed on the university’s team.

“We remain open to the possibility of the two institutions competing in not only athletics but debate and other areas,” he said in a statement. “It would create a lot of interest in the valley and state and also save on travel costs.”

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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