Nearly two-thirds of former college football and men’s basketball players who graduated from college like what they do every day and are motivated to achieve their goals, while many of their peer athletes report higher levels of physical and social well-being than do students who didn’t participate in NCAA sports.

The findings, from a report released on Wednesday, are based on a survey of nearly 30,000 college graduates, including more than 1,600 former athletes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association commissioned the survey, which was conducted by the Gallup organization.

Among the report’s highlights:

  • More than two-thirds of former athletes are employed full time, roughly the same proportion as those who didn’t play college sports. Three percent of athlete and nonathlete graduates are unemployed.
  • About 40 percent of former athletes report “near-perfect” physical health and say they feel active and productive every day. One-third of nonathletes feel the same way. (The athlete respondents ranged in age from 22 to 71, with a median age of 44.)
  • A majority of former players — 54 percent — say they have the support of strong social networks, while about half of former athletes report having strong community ties. (Numbers for nonathletes were lower.)

The report — “Understanding Life Outcomes of Former NCAA Student-Athletes” — is based on the Gallup-Purdue Index survey of four-year college graduates.


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