Year of Publication

2006

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

The study presented here examines the relationship between athletic success and academic quality among Division I universities. The analysis begins by revisiting models that have been previously examined by other researchers. The current literature is then extended using a new model incorporating academic rankings. The previously used models incorporate objective measures of academic quality. The new model presented here uses rankings which have a subjective input. It is then examined to see whether the subjective opinions present in the academic rankings are influenced by athletic success. The analysis supports the assertion that successful football programs enhance the academic mission of the university through improved graduation rates and median SAT scores. Basketball is not found to have a significant impact on either of these measures. However, when using a subjective measure of academic quality, both football and basketball success have a positive impact on academic rankings. It is concluded that increased exposure from athletic success may improve university perceptions resulting in improved rankings.

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