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College Football and Student Quality


  • D. Randall Smith


Intercollegiate sports are said to generate positive advertising that produces many benefits to the host school. Donations, applications, and the academic quality of the student body are some of the mission outcomes thought to rise with the fortunes of the football team. The present study tests these claims for three measures of the academic quality of the entering classes on a 12-year panel of the 233 colleges and universities competing at the highest levels of football. Results show clear positive effects attributable to the football program, though those effects are more the result of the football culture and tradition at the school than the on-field performance of the team. Any sports advertising effects of the football program are minimal when compared to the effects of nonathletic institutional characteristics on the quality of students enrolling at the school. Copyright © 2009 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • D. Randall Smith, 2009. "College Football and Student Quality," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 553-579, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:68:y:2009:i:2:p:553-579

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