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Beyond the Friday night lights: Social networks, migration, and individual success in college football

Author

Listed:
  • Franklin G. Mixon

    () (Columbus State University)

  • Rand W. Ressler

    () (University of Louisiana)

  • Richard J. Cebula

    () (Jacksonville University)

Abstract

This study examines the potential benefits of social networks through the development of high school football players into big-time collegiate football stars. Many of these young men have spent 17 or 18 years surrounded and supported by family members, friends, and religious and civic organizations. That social network is, in a very short time frame, suddenly separated from them when they enter a new educational setting, which, in many instances, is located hundreds of miles from home. In some cases, however, high school football stars are fortunate enough to have high school teammates join the same far-away college football program, resulting in a natural experiment of the role of social networks. Results presented here indicate that the social network effect appears to be important in explaining individual success of college football players. That is, having one's high school football teammates sign scholarships with the same far-away institution significantly increases player i's probability of succeeding at the college level (and vice-versa) as a student-athlete.

Suggested Citation

  • Franklin G. Mixon & Rand W. Ressler & Richard J. Cebula, 2012. "Beyond the Friday night lights: Social networks, migration, and individual success in college football," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 16-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00756
    as

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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2012/Volume32/EB-12-V32-I1-P3.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social networks; migration; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services

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