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Financing Intercollegiate Athletics: The Role of Monitoring and Enforcing NCAA Recruiting Regulations


  • Brad R. Humphreys

    () (University of Illinois)

  • Jane E. Ruseski

    () (University of Illinois)


Many economists view the NCAA as a cartel in the market for college athletes. Financially, this cartel allows NCAA members to attract and retain college athletes for the price of a “grant-in-aid” without competitively bidding for the labor services of student-athletes, greatly reducing operating costs relative to a competitive market for athletes. A functioning cartel must have both monitoring of the members and an enforcement mechanism to punish violators. We investigate the factors that explain observed periods of probation in NCAA Division I-A football over the period 1978-2005. From 1978-1993, but not after, lagged winning percentage, unfilled stadium seats, and years of head coaching experience explain probation. The NCAA changed its enforcement policy in 1993, and football conference stability decreased as well during this period. These changes may explain the reduction in predictability of probation.

Suggested Citation

  • Brad R. Humphreys & Jane E. Ruseski, 2006. "Financing Intercollegiate Athletics: The Role of Monitoring and Enforcing NCAA Recruiting Regulations," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 1(3), pages 151-161, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:1:y:2006:i:3:p:151-161

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McDonald, Mark & Rascher, Daniel, 2000. "Does Bat Day Make Cents? The Effect of Promotions on the Demand for Major League Baseball," MPRA Paper 25739, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. McEvoy, Chad D. & Nagel, Mark S. & DeSchriver, Timothy D. & Brown, Matthew T., 2005. "Facility Age and Attendance in Major League Baseball," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 19-41, May.
    3. Rodney Fort, 2004. "Subsidies as incentive mechanisms in sports," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 95-102.
    4. Brown, Matthew & Nagel, Mark & McEvoy, Chad & Rascher, Daniel, 2004. "Revenue and Wealth Maximization in the National Football League: The Impact of Stadia," MPRA Paper 25741, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item


    NCAA; cartel; rule violations; monitoring;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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