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NCAA Enforcement and Competitive Balance in College Football

Listed author(s):
  • Craig A. Depken II


    (Department of Economics, University of Texas–Arlington)

  • Dennis P. Wilson


    (Department of Economics, University of Texas–Arlington, Arlington)

This article investigates the effects of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) enforcement on the competitive balance of major college football conferences in the context of the standard empirical crime model. Using an unbalanced panel describing 11 major Division IA football conferences from 1953 through 2003, NCAA enforcement efforts, in the form of investigations and probations, and the severity of punishment, measured as the average length of probations imposed, are found to have opposite but not necessarily offsetting effects on competitive balance. Greater levels of enforcement in a conference improve competitive balance. On the other hand, greater severity of punishment reduces competitive balance. The empirical evidence indicates that these changes take approximately five years to be fully dissipated. Overall, the empirical results indicate that, on average, the net effect of NCAA enforcement is an improvement in competitive balance.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 72 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 826-845

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:4:y:2006:p:826-845
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