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Universities Behaving Badly: The Impact of Athletic Malfeasance on Student Quality and Enrollment

Austin F. Eggers, Peter Groothuis (), Parker Redding, Kurt W. Rotthoff and Michael Solimini

Journal of Sports Economics, 2020, vol. 21, issue 1, 87-100

Abstract: National accolades and positive media attention are frequently lavished upon successful collegiate sports programs. Correspondingly, studies have demonstrated that universities often benefit from the achievements of their athletic teams by increasing the schools’ application numbers, student quality, and alumni donations. This study demonstrates that the opposite effect occurs when a university’s sports team is accused of engaging in impropriety. Our findings suggest that the negative attention given to the National Collegiate Athletic Association postseason tournament ban of a men’s basketball program could serve as a signal to prospective students regarding the quality of the institution. This perception ultimately leads to a decrease in the infracting university’s enrollment the year before the ban that then rebounds the year after the ban. However, the ban reduces the percentage of high-achieving students who choose to attend the university after the ban has been implemented.

Keywords: Education; NCAA; athletic malfeasance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/1527002519859416

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