Returns for a Touchdown? Universities Entering College Football

22 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2016

See all articles by Eric Joseph van Holm

Eric Joseph van Holm

University of New Orleans

Sandy Zook

University of Colorado Denver; Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Public Management & Policy, Students

Date Written: February 17, 2016

Abstract

Between 2004 and 2014, 50 colleges have started football teams. The expansion of college football, both in terms of new locations and spending at existing programs, can be attributed in part to the belief that athletic success brings other benefits, including increases in donations, student applications, enrollment and student quality (Humphreys and Mondello 2007; Smith 2009; Tucker and Amato 1993). However, is this true for colleges with no football tradition? Given the upfront costs and long odds of on field success, is implementation of a football team enough to expect beneficial outcomes? We analyze a sample of colleges that started football programs in the last decade against a control group without the sport in order to test the short-term benefits of starting a team. Results show that while there is an immediate increase in applications to the college, the quality and retention of students declines.

Keywords: College football; college athletics; academic success

Suggested Citation

van Holm, Eric Joseph and Zook, Sandy, Returns for a Touchdown? Universities Entering College Football (February 17, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2733761 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2733761

Eric Joseph Van Holm (Contact Author)

University of New Orleans ( email )

2000 Lakeshore Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70122
United States

Sandy Zook

University of Colorado Denver ( email )

1380 Lawrence Street
Suite 500
Denver, CO 80204
United States

Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Public Management & Policy, Students ( email )

33 Gilmer Street SE
Atlanta, GA
United States

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