Monday, December 19, 2011

College football hurts non-athlete student achievement

We consider the relationship between collegiate-football success and non-athlete student performance. We find that the team's success significantly reduces male grades relative to female grades. This phenomenon is only present in fall quarters, which coincides with the football season. Using survey data, we find that males are more likely than females to increase alcohol consumption, decrease studying, and increase partying in response to the success of the team. Yet, females also report that their behavior is affected by athletic success, suggesting that their performance is likely impaired but that this effect is masked by the practice of grade curving.
--Jason Lindo, Isaac Swensen, and Glen Waddell, "Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?," on the negative academic externality of college sports