12/20/2011: (updated 12/21 with 2 new cites at bottom.) That’s the ESPN headline for this paper from 3 UO economists, using data from UO students. 108 news stories last time I looked, and UO is still trying to figure out how to word the press release. (Update: it’s here – reads as if edited by a drunken administrative committee and a coach or two.) Atlantic magazine summary and discussion here. Ducks win, grades go down. Ducks lose, grades go up:
ASUO President Eckstein’s take:
The findings didn’t really surprise Oregon student government president Ben Eckstein.
“It’s consistent with the culture on campus and the culture at this university where a stronger emphasis is put on athletic success than on academic success,” Eckstein said. Though a fan himself, he says the university’s financial and building priorities favor sports facilities over academics, and “there’s a lack of focus on connecting our athletic success to our academic mission” which trickles down to students.
UO’s official vacuous non-reply, from acting provost Lorraine Davis:
“Academic success has been and remains the top priority at the University of Oregon,” she said. “I am proud of the academic strengths of the institution. Our athletic programs enhance experiences for our students, faculty, alumni and the greater community.
The story doesn’t mention that Lorraine’s most recent previous job was as acting Athletic Director, and that she still sits on the committee that gives special admits to the football players that don’t meet academic standards.
Two other recent papers have used higher frequency data to tie football *losses* to domestic violence:
College Football Games and Crime,
Daniel I. Rees and Kevin T. Schnepel.
Journal of Sports Economics, 2009
Abstract: There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that college
football games can lead to aggressive and destructive behavior by
fans. However, to date, no empirical study has attempted to document
the magnitude of this phenomenon. We match daily data on offenses from
the National Incident-Based Reporting System to 26 Division I-A
college football programs to estimate the relationship between college
football games and crime. Our results suggest that the host community
registers sharp increases in assaults, vandalism, arrests for
disorderly conduct, and arrests for alcohol-related offenses on game
days. Upsets are associated with the largest increases in the number
of expected offenses.
FAMILY VIOLENCE AND FOOTBALL:
THE EFFECT OF UNEXPECTED EMOTIONAL CUES
ON VIOLENT BEHAVIOR
DAVID CARD AND GORDON B. DAHL
We study the link between family violence and the emotional cues associated
with wins and losses by professional football teams. We hypothesize that the risk
of violence is affected by the “gain-loss” utility of game outcomes around a ratio-
nally expected reference point. Our empirical analysis uses police reports of violent
incidents on Sundays during the professional football season. Controlling for the
pregame point spread and the size of the local viewing audience, we find that upset
losses (defeats when the home team was predicted to win by four or more points)
lead to a 10% increase in the rate of at-home violence by men against their wives
and girlfriends. In contrast, losses when the game was expected to be close have
small and insignificant effects. Upset wins (victories when the home team was
predicted to lose) also have little impact on violence, consistent with asymmetry
in the gain-loss utility function. The rise in violence after an upset loss is concen-
trated in a narrow time window near the end of the game and is larger for more
important games. We find no evidence for reference point updating based on the
halftime score.JELCodes: D030, J120.