How big-time sports ate college life:

1/22/2012: Lara Pappano has a long article in the NYT‘s education life magazine:

“It’s become so important on the college campus that it’s one of the only ways the student body knows how to come together,” said Allen Sack, president-elect of the Drake Group, a faculty network that lobbies for academic integrity in college sports. “In China and other parts of the world, there are no gigantic stadiums in the middle of campus. There is a laser focus on education as being the major thing. In the United States, we play football.”

… In his recent book “Big-Time Sports in American Universities,” Dr. Clotfelter notes that between 1985 and 2010, average salaries at public universities rose 32 percent for full professors, 90 percent for presidents and 650 percent for football coaches.

… In a study published last month as part of the National Bureau of Education [sic] Research working paper series, Oregon researchers compared student grades with the performance of the Fighting Ducks, winner of this year’s Rose Bowl and a crowd pleaser in their Nike uniforms in crazy color combinations and mirrored helmets. “Here is evidence that suggests that when your football team does well, grades suffer,” said Dr. Waddell, who compared transcripts of over 29,700 students from 1999 to 2007 against Oregon’s win-loss record. For every three games won, grade-point average for men dropped 0.02, widening the G.P.A. gender gap by 9 percent. Women’s grades didn’t suffer. In a separate survey of 183 students, the success of the Ducks also seemed to cause slacking off: students reported studying less (24 percent of men, 9 percent of women), consuming more alcohol (28 percent, 20 percent) and partying more (47 percent, 28 percent).

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2 Responses to How big-time sports ate college life:

  1. Anonymous says:

    National Bureau of Economic Research

  2. Anonymous says:

    Serious doubt a “random sample” of a 183 college students is a great measure of the universe of college students. Maybe the researcher is watching too much football to conduct quality research.