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Will Winning Football Games Make a University Stronger Academically?


Replies to: Will Winning Football Games Make a University Stronger Academically?

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,754 Senior Member
    The needle is easier to move at smaller schools.
  • tom1944tom1944 Registered User Posts: 6,018 Senior Member
    Villanova after their national championship win over Georgetown
  • NJSueNJSue Registered User Posts: 2,836 Senior Member
    Winning sports teams attract alumni support and donations if there is a preexisting sporting culture already. If there isn't, investment in, say, football at the expense of direct academic expenditures, as Rutgers University has done, is an expensive waste. New Jersey is never going to love football like Kansas does. Rutgers should not have wasted money in a fruitless attempt at mimicking Penn State.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    Neither of my kids schools even have football teams, and we couldn't be happier with their experience.
  • tom1944tom1944 Registered User Posts: 6,018 Senior Member
    If Rutgers wins the fans in NJ will flock to follow them. NJ has so many residents that even though it might be less a percentage of the population than say Kansas the number of people far exceeds the number Kansas has.
  • tom1944tom1944 Registered User Posts: 6,018 Senior Member
    I also think the money spent on sports does not really help the university overall. What I though the question was does winning teams help academically. I think it increases alumni support and the total number of applicants therefore most likely creating a better academic pool of applicants. That increases the schools academic profile.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 5,549 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    Doug Flutie

    From Wikipedia:
    Writing in the Spring 2003 edition of the Boston College Magazine,[4] Bill McDonald, director of communications at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education determined that “Applications to BC did surge 16 percent in 1984 (from 12,414 to 14,398), and then another 12 percent (to 16,163) in 1985. But these jumps were not anomalous for BC, which in the previous decade had embarked on a program to build national enrollment using market research, a network of alumni volunteers, strategically allocated financial aid, and improvements to residence halls and academic facilities.” He also observed that “in 1997, one year after revelations about gambling resulted in a coach’s resignation, 13 student-athlete suspensions, an investigation by the NCAA, and hundreds of embarrassing media reports, applications for admission came in at 16,455, virtually unchanged from the previous year. Two years later, when applications jumped by a record 17 percent to 19,746, the surge followed a 4-7 year for football.” Going further back in history, he reported that applications had increased 9 percent in 1978, a year when BC football had its worst year ever, with a 0-11 record.

    Mr. McDonald posed the question “How does an idea like the 'Flutie factor' become sufficiently rooted that The New York Times cites it as a given without further comment and some universities invest millions of dollars in its enchanting possibilities?” He was provided with an answer by Barbara Wallraff, author of the “Word Court” column in the Atlantic Monthly: “It’s painful to fact-check everything. Media will often reprint what has been published, especially when it appears in reputable publications. ‘Flutie factor’ is a short, alliterative way to describe something that is complicated to explain. But what makes a good term is not always the literal truth.”
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,754 Senior Member
    Though sports (really, the NJ market) got Rutgers in to the B10, which comes with a bunch of benefits like the CIC.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,694 Senior Member
    It works when it works. There's no question in my mind that Alabama's football success has raised its national profile and helped it promote its huge OOS scholarships. The problem is that a lot of schools spend millions on this strategy, and by definition not very many schools can end up with championship-level programs. So it's a bad bet for most schools, even though the winning program does attract strong applicants if you can make it happen.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,851 Senior Member
    Actually it was the NY/NJ/CT market that got RU into the BIG. Big soon after opened NYC office.
  • tom1944tom1944 Registered User Posts: 6,018 Senior Member
    NJ is one of the top 10 or so States in producing football talent. The problem is keeping the kids home. It is not surprising that NJ athletes go out of state in high numbers since our non-athletes go out of state in higher numbers than most other states also.
    If Rutgers becomes a hot football school I believe it would help their out of state and in state applicant pool.

    That does not mean I think Rutgers should give the football or any other athletic team a blank check.
  • NJSueNJSue Registered User Posts: 2,836 Senior Member
    Rutgers has diverted spending on facilities, programs, faculty lines, library and lab resources to chase the big football dream. It made a calculated tradeoff. I personally don't think it was worth it. Rutgers is not better regarded now as an academic institution that it used to be. It needs to focus on its own metropole identity and strengths rather than trying to model itself on a land-grant school; more Pitt and less Penn State. Yes, a lot of people in NJ like football. No, it's not a religion like it is in the Midwest and South. It's not the focus of campus identity the way it is elsewhere. I also feel that big-time college sports are extremely corrupting, but that's another issue. I was sad when Rutgers took the decision to throw it all on the football program. I thought it was a real loss of soul.
  • dadxdadx Registered User Posts: 2,631 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    Decades ago, at Oklahoma, I think, a University president gave a tongue in cheek observation that he and the administration were "trying to build a university that the football team could be proud of".

    I was sad when Rutgers took the decision to throw it all on the football program. I thought it was a real loss of soul.

    They did that in the early '70s and its only been recently that they've had any success in that program.

    I think Rutgers is probably under-desired by out-of-state applicants. Football success and a BigTen association could help some with that.
  • LakeWashingtonLakeWashington Registered User Posts: 9,299 Senior Member
    The choices made by the administrators at Rutgers, as well as U Maryland's decision to abandon the Atlantic Coast Conference, I believe had less to do with enhancing their respective profiles than bringing more money into the athletic department. The Big Ten didn't seem to care a lot about the quality of the football programs at those two schools. Rather, the Big Ten wanted to get its TV network into east coast major media markets. At Kansas State, it seems that once Coach Snyder was on board and stimulated on-field success, the KSU administration sought to spin that success into academic gold (given the school's declining enrollment, etc), so to speak.
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,446 Senior Member
    Will Winning Football Games Make a University Stronger Academically?
    Many studies have found that having winning football games leads to increased applications and increased measures of academic strength. For example, the abstract of the study at http://are.berkeley.edu/~mlanderson/pdf/Anderson College Sports.pdf concludes :

    "We find that winning reduces acceptance rates and increases donations, applications, academic reputation, in-state enrollment, and incoming SAT scores."

This discussion has been closed.