New research suggests that students study less and party more when their football team wins—and a successful season on the gridiron significantly reduces the grades of male students relative to females.
According to a study published in the October issue of American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, male nonathletes were more likely than females to increase their alcohol consumption and partying, and decrease their study time, in response to the success of the team.
Women also reported that their behavior was affected by football wins, most likely impairing their academic performance. But they didn’t suffer such great consequences in the classroom, the study found, as their declines were masked by grade curves.
Previous research on the effects of big-time sports has focused primarily on its impact on student applications, enrollment, and alumni giving. This study—by Jason M. Lindo, Isaac D. Swensen, and Glen R. Waddell, three researchers at the University of Oregon—looked at the effect of football success on student grade-point averages on the Eugene campus over nine football seasons.
Over that time, the Ducks’ football program has had much success, including an appearance in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. As the fervor for the team has grown, Waddell said in an interview, he and his fellow authors wondered how that was affecting students’ grades. ...
Waddell, an associate professor of economics, would like to see more research in this area, particularly as institutional subsidies for sports continue to grow.
Contrast this with those silly Division III football schools: if students decided to watch the game, they would first go to the library, take a study break at the game, and then head back to the library.
*Note: University of Kentucky, not United Kingdom