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An Examination of the Role That Intercollegiate Athletic Participation Plays in Academic Achievement: Athletes' Feats in the Classroom

Michael T. Maloney and Robert E. McCormick
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 28, No. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp. 555-570
DOI: 10.2307/146160
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/146160
Page Count: 16
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An Examination of the Role That Intercollegiate Athletic Participation Plays in Academic Achievement: Athletes' Feats in the Classroom
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Abstract

We investigate whether intercollegiate athletic participation affects scholarly success. The overall means of course grades suggest that athletes do not do as well in the classroom as regular students. Background factors explain this underperformance for most sports; athletes come to school with lower SAT scores and poorer high school preparation. However, players in the revenue sports do worse even accounting for this. We investigate the cause of this unexplained underperformance: We find that it is a seasonal phenomenon. To us, this means that the exploitation of athletes extends beyond the sidelines and into the classroom.

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