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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the peculiarly American phenomenon of colleges and universities sponsoring organized athletic competitions against each other. It then reviews available evidence on the returns to universities from supporting big-time televised college sports, including effects on government support, philanthropy, admissions, and on students themselves. The literature on college sports offers little guidance on how to produce winners. Evidence correlating university donations to athletic success reveals only half the effects of a resource reallocation. There is some evidence that the presence and success of intercollegiate athletics at colleges and universities may increase the applicant pool, and possibly may improve the academic credentials of the student body of institutions which win national championships. A lot of anecdotes and marketing hype are devoted to the prospect that winning university sports teams stimulate private donations to the successful schools.

Keywords: intercollegiate athletics, colleges, universities, athletic competitions, government support, philanthropy, admissions, students

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