Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Jomills Henry Braddock II - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Andrew Gillentine - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Marvin P. Dawkins - Committee Member


There has been a long-standing debate about the role and place of intercollegiate athletics (Schulman & Bowen, 2003). Often the focus is on whether successful athletic programs lead to ?value-added? outcomes such as increased alumni giving (Turner, Meserve & Bowen, 2001; Sperber, 2000), or enhanced student applicant pools (Tucker & Amato, 1993; Toma & Cross, 1998; McCormick & Tinsley, 1987; Murphy & Trandel, 1994). The empirical evidence on these issues is both limited, and mixed. For example, the findings of a few methodologically rigorous studies suggest some value-added ?applicant pool? benefits of successful athletic programs. In contrast, studies directly examining student college preferences have produced mixed results. This study offers a review of the extant empirical research on this topic in order to assess the impact of college athletic reputation on three key outcomes: size of applicant pool; quality of applicant pool; and university giving.


Athletic Intensification; Flutie Factor; College Choice; Applicant Pool