Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Essays on National Collegiate Athletic Association bylaws
by Vernon, Erin, Ph.D., University of Washington, 2009, 119; 3377334
Abstract (Summary)

This study provides a new perspective on the behavior of universities, athletic departments, coaches, and student athletes in regards to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bylaws. It specifically contributes to the existing NCAA economic literature by theoretically discussing and empirically analyzing two main topics within the NCAA framework, namely: (1) the university specific characteristics of the schools caught cheating in NCAA Division I athletics, and (2) the different types of cheating within the three NCAA division competition levels.

Findings suggest NCAA Division I universities with Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) membership, higher enrollment, lower academic quality, and no nearby professional basketball or football substitutes were more likely to be caught committing a major NCAA rule violation. In addition, schools with past violations were also more likely to be caught cheating again. The findings also support the notion that the NCAA's recently announced penalty leniency on self-reported violations has changed some of the characteristics of the universities caught cheating.

Universities in the lower NCAA competition levels (Divisions II and III) do not have as much incentive to cheat but the coaches may have even higher incentives to do so. Empirical findings support this notion as well as highlight the differences in the types of cheating that occur within the different levels of the NCAA. In particular, enrolled aid infractions increase proportionally in the lower division levels as this is a major binding constraint at the lower levels. Conversely, recruiting violations are proportionally highest at the Division I level highlighting the cartel-like monopsony constraint that exists only at the highest competition level.

This study also highlights how a change in one constraint, bylaw, affects behavior. Initial empirical results suggest that a form of “Shipping the Good Apples Out” behavior occurred as a result of this additional uniform cost to the football recruiting process, causing Division I schools to focus more on higher quality out of town recruits compared to local prospects.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barzel, Yoram
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, Educational administration, Higher education, Recreation, Business Associations
Keywords: Athletics, Bylaws, Cheating, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Recruiting
Publication Number: 3377334
ISBN: 978-1-109-39576-1
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