Date of Graduation

8-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education in Recreation and Sport Management (MEd)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Stephen W. Dittmore

Committee Member

Terry Eddy

Second Committee Member

Merry Moiseichik

Keywords

College Athletics, Economic Impact, NCAA, Reclassification

Abstract

With an ever increasing chasm between the have and have nots in college athletics, athletic directors and university administrators view reclassification as a way to increase financial standing and gain valuable exposure for their school despite mixed findings by recent studies. The process of reclassification costs schools sizable financial and labor investments detracting from their academic endeavors. The schools at the highest level of collegiate football competition enjoy constant national television exposure for their school resulting in many direct and indirect benefits. A repeated measures ANOVA was utilized to assess the change in athletic department revenues, student enrollment and football attendance over years one, four and eight of upward football reclassification to the Football Championship Subdivision and Football Bowl Subdivision. The results found that the sample schools realized significant increases in athletic department revenues and student enrollment. Modest increases were also measured in football attendance; however, the increases were not statistically significant. The discussion provides valuable insight for university administrators, college athletic administrators, alumni, students and other key stakeholders whose institution may be considering upward football reclassification.

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