BOONE, N.C. — Does a university’s athletic scandal impact its enrollment? Yes, according to a working paper by Appalachian State University faculty released in April.
The paper, titled “Universities Behaving Badly: The Impact of Athletic Malfeasance on Student Applications and Enrollment,” shows a connection between postseason men’s basketball tournament bans and lowered quantity and quality of both male and female students enrolling at that university.
A postseason tournament ban lowers male applications by up to 17 percent and females by up to 18 percent, according to the study conducted by Appalachian’s Austin F. Eggers, J.D., Peter A. Groothuis, Ph.D., and senior Parker Redding, all in the Walker College of Business, with colleagues at Seton Hall University.
An athletics program serves as “the front porch of a university,” the authors wrote, and “impropriety serves as signal to prospective students regarding the overall quality” of that university.
“Our results show that malfeasance in college athletics not only negatively affects the sports team, but can also have significant effects on non-athlete students and the university as a whole. If collegiate athletics departments abuse NCAA basketball regulations, the result can be a decrease in more academically achieving students attending the university,” the authors wrote.
Eggers is an executive-in-residence in the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance. Groothuis is a professor in the Department of Economics. Redding is an economics major from Ronda. The research in the paper was funded by Appalachian’s Lee Barnes Benefaction for Learning Enhancement and Enrichment Fund, named for the Walker College alumnus and Board of Trustees member.
The working paper is gaining national news media attention:
A new study explores the relationship between college basketball scandals and admissions
About the Walker College of Business
The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 3,000 undergraduates in 10 majors and 175 graduate students in three master's programs, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the premier global accrediting body for schools of business. Learn more at https://business.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.