Intercollegiate Athletics Program Guarantee the Success of Essay

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Intercollegiate Athletics Program Guarantee the Success of a College?

Intercollegiate athletics programs are a common feature in most colleges, and many of these programs have been shown to contribute to the education and development of the young people who participate in them. Moreover, intercollegiate athletics programs, especially men's football and basketball, are major revenue generators through ticket sales for many educational institutions. In many cases, colleges that feature high-profile intercollegiate athletics programs enjoy the benefits of these programs through increased revenues and publicity. Even the best intercollegiate athletics program, though, cannot guarantee the success of a college for the reasons identified through a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature which is provided below, followed by a summary of the research and important findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

Intercollegiate athletics programs in the United States are divided into various divisions (i.e., Division 1A and 1AA), with the revenues from these respective programs being an important source of income for many colleges (Enoch and Glenn 656). Colleges that compete at the Division 1A level appear to enjoy a competitive advantage in terms of the revenues that are possible. In fact, Losco and Fife (2000) emphasize that, "Division IAA institutions on average have a loss of almost $1 million. While some distribution about this mean is likely, the Division IAA distribution appears to be less skewed by a few outliers than the Division IA average. Thus, it would appear that most Division IAA schools lose money on athletics" (142). Although most Division IAA schools may lose money on their intercollegiate athletics programs, not all of them do, a fact that compelled Fizel and Fort (2004) to examine the basic differences between those programs that were profitable and those that were not. According to these researchers, "The essential difference between the one colleges-make-money-on-intercollegiate-athletics study and the others is that it placed more weight on the ability of an intercollegiate athletics program to draw additional students" (Fizel and Fort 94). Consequently, although the success of a college cannot be guaranteed by an intercollegiate athletics program, it appears that college sports teams that are successful on the field or court represent a valuable asset in contributing to the level of success experienced by colleges in terms of the numbers of students that it attracts and retains (Fizel and Fort 94). This point is also made by Jones (2009) who emphasizes that:

A high-profile intercollegiate athletics program increases media attention received by a university. A top-ranked football team, for example, receives increased media attention from local and national news outlets such as ESPN, USA Today, and CNN. Such increased media exposure results in the name - and often the trademarked logo - of an institution being mentioned or shown repeatedly. (11)

Despite these generalizations, though, an important point made by Losco and Fife (2000) is the lack of analysis concerning the role of athletics in collegiate settings in contributing to the overall success of the institution. According to these researchers, "This is true even in documents like the report from the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics which emphasizes principles like the educational values, practices and missions of this institution determine the standards by which we conduct our intercollegiate athletics program" (155). Notwithstanding the emphasis on "educational values and practices," though, Losco and Fife make the point that there remains a lack of alignment between athletics programs and colleges' larger mission to educate. In this regard, Losco and Fife note that, "There is virtually no reflection on how the intercollegiate athletics program contributes to the educational values, practices and missions…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Enoch, Jessica and Glenn, Cheryl. Making Sense, 3rd ed. Bedford/St. Martin's.

Fizel, J. And Fort, Rodney. Economics of College Sports. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Jones, A. (2009). "Athletics, Applications & Yields." College and University 85(2): 10-12.

Losco, Joseph and Fife, Brian L. Higher Education in Transition: The Challenges of the New

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