Sunday, March 23, 2008

Study: 'Flutie Effect' more than a myth

AP Photo

As a big sports fan this is interesting to me. I admit that I never would have hear about Gonzaga, Xavier or Drake if it wasn't for picking them in my March Madness bracket every year. -aj

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Turns out there's some basis for the long-held belief among college admissions officials that the better their schools' teams do in high-profile sporting events, the more applications they'll see.

Until recently, evidence about the "Flutie Effect" - coined when applications to Boston College jumped about 30 percent in the two years after quarterback Doug Flutie's Hail Mary pass beat Miami in 1984 - had been mostly anecdotal.

So two researchers set out to quantify it, concluding after a broad study that winning the NCAA football or men's basketball title means a bump of about 8 percent, with smaller increases the reward more modest success.

"Certainly college administrators have known about this for a while, but I think this study helps to pin down what the average effects are," said Jaren Pope, an assistant professor in applied economics at Virginia Tech who conducted the study with his brother Devin, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

The brothers compared information on freshman classes at 330 NCAA Division I schools with how the schools' teams fared from 1983 through 2002.

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