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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Study Says When Oregon Football Team is Winning, Male Students’ Grades Suffer

Stop what you’re doing, Oregon. This madness that has resulted in top-notch play from the Oregon Ducks and given the school three straight Pac 10 championships has to end. Why? Because it may be compromising classroom productivity. According to Tampa Bay Online, a recent study done by economists at Oregon University examined the football seasons from 1999-2007. They concluded that when the Ducks were winning during those years, students celebrated more and their grades were lower on average than when the team was doing poorly.

“They drink more when the team wins, they party more when the teams wins, and they study less when the team wins,” professor Jason Lindo explained.

Well, duh. The study found that three extra wins for the Oregon football team in any given year was accompanied by a significant drop in male GPAs.  The drop, they say, could be compared to the students having scored 27 points lower on their SAT exams.  Female students’ grades held up better during the successful seasons.  There was also an 8 percent increase in the gap between male and female GPAs during the seasons in which the Ducks won three extra games above their below-average 5-6 season in 2004.

The three professors who conducted the study looked at a sample size of 30,000 non-athlete students.  Of that sample, 24 percent of the male population said they “probably” or “definitely” decreased study time when the team was doing well as compared to only 9 percent of women. Almost half of the men admitted they increased partying compared to only 28 percent of women.

Normally I would chalk something like this up to pure coincidence, but in this case did we really need a study to tell us that students don’t work as hard when an athletic team is playing well? Do you think anyone was doing homework during the Final Four — or any NCAA tournament for that matter — when I was at UConn?  Let’s not blame college athletics for taking away from college academics. People like sports. That’s all there is to it.



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