Archive for the ‘intercollegiate sports’ Category

Profiting from Machine Learning in the NBA Draft

June 3, 2014 Comments off

Profiting from Machine Learning in the NBA Draft
Source: Social Science Research Network

I project historical NCAA college basketball performance to subsequent NBA performance for prospects using modern machine learning techniques without snooping bias. I find that the projections would have helped improve the drafting decisions of virtually every team: over the past ten years, teams forfeited an average of about $90,000,000 in lost productivity that could have been theirs had they followed the recommendations of the model. I provide team-by-team breakdowns of who should have been drafted instead, as well as team summaries of lost profit, and draft order comparison. Far from being just another input in making decisions, when used properly, advanced draft analytics can effectively be an additional revenue source in a team’s business model.

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What is a Blue Chip Recruit Worth? Estimating the Marginal Revenue Product of College Football Quarterbacks

May 27, 2014 Comments off

What is a Blue Chip Recruit Worth? Estimating the Marginal Revenue Product of College Football Quarterbacks (PDF)
Source: Towson State University

A recent National Labor Relations Board ruling declared Northwestern football players employees and gave them the right to unionize. This ruling is part of ongoing scrutiny of The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA’s) model which labels college athletes as amateurs and limits player compensation to grant-in-aid (scholarships). Our paper estimates the marginal revenue product (MRP) of an elite college quarterback using revenue and game level playing data from eight and nine seasons, respectively. Similar to previous studies we show that MRP for elite quarterbacks far exceeds the average value of a scholarship. Our paper also provides two contributions by using a new quarterback rating system and creating an estimate of the expected value of a blue chip college quarterback recruit. The new system is the Total Quarterback Rating (QBR), a metric developed by the Stats & Information Group of ESPN. The measure h as a strong win predictive ability and makes important adjustments to identify the quarterback’s contribution. We find a one standard deviation increase in QBR adds about 3 wins per season, and each additional win increases a school’s football revenue roughly $740,000 compared to the average quarterback, holding a variety of other determining factors constant, including school fixed effects. This suggests a superior quarterback to be worth millions of dollars a season. Teams recruit quarterbacks, however, ex-ante of the player revealing their college ability. Therefore, to estimate the value of a college recruit, we test for differences between quarterbacks rated as blue chip high school prospects and other QBs. We estimate that signing a blue chip quarterback is expected to produce roughly $429,000 dollars in total additional revenue for a college team compared to signing a non-blue chip quarterback. The results show that ex-post estimates of college player value may differ from ex-ante estimates due to the difficulty of predicting which high school players will excel in college.

Keeping Score When It Counts: Graduation Success and Academic Progress Rates for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 Teams

April 4, 2014 Comments off

Keeping Score When It Counts: Graduation Success and Academic Progress Rates for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 Teams
Source: Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport

There is good news regarding academic success in general for both the men’s and women’s Sweet 16 teams. The GSR and the APR rates of the teams are overwhelmingly high. As in the past, the women still do better than the men. The most troubling statistics in the report come when we look at the historical gap between the graduation rates of white and African-American student-athletes which grew substantially for both the men’s and women’s teams in the 2014 Sweet 16 fields.

Facts for Features — 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four: April 5-7

April 4, 2014 Comments off

Facts for Features — 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four: April 5-7
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The NCAA Final Four men’s college basketball games will be played April 5 and April 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Sometimes known as March Madness or the Big Dance, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament has grown from an eight-team tournament in 1939 to a 68-team, single-elimination playoff with mass appeal. The semifinals and championship games are each expecting more than 100,000 fans, and about 15 million viewers are expected to watch each game on TV. To commemorate this occasion, the Census Bureau has compiled a collection of facts examining the demographics of the host city, as well as the cities represented by the four remaining teams — Madison, Wis. (University of Wisconsin), Gainesville, Fla. (University of Florida), Storrs, Conn. (University of Connecticut) and Lexington-Fayette, Ky. (University of Kentucky).

See also: 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four: April 6-8

NLRB Director for Region 13 issues Decision in Northwestern University Athletes Case

March 28, 2014 Comments off

NLRB Director for Region 13 issues Decision in Northwestern University Athletes Case</strong>
Source: National Labor Relations Board

Regional Director, Peter Sung Ohr, has issued a Decision in 13-RC-121359 finding the Grant-in-aid scholarship football players are employees under the NLRA and has directed an election to take place.

The parties have until April 9, 2014 to file with the Board in Washington, D.C. a Request for Review of the Decision.

Women of Asian Descent in Ivy League Golf, 1999–2013

February 6, 2014 Comments off

Women of Asian Descent in Ivy League Golf, 1999–2013 (PDF)
Source: Rutgers University

In the 1999-2000 women’s collegiate golf season the proportion of women golfers competing for Ivy League schools that were Asian (of Asian descent) and played in at least six tournaments was .22. Over the next eight collegiate golf seasons this proportion fell as low as .08 and was .14 for the 2007–2008 season. Then, over the next five collegiate seasons, through 2012-2013, the proportion of players Asian in Ivy League women’s golf who competed in at least six tournaments per season increased to .18, .23, .44, .68, and .56. The marked increase in Asian representation in women’s Ivy League golf was much greater than the increase in Asians in women’s college golf in general and in men’s Ivy League golf. We suggest Asian parents with academically and athletically gifted daughters have turned with their daughters to golf over the past decade or longer to increase the daughter’s chances of admission to selective universities in the US. This emphasis on golf may result from: 1. recognition that Asian women can compete successfully against generally taller Caucasian women given the success of Asian golfers on the LPGA tour since the late 1990’s; 2. recognition that the close parental supervision of children in the Asian family, particularly the girls, and the emphasis on discipline and practice can help build a strong golf game. Short game practice in particular may have a potentially large payoff and does not lead to physical breakdown. Variable effects regression models show that the skill (rankings) advantage of Asians over non-Asians has actually increased in women’s golf in the Ivy League in recent years; thus, Asian representation in women’s Ivy golf should continue to increase.

Pigskin, Tailgating and Pollution: Estimating the Environmental Impacts of Sporting Events

November 5, 2013 Comments off

Pigskin, Tailgating and Pollution: Estimating the Environmental Impacts of Sporting Events (PDF)
Source: University of North Carolina-Greensboro (Rhodes)

This paper estimates the environmental impact of sporting events by analyzing a collection of small typically geographically isolated cities which host at least one NCAA football team that competes in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2010. Fixed-effects regressions controlling for differences across cities and across months suggest that cities do experience an increase in pollution levels on and around game days relative to non-game days. These marginal increases were largest in November even after controlling for weather, various trends and other sources of seasonality. When hosting games in November, the corresponding percent increases in daily mortality ranged from .06 to .25% for cardiovascular mortality to .23 to .47% for respiratory mortality.

“We are dropping the ball,” according to Campus Pride’s landmark report on the experiences of LGBTQ college athletes

March 19, 2013 Comments off

“We are dropping the ball,” according to Campus Pride’s landmark report on the experiences of LGBTQ college athletes
Source: Campus Pride

Campus Pride, the nation’s leading educational organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer college environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students, reissued the Campus Pride 2012 LGBTQ National College Athlete Report in light of recent developments in college athletics and the ongoing, pervasive LGBT harassment impacting sports culture.

Campus Pride released the national research in November 2012 with limited fanfare and, since then, the organization has expressed concern over national efforts to “rubber stamp” LGBTQ allies through national sports programs and on college campuses. “What we need is systemic change,” said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride Executive Director. “Videos and statements by teams about being an ally are only surface level marketing efforts and create general awareness. Right now, we are dropping the ball when it comes to being informed by research, influencing organization change and decision-making.”

CRS — Title IX, Sex Discrimination, and Intercollegiate Athletics: A Legal Overview

January 31, 2013 Comments off

Title IX, Sex Discrimination, and Intercollegiate Athletics: A Legal Overview (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Enacted four decades ago, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs or activities. Although the Title IX regulations bar recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of sex in a wide range of educational programs or activities, such as student admissions, scholarships, and access to courses, the statute is perhaps best known for prohibiting sex discrimination in intercollegiate athletics.

Indeed, the provisions regarding athletics have proved to be one of the more controversial aspects of Title IX. At the center of the debate is a three-part test that the Department of Education (ED) uses to determine whether institutions are providing nondiscriminatory athletic participation opportunities for both male and female students. Proponents of the existing regulations point to the dramatic increases in the number of female athletes in elementary and secondary school, college, and beyond as the ultimate indicator of the statute’s success in breaking down barriers against women in sports. In contrast, opponents contend that the Title IX regulations unfairly impose quotas on collegiate sports and force universities to cut men’s teams in order to remain in compliance. Critics further argue that the decline in certain men’s sports, such as wrestling, is a direct result of Title IX’s emphasis on proportionality in men’s and women’s college sports.

In 2002, ED appointed a commission to study Title IX and to recommend whether or not the athletics provisions should be revised. The Commission on Opportunity in Athletics delivered its final report to the Secretary of Education in 2003. In response, ED issued new guidance in 2003 and 2005 that clarified Title IX policy and the use of the three-part test. The 2005 guidance, however, was withdrawn in 2010.

This CRS report provides an overview of Title IX in general and the intercollegiate athletics regulations in particular, as well as a summary of the commission’s report and ED’s response and a discussion of legal challenges to the regulations and to the three-part test. For related reports, see CRS Report RS22544, Title IX and Single Sex Education: A Legal Analysis, by Jody Feder.

Keeping Score When It Counts: Academic Progress/Graduation Success Rate Study of 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament Teams

March 22, 2012 Comments off

Keeping Score When It Counts: Academic Progress/Graduation Success Rate Study of 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament Teams (PDF)
Source: The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (University of Central Florida)

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) released its annual study, “Keeping Score When It Counts: Academic Progress/Graduation Success Rate Study of 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament Teams,” which compares graduation rates and academic progress rates for Division I teams that have been selected for the men’s and women’s brackets of the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournaments.

Dr. Richard Lapchick, the primary author of the study, is the director of TIDES and Chair of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program at UCF. The study was co-authored by Michael Farris and Michelle Milkovich.

This study is a follow-up report for the men’s tournament study that was released on March 12, 2012 (’s%20Basketball%20Tournament%20Teams%20Study.pdf). The study compares the academic performance of male and female basketball student-athletes and of African-American and white basketball student-athletes by examining the Graduation Success Rates (GSR) and the Academic Progress Rates (APR) for the tournament teams. The women graduated at a rate of 89 percent vs. 67 percent for the men and had only three teams in the field that had below a 925.

Lapchick stated, “The women’s teams always give us good news to report each year. It has been clear that student-athletes on women’s basketball teams graduate at a higher rate than student-athletes on men’s basketball teams. Additionally, the disparity gap between white and African-American student-athletes has always been significantly smaller on women’s teams compared to men’s teams. This year’s study reveals that there has been no change in the disparity between graduation rates of white and African-American women student-athletes which remains at eight percent compared to 28 percent for the men’s teams.”

There are 22 women’s teams that have a 100 percent graduation rate in the 2012 field. They include: Dayton, DePaul, Oklahoma, Duke, Kansas State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Creighton, Ohio State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Penn State, Georgetown, Florida, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Louisiana State, St. John’s, South Carolina, Iowa, Connecticut, Princeton. All but one team in the women’s field graduated more than 60 percent of their student-athletes.

Returns to Education in Professional Football

May 17, 2011 Comments off

Returns to Education in Professional Football (PDF)
Source: Research Papers in Economics

After three years in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), collegiate football players face a trade-off between spending more time in the NCAA and pursuing a career in the National Football League (NFL) by declaring for the draft. We analyze the starting salaries and signing bonuses for 1,673 rookies in the NFL, who entered the league between 2001 and 2009 through the NFL draft. We instrument the endogenous decision to enter the professional market with a player’s month of birth. A player’s true talent is only imperfectly observed and the instrument provides a causal link between time at college and subsequent salaries in the NFL through the relative age effect. Our estimates suggest that a player enjoys a 6% higher starting salary in the NFL, and a 15% higher first-year signing bonus, for each year with the college team. On average, a rookie is estimated to earn $131,000 more in his rookie season, if he enters the NFL one year later. Our analysis of a typical labor market in professional sports shows that the returns to education in sports are sizeable and surprisingly similar to returns to formal education. The results of our analysis provide information for the players who are deciding about declaring for the draft, however, also colleges and the teams in the NFL may find the results of interest.

Marketplace Institutions Related to the Timing of Transactions

May 2, 2011 Comments off

Marketplace Institutions Related to the Timing of Transactions
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

Certain markets face the problem of “unraveling,” in which competition for good talent leads a firm to make job offers earlier and earlier, without sufficient knowledge about any given applicant—and in which applicants are forced to decide whether to accept a job before they really know much about working for that firm. Harvard Business School professor Alvin E. Roth discusses how this issue affects the labor markets for new lawyers and gastroenterology fellows, as well as the market for postseason college football bowls. Key concepts include:

  • The market for postseason college bowls is one in which the negative effects of unraveling can be easily quantified: If two teams are matched to play a postseason game before they have finished the regular season, it’s possible that one or both will lose some of their remaining regular season games, making the postseason bowl game less attractive to potential TV viewers than it would have been if it had featured more successful teams.
  • Efforts to stop the problem of unraveling in the market for law graduates have generally been unsuccessful, as have attempts to establish uniform dates for recruiting and hiring. This proves that unraveling is a problem even in markets such as law, where salaries are easily adjustable.
  • On the other hand, the market for new medical residents has faced little unraveling ever since that market introduced a stable resident matching system. This negates the idea that rigid pricing is the cause of unraveling, because the medical field generally pays its new residents uniformly across the board.

+ Full Paper (PDF)

The Bottom Line: Accounting for Revenues and Expenditures in Intercollegiate Athletics

February 8, 2011 Comments off

The Bottom Line: Accounting for Revenues and Expenditures in Intercollegiate Athletics (PDF)
Source: Research Papers in Economics (RePEc)

This paper examines the profitability of Division I athletic programs at colleges and universities in the United States under a variety of accounting definitions of profit. The data identify several broad themes. First, a majority of athletic departments rely heavily on direct and indirect subsidization of their programs by the student body, the institution itself, and state governments in order to balance their books. Without such funding, less than a third of BCS athletic departments and no non-BCS departments are in the black. Second, athletic programs rely heavily on contributions to balance their books. Donations to athletic departments may serve as a substitute for donations to the rest of the university, lowering giving to other programs. Third, football and men’s basketball programs are generally highly profitable at BCS schools, but below this top tier, fewer than 10% of football programs and 15% of men’s basketball programs show a profit by any reasonable accounting measures.


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