The Impact of Elite Individual Athletic Performance on University Applicants for Admission in NCAA Division I-A Football

Submitted by Chad McEvoy, Ed. D*

1* Illinois State University, Normal,IL 61761

Dr. Chad McEvoy is an assistant professor in the school of kinesiology and recreation at Illinois State University. He holds an Ed. D. in Sport Administration with a minor in statistics and Research Methods from the University of Northern Colorado; a master of science in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Iowa State University.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of elite individual athletes in NCAA Division I-A football on undergraduate admissions applicants to their respective institutions, an examination of what the media has labeled as the “Flutie Factor”. Using a pretest-posttest control group design, a statistically significant time-by-group interaction effect was found, with universities realizing a 6.59 percent increase in undergraduate applicants for admission in the year following having a football player finish among the top five vote recipients for the Heisman Trophy. (more…)