Title: Determinations of a university reclassification effect after changes in athletic affiliation

Authors: Dylan Williams; Brian P. Soebbing; Chad Seifried

Addresses: Department of Kinesiology, The University of Alabama, 2009 Moore Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA ' School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Speakman Hall SP366, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA ' School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, 112 Huey P. Long Field House, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Abstract: Since 1973, former members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) left the association for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Many of these reclassified schools based their move on several tangible and intangible benefits. While past studies have shown social mobility can be predicted, limited research exists to measure potential benefits a reclassifying school may achieve. The purpose of the study is to determine if a change in athletic affiliation provides a benefit for universities in terms of undergraduate applications. This research examines all current and former NAIA members leaving for the NCAA from 2003 through 2012. The results show schools reclassifying from the NAIA to the NCAA will see on average a 20% increase in applications during the first two years of NCAA membership. This increase is sustained through the initial years of movement for schools moving to Division II (D-II) compared to Division III (D-III).

Keywords: National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics; NAIA; National Collegiate Athletic Association; NCAA; Flutie effect; university reclassification; identity; undergraduate applications; athletic affiliation; reclassified schools; USA; United States; affiliation changes; higher education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2016.077937

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2016 Vol.16 No.3/4/5/6, pp.297 - 317

Available online: 22 Jul 2016

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