I was scanning Uncertain Principles [Link] a physics (albeit experimental and academic) blog this morning and he discusses the graduation rate data for college athletes. [Link] Sadly, the name is misleading (i.e., inaccurate!) because its not a rate, its a fraction, but the discussion is worthwhile. He analyzes the data in terms of how much revenue the sport produces for the school, an approach that will be readily understood by discerning college football enthusiasts such as my esteemed colleague Total Angular Momentum Coupling better known to graduates of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute as Eye of the Tyger.
What is interesting is if we order the sports by graduation fraction: For men: Skiing (0.89); Lacrosse (0.88); Fencing (0.87), Gymnastics (0.86); Water Polo (0.85); Ice Hockey (0.84) – Worse were Football (0.65); Baseball (0.65); and Basketball (0.59). For Women: Fencing, Field Hockey, and Skiing (0.94); Lacrosse (0.93) and the worse were Bowling (0.70) and Rifle (0.78).
While the negative correlation of the big money sports of football and basketball are obvious, the secondary thing that’s noticeable here is that the high completion sports are about evenly divided between individual and team sports. Is there something about team sports, especially the high intensity revenue sports that is antithetical to matriculation?
Obviously, the women’s fractions are higher than the men’s. This reflects the change in demographics from when I was an undergraduate. At that time most women considered successful matriculation to be an Mrs., not a B.A. or B.S. Apparently the genetic influences of gathering make for a better student than those of hunting.
Could it also be that today introverts tend to be more likely to
matriculate than extroverts? He He, I do have to concede that fencing
was one of my sports albeit I was never very good at it. I thought too much. But I did enjoy shooting as well but could leave the horse riding behind.