Most studies find positive correlations at the individual level of analysis between athletic participation and academic success. One opportunity for scholarship left largely unexplored concerns the effect of athletics on group-level processes. The author used a resource-based perspective to explore the influence of athletic investment on academic achievement at the organizational level. Data were collected from 227 school districts. Multiple regression analyses revealed negative but insignificant relationships between athletic expenditures and indicators of basic skills and college preparation. Future research might determine whether the nonassociation observed in this study between athletic spending and academic performance generalizes to different school settings.
The author is with Francis Marion University, Department of Sociology, Florence, SC.