A Cross-Validation Study of Selected Performance Measures in Predicting Academic Success among Collegiate Athletes

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Steven Baumann University of Utah

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Keith Henschen University of Utah

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In recent years, the academic standards of the collegiate student athlete have become a popular subject within the sociology of sport. In January 1983, the top competitive division of the NCAA voted to make more stringent the academic standards for participants in Division I intercollegiate sports. This was known as Proposal 48, and although the vote was 2 to 1 in favor of it, much criticism was also voiced. This study examines the relationship between the American College Testing Program (ACT) and actual grade point average (GPA) for 753 male and female athletes at the University of Utah during a 10-year period. A secondary purpose was to determine the predictive validity of a predicted GPA formula (PGPA) and high school grade point average (HSGPA) as estimates of actual GPA. Other purposes were to determine the correlation of ACT, PGPA, and HSGPA with regard to gender, race, and sport. Pearson product-moment correlations were utilized to establish relationships between ACT scores, PGPA, and HSGPA with actual GPA. A multiple correlation coefficient was computed and a regression equation was established. In addition, a cross-validation was performed on the existing data. Results indicated that an equation combining ACT and HSGPA is the best predictor for Caucasians, while HSGPA alone is the best predictor for non-Caucasians. Factors other than ACT scores appear to be better predictors of academic success for the student-athlete, thus casting doubt upon the validity of Proposal 48 for the NCAA.

Direct all correspondence to Keith Henschen, Dept. of Physical Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.
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