Assessing the Determinants of NCAA Football Violations

John Fizel, Charles A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


What are the factors that cause members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) intercollegiate sports cartel to cheat? We develop a model that reflects the multi-institutional aspects of the decision process involved in the determination of major football program NCAA violations including university performance and incentives, rival behavior, and NCAA enforcement. Prior research is prone to omitted variable bias since studies have typically focused on only one of those components. The data sample includes all major football programs from 1981 to 2011, with 3,420 annual institution observations. Our empirical results confirm the multidimensional aspects of the cheating calculus. University characteristics and leadership, conference rivals, public/private university status, and different NCAA enforcement regimes are all significant contributors to the decision to cheat on the NCAA cartel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-290
Number of pages14
JournalAtlantic Economic Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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