College Football Success and State Higher Education Funding: Does Political Culture Matter? by Scott Nikolai , University of Wisconsin-Platteville
The objective of this study is to examine the possible relationship between the competitiveness of large state university football programs and funding from their state governments. More specifically, if a university's NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) program wins many regular season games, goes to a post-season bowl game, and defeats a major in-state rival, can the university expect more funding from its state legislature? Control factors include full-time enrollment, state personal income per capita, and a state's political culture. The latter control may be especially significant in this respect. A state university may exist in a more traditionalistic or conservative political culture which normally may not embrace more generous state government funding of it. However, that same culture could also embrace college football greatly and could reward a state university's football success with incremental funding increases. Public universities with this kind of athletic program success could be fiscally rewarded by their state legislatures for producing a very visible and highly celebrated output.