This study uses ten years of football team data from NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) institutions to explore the academic impact of intercollegiate football playoff participation. Fixed effects regression analyses of panel data spanning the 2003–04 to 2013–14 academic years show participation in three weeks of postseason play has a negative effect on fall team GPA, though an extremely small sample size elicits concerns regarding generalizability. In contrast, analyses of Academic Progress Rate (APR), the NCAA metric for student-athlete team academic success, reveals teams participating in three weeks of playoffs contention have higher APR scores than teams not competing. The study also compares results produced through Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and fixed effects regression analyses.
The academic impact of participating in college football playoff games