Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Jeff Wilson

Committee Member

Patricia Murrell

Committee Member

William Akey

Committee Member

Mitsunori Misawa


Private monetary contributions and the role of athletics are topics of discussion at nearly all institutions, thus any relationship between the two has become increasingly valuable to determine donor motivations. The significance and value of athletics to each institution must be researched and examined to quantify the implications of athletics success. This quantitative research study analyzed universities' overall private contributions to determine if there was a significant difference in the percent of overall financial support to the institutions following a year of athletics success. For this study athletics success included participation in either the Division I men's basketball NCAA Final Four or Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Bowl Game. This study used existing, post-secondary data from the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) Survey to conduct a one-sample t-test to determine significance. The study focused on a period of 10 years (2002-2011) using 129 samples that met the criteria above, then compared them to the baseline (all institutions) during the same period of time to determine if the change in the percent of overall contributions was statistically significant over a 2-year period (year prior to the athletics success to the year after). The results show a significant statistical difference of more than double in the percent increase of overall private contributions for institutions with athletics success compared to all higher education institutions. Furthermore, a marginal statistical difference was found for private athletically sucessful institutions compared to public institutions that experienced the same athletics success. No difference was found by region, for history of athletics success, or between basketball or football athletics success for those institutions experiencing athletics success. The study concluded that there are significant implications for overall private financial support for institutions that experience athletics success, especially those with a private affiliation.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.