Naval Academy athletic programs as predictors of midshipmen academic and military performance
Zettler, Gregory M.
Little, Roger D.
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This research analyzes the impact of the United States Naval Academy's club sport and varsity athletic programs on midshipman academic and military performance. Linear regression models are developed for the Naval Academy classes of 1998 and 1999 to analyze the effect of explanatory variables on midshipmen Academic Quality Point Rating (AQPR) and Military Quality Point Rating (MQPR). It is important to understand the relationship between athletic programs and academic and military performance so that the Academy leadership can objectively evaluate and maximize the positive effects these programs have on preparing midshipmen to assume the responsibilities that await them upon graduation. The study concludes that sufficient evidence exists to suggest that the United States Naval Academy should continue to foster strong varsity and club sport athletic programs. Beyond the officer-like qualities that are directly taught on the athletic field, significant participation in these programs does enhance the military performance of midshipman. Specifically, MQPR was positively affected when a student-athlete won a letter in either a varsity or club sport. There is also some evidence to suggest that performance in the classroom may benefit as well, but it is not as convincing as in the case of military performance. Specifically, when all valid AQPRs are used in the analysis, AQPR was positively affected when a studentathlete won a letter in either a varsity or club sport. When only graduates were used, however, the significance levels of the coefficients were not above the threshold, and no conclusion could be made regarding the effect of letter winning on AQPR.
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