The impact of athletic achievement at the United States Naval Academy on fleet performance
Leskovich, John R.
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The mission of the United States Naval Academy speaks clearly of three pillars of midshipman development: moral, mental, and physical. Each is equally important; however, the mission of the Naval Academy to develop midshipmen physically is often overlooked. This thesis investigates the advantages and disadvantages of the varsity sports programs of the Naval Academy to provide more accurate and detailed information to policy makers regarding the importance of athletics. Specifically, this study analyzes the role of achievement in varsity athletics on fleet performance. Using data on the Naval Academy classes of 1981-1985, six multivariate models are specified. The first analyzes variables identified in previous studies as being significant in explaining performance or promotion, and is used as a baseline for the remaining models. The second model analyzes the overall effect of athletic achievement on promotion. The next model analyzes the differential effects of achievement in a team sport versus an individual sport versus no sport at all. The effects of being a female athlete and minority athlete are then identified, followed by an analysis of blue-chip athletes. The results find that four of the variables indicating athletic achievement have positive and significant effects on promotion to LCDR. Being a Blue-chip team athlete increased the probability of promotion 18.9 percent, being a Team athlete increased the probability of promotion 11.4 percent, being a Varsity athlete increased the probability of promotion 7.7 percent, and being a Blue-chip non-athlete increased the probability of promotion 6.4 percent.
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