The relationship of size, wealth, and district type to the athletic success of Georgia schools

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

This study investigated the relationship of size, wealth, and district type to athletic success and found that wealth and size were important predictors of athletic performance. The relationship of these variables to performance was anticipated in a theory of differentiation propounded by Blau and Schoenerr (1971). The authors theorized that increases in organizational size would be accompanied by increases in specialization, that is, the unique skills possessed by organizational incumbents and thus foster success. Data describing school size, wealth, district type, number of coaches, and athletic success were gathered. Success was defined as the points garnered in the Georgia Athletic Directors Association's Regions Directors Cup race. The independent variables were measured as student enrollment for size, the percentage of Free and Reduced Lunch for wealth, and proximity to urban centers for district type. Because schools in Georgia are classified by size, the hypothesis that wealth, size, and district type would predict athletic success was tested in each of the five divisions. Size and wealth individually were positively correlated with athletic performance in all divisions. District type had no effect on athletic performance. All relationships were tested in five divisions comprising 376 secondary public schools, a sample of virtually every public high school in Georgia. When athletic performance was regressed on the independent variables, wealth made a significant contribution in each division. When controlling for wealth and district type, size made a significant contribution in the smallest school division and the largest school division. When the coaches were added to the set of independent variables, the number of coaches made a significant contribution to athletic success in all the divisions. Although not hypothesized, size and wealth made contributions to academic performance that mirrored their relationship in athletic performances. Theoretically, the study confirms the importance of wealth and size. However, if the idea of different divisions is to level the playing field in competitive athletics then this finding presents some practical challenges to sports officials.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Educational administration