It was announced over the weekend that the 6-6 Mizzou Tigers football team will play in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl against Wake Forest on Friday, December 23 at Raymond James Stadium. A November study by the University of Missouri found that college football athletes who participate in bowl games saw improved academic outcomes.
Bradley Curs is an associate professor in the University of Missouri College of Education and Human Development, who spent years comparing academic data from athletes. He says that his research uncovers that participation in the football postseason could serve as motivation for those athletes to remain in good academic standing.
“The bowl game season happens to during the end of the fall semester,” says Curs. “Often times, they’re practicing during, what would be, their finals week. We were interested in knowing, does one extra game lead to better or worse academic outcomes? It was interesting to us, and we found that it actually leads to better outcomes.”
New research from @MIZZOUELPA‘s Brad Curs and Casandra Harper shows slightly positive academic benefits for college football players who participate in postseason bowl games. Read more: https://t.co/x8Roh9N1o7 #LeadLearnELPA pic.twitter.com/itZ40J5SJj
— Mizzou Education & Human Development (@MizzouEducation) November 15, 2022
Curs and his group of researchers found that playing in this bowl game leads to students staying eligible at higher rates. His reasonings include that the students have a prize to work for at the end of the season, i.e., traveling somewhere and getting to play on national television. Additionally, the players getting to stay with their football team and coaches gives them a large support group to encourage them to remain in good academic standing.
The Tigers and the Demon Deacons square off at 5:30 p.m. on the eve of Christmas Eve, Friday, December 23 in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl.