Ultimate Frisbee and Academic Success


After attending Trinity’s “Chaplain’s Squash” (hint: it has nothing to do with the chaplain  or squash) a few evenings ago and signing up for the college’s ultimate frisbee society, I was reminded of a bit of press that lit up the academic blogosphere for a bit. A professor at the University of Washington conducted a study of private US universities and discovered a correlation between ultimate frisbee success and graduation rate.

An excerpt from one press release:

[Universities] ranking in the top half for Ultimate have a graduation rate of over 85%, while those in the bottom half graduate just 60%. The difference in the totals of Rhodes scholars and Marshall scholars among their graduates during this decade is even more dramatic – 208 versus 15. (The odds of this happening by chance are truly infinitesimal).

I guess I did my part on the scholarship side for Stanford, meanwhile the Cardinal men’s ultimate team tied for third and women’s ultimate finished first at the UPA college championships in May. Berkeley, another historically strong frisbee school, has been having a bit of a rougher time (perhaps with academic rankings, as well).

Just to add to the frivolity, I also remember reading the following bit from quite a long time ago:

Stanford’s football team had a 4-7 record this season, but the Cards ranked No. 1 in one national survey. They had the highest SAT scores of any team in the country when they were recruited, according to a national survey published yesterday.

Ranking right behind Stanford among Division I schools in recruiting SAT achievers were Northwestern, Duke, Virginia and Vanderbilt. Cal is eighth.

Stanford football players had an average SAT score of 1069 out of a possible 1600, according to the survey by USA Today, using NCAA data for freshmen entering from 1990-92.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle. 23 Dec 1993. pg. B.6 Sports Section. ProQuest ID: 67125229.


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