Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 283–303 | Cite as

Strategic Interaction in a Repeated Game: Evidence from NCAA Football Recruiting

  • Brad R. Humphreys
  • Jane E. RuseskiEmail author


We analyze decisions to comply or cheat on NCAA recruiting regulations in the context of repeated interactions. Teams possess private information about resources devoted to football programs, recruiting effort made by rival programs, and rival program behavior. We test for evidence that the behavior of NCAA Division IA football programs conforms to predictions from repeated game theoretic models using panel data from IA football over the period 1978–2005. We find anecdotal and empirical support for strategic interaction. The presence of in-conference rivals under NCAA sanctions increases the probability of a team being placed under future sanctions.


NCAA Recruiting Strategic interaction 

JEL Classification

Z22 Z28 



We thank Roger Blair, Lawrence White, and participants at The NCAA Cartel Symposium held at the University of Florida in February 2017 for valuable comments on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUS

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