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Sports Could Boost SDSU Academics

Audio

Aired 2/21/11

San Diego State University's successful sports programs could improve the school's academic outlook.

The Aztecs have are ranked nationally as the no. 7 college basketball team.
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Above: The Aztecs have are ranked nationally as the no. 7 college basketball team.

The San Diego State Aztecs are having a wonderful sports year. The basketball team is ranked in the top 10 nationally and the football team ended last season with a win in a bowl game. A San Diego State University marketing professor said that success could spill over onto the rest of the campus. Michael Belch said applications could be up as much as 20 percent next year.

"It allows you, just like at (the University of Southern California), if your applications for admissions go up, it gives you a larger pool to select from."

Belch said a larger pool of students allows the school to chose more highly qualified students. That would boost student quality at a university that is already one of the most applied-to schools in the nation. Belch said there are also some immediate and tangible results from the athletic success.

"You can't get a ticket in this town right now," Belch said. "That's all income coming in directly to an athletic department that is on a shoestring budget already."

Belch says he expects the success to boost alumni donations and that could also raise the school's academic profile.

The good news comes amid difficult financial times for the school. San Diego State is facing millions of dollars in cuts as the state government tries to fill a multibillion-dollar budget hole.

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