We consider the relationship between collegiate football success and non-athlete student performance. We find that the team's success significantly reduces male grades relative to female grades, and only in fall quarters, which coincides with the football season. Using survey data, we find that males are more likely than females to increase alcohol consumption, decrease studying, and increase partying in response to the success of the team. Yet, females also report that their behavior is affected by athletic success, suggesting that their performance is likely impaired but that this effect is masked by the practice of grade curving.
That is from the paper "Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?" by Lindo, Swensen, and Waddell (American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, October 2012). A draft is here.