Academic Performance of Athletes and Non-Athletes in Selected Nigerian Universities.
This study compared the academic performance of athletes with that of non-athletes and investigated the cause of students' failures and successes in academics in three Universities: (i) Ife, (ii) Nigeria-Nsukka and (iii) Benin University. Four hundred and seventy-nine subjects were used in the study, 306 non-athletes and 173 athletes. The Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) of 103 athletes and 206 non-athletes were collected. Seventy athletes and 100 non-athletes were orally interviewed. The Two - Way analysis of variance, and t-test and t-test correlated were used to analyse the data, the results showed that in 1979/80 session (a N.U.G.A. games year) the G.P.A, of athletes was significantly higher than that of non-athletes in the University of Benin. In 1980/81 session (a non-N.U.G.A. games year) non-athletes had significantly higher mean G.P.A. than athletes in the University of Ife. Also, it was observed that mean G.P.A. of athletes for a non-N.U.G.A. games year was not significantly higher than that of N.U.G.A. games years. Both athletes and non-athletes stated that the factors responsible for students' failures were poor health and socio-economic problems and wrong choice of courses. Based on the results, it was concluded that except for 1980/81 session (a non-N.U.G.A. games year) in the University of Ife, non-athletes were not academically better than athletes. Since there was no significant difference in the academic performance of athletes during a N.U.G.A. games year and a non-N.U.G.A. games year and that sports by itself did not contribute to athletes academic failures, it could be concluded that sports participation does not retard academic performance of athletes.