College football games and the partying that comes with them could be connected to hundreds of rapes of college-age women every year, says an analysis from a national think tank reported by The Tennessean. The National Bureau of Economic Research “working paper” used federal crime data to track the number of rapes reported in and around colleges during and after high-profile football games. A researcher said the data support a link between young people, sexual assault and heavy drinking. Top-tier football game days led to as many as 746 reported rapes of college-age victims annually across 128 universities.
Researchers found games with a higher national profile correlated with a bigger spike in rape reports. “We find significant and robust evidence that football game days increase reports of rape victimization among 17-24-year-old women by 28 percent,” the authors wrote. Home game days saw an even larger 41 percent jump in rape reports. At the University of Tennessee, where a home game can bring as many as 130,000 people to campus, officials bring in local, state and federal law enforcement.