Logan, Jerry. “The “Cinderella Story” as a University Resource”, Boston College, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:107835.
Through a qualitative case study of Butler University, this study seeks to understand how high-profile athletic success—in this instance, a Cinderella run in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament—can be leveraged to develop other institutional functions and elevate the profile of the university as a whole. The story of Butler’s investment in men’s basketball, culminating in two successive trips to the Final Four in 2010 and 2011, spans nearly three decades and offers an extreme yet instructive case of the potential synergy between a serious academic institution and a big-time college sports program. Through interviews with faculty and administrators, document analysis, and field observations on Butler’s campus, a picture emerges of the Cinderella story as a university resource that can be developed and managed through the decision-making of administrators in a variety of offices, including admissions, advancement, athletics, and marketing and communications. At Butler, the narrative begins in 1989 with the intentional decision to build men’s basketball into a flagship program for the institution, peaks with the twin Final Four appearances, and then consists of efforts to leverage this success as part of the university’s pursuit of a national profile after a long history as a regional institution.