Murray State Theses and Dissertations


This paper seeks to explain the interactions involved in recruiting prospective student-athletes to universities, particularly in the sport of softball. By employing the concepts of Game Theory, Prisoner’s Dilemma, and Matching Markets, the market for recruiting is explored and explained. Recent legislative changes in the market are then examined as well as possible outcomes as a result. Research on commitments in softball and lacrosse was collected in order to make claims in regard to incentives. The market for recruiting is compared to the residency placement matching system. Ideas are presented on ways to achieve a market that clears where outcomes are said to be “efficient” while also drawing attention to differences in markets which could inhibit the same models from being effective in the recruiting market.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

recruiting, college athletics, softball, game theory, matching markets

Thesis Advisor

David Eaton

Thesis Co-Advisor

Martin Milkman

Committee Member

David Gesler

Document Type