Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Joshua Rosett

Reader 2

Peter Uvin

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© 2015 Austin D Crist


Teams in the National Football League will do whatever it takes to win football games, even if that means having players with a criminal arrest history on their roster. However, does being arrested result in improved performance? Do NFL players with an arrest history perform better than those without one? I examine the effect a criminal arrest record has on player performance in the NFL from 2000-2014, using the top 30 ranked players within each position group. The position I chose to analyze were: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Defensive Linemen, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs. My findings show that having an arrest record leads to better performance only with Defensive Linemen. Because of the various skill specialties and differences inherent in each position group, aggression and violence should be more important qualities among Defensive Linemen. Furthermore, I find evidence that players with an arrest record on average perform incrementally better than players who do not have a criminal arrest history.