'True Believers': Many Die-Hard Duke, Carolina Fans Were Never Alumni

Mar 25, 2015

A new Duke University study reveals that most die-hard fans did not attend the universities they support. 

Charles Clotfelter researched which college sports teams were mentioned in obituaries. He is a professor of public policy at Duke University. 

Clotfelter says only about a third of what he calls "true believers" were alumni of their teams' universities.

“Many more people were linked to… the college that they loved by having lived in that state than having gone to the school,” Clotfelter says.

Clotfelter says about one third of the die-hard fans in his study didn't go to college at all. 

The research was published online by the Social Science Quarterly.

Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy put recorded portions of some of these die-hard fans' obituaries: