We introduce a simple allocation-of-time model to explain the high school athletic participation choice and the implications of this choice for educational and labor market outcomes. Four different factors that could explain athletic participation are identified in the context of this model. A variety of tests of the model are provided using two data sets: the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. We find some evidence that athletic participation directly affects wages and educational attainment. However, much of the effect of athletic participation on wages and educational attainment appears to reflect differences across individuals in ability or value of leisure.