Originally Posted by cincinnati chili
Correct at your alma matter (IIRC, you're a Kansas alum). Incorrect at most colleges and universities. Football in particular is a big time expenditure and the money is not recouped directly by the institution. The only justification for it would be psychic or indirect benefits (e.g. a wealthy Tulane Univ. alum comes back for the University of Tulane Univ. of football game, and is so pleased by his experience that he gives $1 million to build a new science building).
Warning: this pdf takes a long time to open
, and despite this article being very PRO-intercollegiate athletics, demonstrates that athletics are $$$ losers in most instances.
I'm a firm believer that the psychic and indirect benefits are grossly overstated. If Congress tomorrow BANNED intercollegiate sports from any institution receiving federal funds (but allowed schools to do intramurals), I believe that we'd be a better educated society and we'd get more for our education dollar.
What about recruiting? I'll bet we see a spike in enrollment at KU in the next couple of years thanks to the performance of the football and basketball teams. Those additional tuition dollars are another indirect result of athletics, at least at the big-name schools. And those students eventually become alumni, with sports as their main connection to the university.