Resources that could be used to strengthen academic programs or hold the line on tuitions go into sports.
So you lose more money on sports, but gosh darn it, you're slowly paying off the arena. That's called throwing good money after bad, even in the Ozarks, and you might lose less money dropping the athletics and having the bank foreclose on the arena.
That's the story at [Southwest] Missouri State. At Northern Illinois, the football team is 14-1 over the past fifteen games, including a bowl win, despite continued local skepticism about the investment value of selling wins to Iowa and Wisconsin for the benefit of their Chicago area alumni.

More generally, the logic of putting more money into the sports programs is dubious.
Coach Auriemma, is the University of Connecticut attempting to be competitive with Northern Illinois in accounting or Michigan State in engineering or Wisconsin in chemistry or Penn State in economics? I leave the generalization of your argument to the reader as an exercise.
Now comes Historiann, with an observation from Colorado State in the same vein.  The football program underachieves, and there's accumulating evidence that playing football is hazardous to adolescent health, and yet the program is underachieving because of underinvestment.
That’s right:  a guy with a 1 and 4 record isn’t out on his a$$–he’s even being rewarded for this kind of performance!  (And guess what?  Baa Ram U. is still paying out to other coaches they’ve fired in the past several years.  Sing it loud and sing it proud:  being a football coach is awesome!!!

Look, over there!  It’s a schoolteacher, and 80% of her students failed to make adequate yearly progress!  Let’s get her! She’s what’s wrong with education today.
There is ample evidence of resources being misallocated in the academic areas, in the Cold Spring Shops view most notably in student affairs, assessment, and retention.  Misallocation of resources there, however, does not excuse misallocation of resources in sport.

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