The key there is the "net of $27 million" after expenses. How many sports does football revenue prop up that AREN'T profitable? Or other programs. I'd be curious how much of that $27 million is actually profit. And when you look at it that way there's an argument that a professional team that makes the playoffs, etc, is still more profitable than a college team. But again, I don't know the numbers so I don't know.
And here I thought the point of college was to earn an advanced degree in a field of study.
In actuality, it has been the minor league system for the NFL and NBA for quite a while now.
Well even beyond that! In about 2008/2009 I read one of the best articles I've ever read from a newspaper. It was a full on USA Today study about the majors that collegiate student athletes choose to study, and especially as it relates to men's basketball and football and it was kind of staggering. I forget the precise numbers but the general point of the article is that in an alarming number of these schools, the first meeting that the athlete has with a counselor after selecting their college and their sport and accepting their scholarship is that they're given a list of about 5-6 majors and told to pick one. Because if they studied anything else they wouldn't be able to handle both their sport responsibilities and going to class.
In the article, they interviewed more than one student who indicated that after college and after playing their sport, they had to go BACK to school to major in what they "actually" wanted to study since the option wasn't available while they were there on the first go-round. The basic premise was: it's all BS. They bring these kids in, they more or less arm-twist them into BS majors that they don't even want to study just to get them eligible (this was ESPECIALLY true among the kids who had professional sports aspirations (which, as we know, don't always pan out)), then the kid graduates, they're stuck with a (to them) meaningless degree they have no interest in pursuing, their pro sports aspirations don't pan out or they get hurt... and the university got all the benefits.