Is this not more of a 'general discussion' topic? 😉 At any rate, while this is correct, the presidents of the schools with major athletic departments (not to mention those who would like to work at schools with major athletic departments) and their trustees oversee all of this. It is big business and there is a lot of money at stake, though so many schools gamble big for a payoff that only a handful of programs can enjoy. Alumni and boosters play a big role, too. Many athletic department donors are also donors to other departments in the school and might not be if the athletic department were significantly diminished. Consider it to be something like the school's marketing division. People are not paying to put the chemistry lab or the solar decathlon teams on television, or even in a stadium with admission charged. It has traditionally been a way for schools to get their names in headlines, to spread the reputation of their prowess as institutions. It seems kind of silly, but application and enrollment figures for schools the fall semester following a March Madness or BCS win bear out that their sports teams that get widespread coverage in the media bolster their reputations among potential students. Of course it is rife with contradiction and corruption, it is ridiculous to have it associated with institutions of higher education, but too many people are making too much money from it to believe that it will go away or even be significantly reformed in our lifetimes. Heck, we cannot even get a BCS playoff due to the powers that be clinging so tightly to their share of the financial pie.