Sports play an important part in engaging the general populous with the schools. Its a connecting factor, and is a good recruiting tool for them. It also brings in a poo ton of money that wouldn't pour into the schools without the connection thru the sports programs. Schools call and beg for money all of the time, and they find that they are more successful in obtaining donations when people are excited about the sports teams (the team is doing well). But, if things were done purely as a business decision, most schools would only have the biggest sports and most women's sports would not exist.