Of the many myths that falsely buttress Intercolligiate Sports, this blog entry examines the often-cited, but never-examined claim that winning sports programs boost applications. One poster broaches the subject that this might not even be a good thing, even if it were true, since applicants attracted to a school due to successful sports teams are likely to be of low quality. But don't worry: successful sports programs have very little affect on increasing applications.
Since intercolligiate sports progams don't increase money or students for a school, why do school officials, students, and alumni so passionately insist upon having them? The only reason I can imagine: they like them. And thus they act irrationally and emotionally. And since they like them, they accept myths that support them.
This is similar to why so many whites in the south supported slavery, despite its net negative economic impact (in comparassion to a wage labor economy): they just liked it. (Though millions disliked it enough to simply move to the non-slave states.) This also explains why people insist upon eating hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, etc.: they just like these things, even though these things undermine their health.