Now this is thought-provoking:
… I’ll just say very loudly: college sports operates in a not-for-profit accounting world! In these environments, expenditures rise to match revenues. Reported surpluses are not a guide to profitability because their is no incentive to grow surpluses so owners can extract these surpluses as profits. In not-for-profit settings, revenues and revenue growth are the real guide.
What about empty seats at some games, even for big time producers? Again, the crazy world of college sports has invented this problem largely through setting up games with lower tier teams that generate much less interest. In pro sports, these are pre-season games, not mid-season games.
So, if at some point student-athletes received a serious share of athletics revenue, would that force schools to improve scheduling to keep asses in the seats/eyeballs on the tube?