Giving football scholarships is really just a wise investment on the part of the university. What the university really needs, and wants if money in the form of football ticket sales, contributions, endowments from alumni, and allotments and grants from the state legislature.
By giving football scholarships, many smaller, struggling universities, Notre Dame, for example, can attract talented, sought-after football players. These players build a winning football team and the university builds our reputation. The university’s football games may be on television and the team may be asked to play in a bowl game.
With this publicity, fans and alumni are eager to attend the games, thus boosting ticket sales. Rich alumni, who are proud of their school, give endowments and grants. And for state schools, the congressmen and representatives at the state capital are pleased with the publicity the school, and thus the state receives.
As a result, the state’s coffers are a little more open and the money flows, enabling the university to pay its faculty, build a new building, and keep up the quality of its teaching. Yes, the football scholarship is a small investment from which the university hopes to reap big gains.