Athletic scholarships are common in the United States,
but in a majority of countries they are rare or non-existent.
College sports are a gigantic entertainment business that have nothing to do with the missions of the schools. Frequently, the highest-paid employee of a school is the football or basketball coach, and the athletics budget is hugely subsidized by fees paid by financially strapped students. Players who read and write at a middle-school level (if even that) are recruited to help teams win, but the academic work they do is laughable. Schools rack up big debts trying to win glory on the gridiron or court, even if it means scrimping on faculty salaries and building maintenance.
— How College Sports Turned into a Corrupt Mega-Business, James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal