Sorry if already posted - I didn't see it in the archives - but the New York Times had an article about the cutlure of sports at colleges and how it was (potentially) having an adverse effect on the academic performance of the students.
While I understand the consternation held by some of the professors at schools who see academics taking a back seat to athletics, many of the facts and figures they point to are not exclusive to athletics but instead are true for any major campus event. For example, they talk about the drop in GPA at Oregon when the football team does well, though (a) the number they quote (0.02 for men) seems rather small and (b) the timeframe for the data is rather short (Oregon has only been enjoying its current "elite" run for what, 3-4 years?). Also, they note that at one school students visiting the library and reading articles drops during sporting events, but they don't provide figures about similar usage around big school events like campus "holidays" (Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, etc.) and non-athletic events to see if that drop is a more general trend. And to point to China as an example of "laser focus" on academics is a little silly - the academic composition in other countries is vastly different than in the US, but many of those schools have myriad of other problems that US educators would also cringe at.
Regardless, a good read.