American college sport is a multi-billion dollar industry with many college teams enjoying larger television viewing figures and live attendances at games compared to that of professional teams. Every household in America will support one college team or another which, in turn, makes the college game very big business indeed. All professional athletes that compete in the NBA, MLS, NFL, NHL, MLB, or any other professional or Olympic team would most likely have been former college athletes.
In fact, if the University of Southern California's athletic department was a country, it would rank third in a league table of the world's nations with the most Olympic medals. It is the most competitive sporting environment in the world for athletes between the ages of 18 - 24.
Finance plays a major part in college sport and winning teams are often the ones that make the most money. In 2014, the University of Oregon's sport teams generated over $200 million in revenue. The television contract for college sport is worth $23 billion. Of the ten biggest stadiums in the USA, eight of them are on college campuses; each averaging over 100,000 fans per game. The highest paid college coach earns $10 million per year. The kit deal at the University of California Los Angeles is with Under Armour; who pay the university $280 million for the rights to put their brand on the Notre Dame athletes. These, and many other facts, are replicated across the country with universities competing to be the best - both on and off the field of play.