I never said money was the ONLY thing, but you'd be naive to think that wasn't part of the equation.
Of course it is.
I know you know all this, Sparky, but I feel a mini-rant coming on.
Colleges and universities are BUSINESSES and they mean to operate FOR PROFIT. Football is a huge, huge part of endowments and all kinds of money receipts - TV, radio, etc.
For that reason, and because of relative success, Joe Paterno was looked upon as being the proverbial Goose that kept laying the Golden Egg. Year after year, Paterno brought the money in.
The money that Paterno brought in was the source of his power, principally. Football bowl games and national championships and all that related bullshit pale in comparison to the CASH that those activities bring in.
Ancillary to all this is the warm 'n fuzzy hoo-rah bullshit that sports brings on to a lot of people. These are the people whose eyes glaze over when August rolls around because that means football is in the air. These are the people who hang out in sports bars and do chest bumps with each other when their favorite team scores a touchdown, spilling beer all over themselves in the process. These are the people who paint themselves in all manner of dumbass paint schemes and refuse to wear any clothing on their naked torsos in 0 deg. weather. (Are you listening, Cleveland?)
You damned straight it's about money.