The high-profile Penn State football sex abuse scandal serves as the starting point for a TIME article probing the outsize influence of big-time sports on college campuses.

Through the Penn State example, schools across the U.S. would be forced to think about rebalancing academics and athletics. Nearly a third of the players on the Texas Tech football team don’t graduate. But in the Big 12 conference, Texas Tech is actually the top academic performer. Among 65 schools with major-college-football programs, only three–Northwestern, Boston College and Duke–graduate 90% or more of their football players. According to Duke University economist Charles Clotfelter, salaries for football coaches at 44 major public universities have grown 750%, on an inflation-adjusted basis, since 1985. Salaries for professors at these schools have risen 32%.

Carolina Journal Radio/ recently discussed the influence of large-scale college sports with George Leef. One question dealt with universities’ willingness to admit athletes with dubious academic records.

A programming note: Charles Clotfelter will discuss his recent book on college sports during a January presentation to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society.