The argument is that a strong athletics program will raise out-of-state enrollments. In-state tuition is subsidized, meaning a loss to the school. Out-of-state students pay more than their "fair share" (let's ignore the Social Justice implications of young people being encouraged to take on debt that cannot be discharged even in bankruptcy so that they can go to some bitchin' games). So a winning team attracts those lucrative auslanders.
So much for the theory - what does the hard, unforgiving math say? Uh, nazzo fast:
In 2011 CSU received about 16,000 applications of which about 7,000 were out of state. A top-20 team would therefore boost out of state applicants by 175, a top-10 team by 210 applications and a National Championship by as much as 560 applicants. This boost would be for only one year, after which the effect would disappear. I think it is safe to say that CSU's football successes simply cannot drive large increases in out-of-state applications, even with a national championship every year.A couple hundred students - that's what that shiny new stadium would bring. Maybe.
It's really astonishing to watch a bunch of (mostly) leftie Professors* advance what boils down to Say's Law to justify their Higher Ed budgets. Err, with a bunch of negative social justice implications tossed in, to boot. But hey, it's not working in the private sector! I mean, they expect results!
* Dr. Pielke excepted, of course, who pretty well eviscerates CSU's hair brained scheme. He also has a quite interesting (and recommended - check out the blogroll link) climate science blog. Since most of you are beastly Deniers, his "luke warmist" approach will stretch your thinking a bit, which is always a Good Thing.
Of course, Dr. Pielke is likely a dirty Commie, but hey, aren't we all?