Definitely not a smart budgetting move. However, and unfortunately, it is used many times as a ploy to rile up the masses and gain more support of increased budgets. Sports are a co-curricula activity and can be as beneficial, or more beneficial, to a student's development than knowledge gained in the classroom. There has been much written about the benefits of athletics in the development of young people. Are there better alternatives? Perhaps, but the answer is simply to not underfund education. Invest in the future.