College athletic systems are doing just fine though, with college coaches being the highest-paid public officials in fully 80% of states, as shown in this map by deadspin.com.
Football coaches do best. USA Today recently published a list of the top 10 salaries in football.
In general, basketball coaches don't do quite so well, with the glaring exception of Mike Krysewski, the highest paid of them all. He does turn out a strong team year after year (as this Duke fan can personally attest to) but $7M?
Would less attention on athletics and more on education result in better education results for Americans?