absolutely agree that without football and the SWC TCU would not be a major university. The Disciples of Christ denomination could not support the school nearly as much as Baptists did Baylor or the Methodists did SMU. The last time I checked the annual contriubtion of the DoC to TCU was about 100 grand, maybe enough to pay the light bill for a week?We left the idea of having our football (and/or men's basketball players) be accepted at TCU as if they were typical applicants likely 97 years ago +/- when we joined the SWC. In 1916, Southwestern left the SWC because they didn't want to offer scholarships and/or treat athletes differently than normal students. Without football and the SWC, TCU would likely be on par with Southwestern or a Texas Weslayan- a very small liberal arts school.
The kids in our revenue sports aren't necessarily here for TCU's great strength of its education although some surely are. I've been told by a large booster that our men's basketball program has floundered dismally over decades because we demand more academic performance than do our conference mates going back to the SWC- this was the biggest rub that the TCU administration had with Billy Tubbs.