Here is an interesting column from Rhoden of the Times in which amusingly clueless eggheads at Duke fret that the school's basketball success is overshadowing its academic attributes.
Hello! Until Duke started winning big in basketball it was a well regarded regional school. Now it is a powerful national brand known as much for attracting and producing scholars as it is for hoops.
Like it or not, branding through sports works.
The other day I went to pick up Chinese takeout while wearing a Cornell shirt and the guy who handed me my pork fried rice asked whether I attended Cornell. I said I had.
"You must be smart," he said. Then he added: "They had a great tournament."
There's a good chance the dude never had heard of Cornell a month ago.