Balancing grades and gridiron

NBC recently renewed its television contract with Notre Dame football through the 2015 season, betting the bank that the Irish, who have not won a national championship since 1988 or a bowl game since 1993, can consistently deliver television ratings that keep corporate sponsors happy and revenue streams flowing.
Notre Dame’s attempt to return to glory raises a fundamental question: Can the nation’s top-25 academic institutions — Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and Michigan are examples — successfully compete in the world of corporate college football without substantially compromising academic standards?