The Atlantic has an interesting opinion piece called College Sports Are Affirmative Action for Rich White Students. In the US it is quite common for colleges (also including elite universities like Harvard and Yale) to admit a significant portion (often around 20 percent) of their students based more on athletic performance than on academic achievements. Even if you don’t subscribe to the racial perspective taken by the article, it becomes fairly evident that this highly advantages those who have the means and resources to participate in these sports. Students admitted based on athletic performance tend to be richer than ‘normal’ students, but less academically brilliant. Sports can of course be a way for very talented disadvantaged kids to make their way into prestigious colleges. But this is simply not the majority of cases. Most disadvantaged kids just don’t have the time and money to golf or polo or lacrosse their way into elite colleges.