I have felt this way for years, but someone finally did it.
A rural school district in Texas was facing severe challenges. One high school principal decided the bite the bullet and CANCEL SCHOOL SPORTS.
And whaddya know? The students did better academically that year.
This article in The Atlantic Monthly tells all about it. I suggest you read it.
I'm not against sports per se. For some kids, it's the outlet they need for all their extra energy. There is nothing wrong with getting the kids outside for some exercise. I just don't think that schools should be spending precious resources on them. Let the kids get together with friends at the park to play after school. Make it about having fun instead of fostering rivalry that borders on ridiculousness like in this example at this link.
Think about it. How many high school athletes actually go on to play professional sports? I don't know the statistics but I would say not that many. That's a lot of public school money going to train a minority of the students, and of that only a slim, slim minority make it to professional levels. Do we really want to tell our kids that football helmets are more important than math textbooks? Really?
The principal in the article told some of the students at his school when he told them that sports were canceled, "Would you rather have sports, or would you rather have school?"
If there isn't money to fund both academics and sports, then which would you rather have?