For example, if a major College Football program brings in $30 million of revenue, but spend $35 to operate the program, they are losing $5 million. On the other hand if a program brings in $20 million but operates on $18 million then they are generating a $2 million profit - a profit which can be used to subsidize non or small revenue sports at that school.
There are only a dozen or so programs each year that actually generate a profit - or about 20% of the Power 5 conference schools. Outside of these small number of schools it is false to say that college football and/or men's Bball PAY for all the other sports.
Another way to look at dollar value brought to the university is to look at the # of SAs in a sport and the cost needed to support that program. For example, if there are 100 T&F SAs (50 men / 50 women) and the program is fully funded (i.e. 12.6 and 18) then there are roughly 38 men* and 32 women* paying to go to school. Certainly many of these will have other types of scholarships/grants, etc.... But for argument purposes lets assume these remaining 38 and 32 have 1/2 of school paid for and the other half they need to pay. That is the equivalent of 19 men and 16 women paying full tuition. If tuition is say 10K a year (nice deal for a state school) then that is 190K generated for the men and 160K for the women; combined total of 350K. I know a lot of T&F programs that could do quite a bit with an annual budget of 350K.
If administrators would look at it from this point of view, perhaps we can start justifying our sport as being self-sufficient - no need to ask for any help from the revenue generating sports; we don't need them. Now, of course that 350K in tuition needs to go to paying for the professors that teach those courses, but without the SAs perhaps some of those academic positions wouldn't exist in the first place.
*To make the explanation simple I calculated as if the 12.6 and 18 were on fulls and everyone else was a walk-on though we all know we operate in % of scholarship allocations.