Compare this: I, as a coach, spend 4-5 years and up to 20 hours per week for half of those years, with the student-athletes. After many years of coaching, I have received countless letters, cards, phone calls, etc. with appreciation for the things that myself and other coaches have instilled in the student-athlete... discipline, work ethic, team work, etc.
How many professors can honestly say the same thing? Yes, there are professors doing great research, but we all know that there are MANY professors that are 'average joe's'.