Although I agree with many of your points, I would just like to point out that you are far off base with thinking that 2/3s of all athletes don't complete their eligibility. I am a college coach, and I would say roughly 90-95% of athletes complete their eligibility.
With that being said, your point remains. You should go somewhere where, if athletics don't work out, you would still be happy. I wholeheartedly agree with the philosophy of your statement.