I am confused about your comments. You seem to be conflating some things, are you discussing academics or athletics? You start out by saying non AAU schools may not be around, but then finish with revenue from sports.I question how many of the non AAU schools will even be around in 10-15 years from now, no one is even talking about that, I'm one that thinks it is maybe the most important of all this in the long run. Advanced education is in for drastic change IMO and college institutions are going to drop like flies.
I'm recalling this from memory so I could be off a little, but ACC has 5 AAU schools, SEC 5, PAC12 8?, BIG 13. If I were the ACC, BIG, PAC think the alliance is a good way to test and feel it all out and also let every member see just where they are in contributing or not contributing, believe this leads to a solution in long run, helps sort it out, just my opinion and I could be wrong, have been before. In the long run I just wonder if the Clemsons, Auburns of the world are even around as colleges and Universities, just wonder. I also wonder if GT being what and where it is had a lot to do CGC wanting to come here, he's a smart guy and is seeing that things could really change in Pro and College FB going forward. I'm not sure I would want to own an NFL, or Pro BB franchise at this point. Not saying they're going "bust", but the bloom is off IMO.
Do you really think that Auburn University is in danger of closing because they are not an AAU school? From a student enrollment standpoint, it is possible that fewer people will attend college in the future. However, a large land-grant research university is much more stable than smaller colleges and state universities. It is much, much more stable than for profit quasi-universities. There are only 64 AAU members. Even if you cut the number of college enrollees by half, the average enrollment would have to be over 150,000 for each AAU member to be the only universities open.
From a budget standpoint, athletics is not a factor in the academic side of universities. Auburn University has a budget of about $1.5 billion. Auburn athletics has revenue of about $150 million. Auburn athletics has expenses of about $140 million. Part of Auburn athletics revenue is $8 million that they get from student fees and from the university. Just as rough numbers, that means that Auburn athletics can provide about $2 million in revenue to the university overall. (I don't know if they do) $2 million out of a $1.5 billion budget is non-consequential. If athletics disappeared entirely, Auburn University would still be able to continue exactly as it has in the past.
If revenue from sports drops in the future and some programs have to shut down, membership in the AAU will have no impact on whether a particular sports program can continue or not. Texas is the top sports revenue school with $224 million in revenue, and they are an AAU member. Buffalo is an AAU member, but they only have $46 million in sports revenue. AAU membership has nothing to do with athletics financing.