When you play Division I sports, you're not treated as a "student-athlete" -- as colleges love to profess to the world -- you're an athlete-student, and you're there for one reason and one reason only. You can keep your grades up enough to remain eligible, but then again, that's only so you can be able to play -- and earn more money for the university.
The focus on wealth makes the show play out like a classic Shakespearean tragedy. The fabulous homes, clothes, and opulent parties at first make the viewers admire the housewife and wish to be like her. But soon we see the "real" person, whose hubris reveals a deep unhappiness that they, being unreliable narrators, deny.