In the past year or so, the Japan Sports Agency, an external bureau of the education ministry, has discussed the potential establishment of "a Japanese edition of the NCAA" as part of its scheme to make college sports in this country more business-like.

That does not mean the agency only has profit in mind. Rather, any money made could be re-invested to improve collegiate sports, ultimately leading to a better overall university environment.

Since last summer, the University of Tsukuba and Dome Corporation, the licensed distributor for American sporting product company Under Armour in Japan, have run a joint research project with support from Temple University, to explore how collegiate athletic departments in the U.S. operate and make money, and how the system could translate to Japan.