Like other Northeastern selective schools, Amherst maintains a highly developed and competitive athletic regimen. Most student athletes simply love their teams, their teammates, coaches, and the fact that they get to go out and compete. Students here have sports as a legitimate outlet for the competitiveness inherent in most Amherst students. Most intercollegiate games don’t see capacity crowds, but loyal groups of alumni and parents keep things lively. Nonetheless, in big games, either in the postseason or against Williams College, seats can be hard to find. Above all, students love their football and men’s basketball teams. A vigorous rivalry, which fortunately is restricted to gametime, exists between Amherst and the other NESCAC colleges, especially Williams. It’s not rare for student athletes to devote most of their energy and effort in their four years here to the various varsity teams they are members of. Overall, students are quite proud of the legacy and friendships they’ve created through athletics and athletic groups.
For students who are not recruited, several more exotic sports are out there. Sailing, skiing, and ultimate Frisbee are all options that provide physical challenges to active students. Outside of those students who are into varsity or club sports, many are not into sports at all, except for working out, which is why there are only a few intramural options. Working out has become a kind of plague among the student body, and the gym is now a campus-wide gathering place.