Through the Barnard and Columbia consortium, Barnard girls play varsity and club sports on Columbia's teams, which affords them the opportunity to compete on a larger scale than they would if Barnard had its own teams. This isn't a huge deal, however, because Columbia's sports aren't good at all, and no one watches them. You could ask 20 Barnard students what the score was at the Columbia football game, and not a single person would be able to tell you. In fact, most students can't name anyone on any of the varsity teams, or tell you where the field is or what it's called. The athletic offices always make claims that Columbia is going to come back, or that this year will be the big year, but students just don't take them seriously. There's just so much to do in New York that Barnard students don't have time for college football at a stadium that's nowhere near campus.
Playing sports and being active is great, so many people take advantage of the club and intramural sports, but very few can or want to afford the time commitment that varsity sports demand, especially for teams that aren't very good. The sports facilities could be better, but it's easy to see why the administration wouldn't want to put money into something that students aren't really that interested in, anyway. At Barnard, you can find ways to get involved with athletics and be active, especially on a non-competitive level, but just don't expect to go cheer for the team at Homecoming.