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3 College Freshman

Athletics: Athletics at Carnegie Mellon are not very obvious in the community.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: There are many opportunities to get involved but there's not a strong sports culture.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Our football team is D3 and okay. The amount of spectators varies depending on who the opposing team is

3 College Junior

Athletics: There definitely is a lot of school spirit, but that is based around the "fence" and other school things moreso than sports, I would say.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Athletics: No one really cares about sports except for those who participate in them.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 192nd
    Best Intramural Sports
  • 1361st
    Most Active Varsity Sports

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Raina Bradford-Jennings
Brookfield, CT
Professional Writing
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

To say that sports are popular at Carnegie Mellon would be a bold-faced lie. It's unfortunate that the students who are recruited to the school's 16 varsity sports practice daily without much recognition from the rest of the student body. It is hard to pinpoint exactly why interest in varsity sports is so low, especially because so much of the campus is active through club and intramural sports and athletic classes. The intramural leagues are actually quite competitive, and host playoffs in basketball, wallyball, badminton, tennis, indoor soccer, and more. 

Nevertheless, it is considered to be a great turnout to sporting events if one-third of the seating is filled. Some of the more "popular" sports (meaning more than 3 dozen spectators show up) seem to coincidentally be the sports that throw a lot of off-campus parties. Coincidence?

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
  • NAA
  • NCAA
Athletic Division
NCAA Division III (with football)
Athletic Conferences
Football: University Athletic Association
Basketball: University Athletic Association
School Colors
Cardinal, gray, and tartan plaid
School Nickname
Men Playing Varsity Sports
243 - 7%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
129 - 5%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Fencing
  • Grappling
  • Ice hockey
  • Kendo
  • Lacrosse (men's and women's)
  • Martial arts
  • Racquetball
  • Roller hockey
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Skiing
  • Soccer (men's and women's)
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag football
  • Floor hockey
  • Kickball
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Gesling Stadium (outdoor track and football field)
  • Outdoor soccer field
  • Outdoor tennis courts
  • Skibo Gymnasium
  • University Center Gym
  • Varsity weight room
Most Popular Sports
The most popular varsity sports are undoubtedly football, men's soccer, and basketball. There's no concrete reason why, but most suspect there is a correlation between the amount of parties these teams throw and the number of "fans" that show up to their games.
Most Overlooked Teams
Some students would tell you that the most overlooked sports teams would be all of them. As sad as that is, there are two sports that win the title of most overlooked. Golf and cheerleading are two varsity sports, but most CMU students do not even realize that varsity golf exists. The cheerleaders are visible because they are at all basketball and football games, but for some reason they have a recruiting problem, and the three graduating seniors on the squad of five people present a problem for the future that can hopefully be rectified.
School Spirit
Athletic school spirit is nonexistent. When it comes to athletics, students are more likely to say, "Yeah, we have a _____ team, but they suck." Some varsity teams actually have very good records, but the fact that CMU is a Division III school equates to "terrible sports" in the minds of most students. People have a lot more school spirit for the Carnegie Mellon name, and how prestigious their specific department is, instead of athletic achievement.
Getting Tickets
Getting tickets isn't the hard part when attending sporting events-you simply show up. The most difficult part is finding a seat on the bleachers/in the stands among the 30 people that show up to each event.
Best Place to Take a Walk
The closest place to take a relaxing and scenic walk near campus is through Schenley Park. Schenley is located right behind Baker/Porter Hall, which houses the Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences. Multiple walking/running trails through shaded areas make it easy to walk or run 7 miles without retracing a step. Frick Park is a bit farther from CMU- about a mile and a half away-but it is still easy to get to, and some trails loop through both Schenley and Frick.

Student Polls

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 85 responses

  • 52% No one pays attention to varsity sports.
  • 41% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 6% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 1% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 82 responses

  • 23% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
  • 38% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 35% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 4% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 84 responses

  • 1% Almost no one participates in them.
  • 44% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 5% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 50% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).



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