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?