Harvey Mudd gets the reputation of being too focused on academics to hold any athletes or athletic interest; however, a lot of Mudders did play a sport in high school. On the other hand, the sport of choice for many Mudders is John Madden Football. During freshman year, everyone has to go through the initiation of one semester of Physical Fitness for Life (appropriately nicknamed PFD). This class forces some Mudd students to actually climb out from behind their computers. The only other way around this requirement is to participate in a varsity sport. Yes, there are people here who would never exercise if they didn't have to, but there are also tons of exercise buffs who play sports, work out frequently, and kick butt in the intramural games.
The hardest problem to face here when dealing with athletics is time management. It is possible to be on a varsity team and pass all of your classes, but it is a lot harder. Most Mudders give up their high school sport because they simply don't have the time to both do homework and work out. There are physical education requirements, and there are a lot of fun classes you can take (swing dance, rock climbing, fly fishing) in lieu of traditional sports. When it comes down to it, the average Mudder just doesn't have the time for sports. The Claremont Consortium allows for some cross-school rivalry, but on average, HMC students would rather have a good time than attack any of the other schools.