It is apparent that athletics are not huge at ISU, but that does not mean there is a lack of school spirit. ISU offers 17 varsity sports for students to get involved in throughout the school year. Football, which is a big deal at other schools, takes a backseat to basketball. However, football is still important and one of the largest fan-based sports that students, faculty, and community members turn out for during the season. Homecoming is a popular activity where a lot of alumni come back to tailgate and watch the game. In 2010, the ISU basketball team earned its third-straight postseason tournament bid. It is common knowledge that if an ISU sports team is doing well, a large majority of the student body will come support them, but if the opposite is true and a team is doing poorly, they receive little to no spirit.
There are also a number of athletics that do not receive as much support, including swimming, hockey, golf, and lacrosse. Lacrosse is one of many intramural clubs that continues to gain popularity throughout the campus. All ISU students are invited to join any of the intramural sports available. This is a great way to have fun and get involved on campus without having the responsibility of a sports team. Even though sports are not a main concern for ISU students, there is still a lot of school spirit. The main campaign is called "Spread the Red," which was started in 2006. There are a lot of local stores like Campus Supply that sell ISU gear at a discounted price.