Normal, IL
Tuition (in-state)
$20,016 ($12,726)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Junior

Athletics: I have never attended any events.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: Football and basketball games are huge and usually have a very high attendance rate!

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: The gym is large and has great lifting machines

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: I don't take part in any campus sports, but they seem very popular and intramurals are very common.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: New rec center and nice football and baseball stadiums.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 1013rd
    Most Active Varsity Sports
  • 1229th
    Best Intramural Sports

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Elizabeth Nelligan
Lake Zurich, IL
View all previous student authors

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.

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
  • NAA
  • NCAA
Athletic Division
NCAA Division I-AA
Athletic Conferences
Football: Missouri Valley Conference
Basketball: Missouri Valley Conference
School Colors
Red and white
School Nickname
Men Playing Varsity Sports
225 - 3%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
216 - 2%
Students Receiving Athletic Financial Aid
Football: 86
Basketball: 29
Baseball: 29
Cross Country/Track: 48
Other Sports: 132
Graduation Rates of Athletic Financial Aid Recipients
Football: 60%
Basketball: 38%
Baseball: 50%
Cross Country/Track: 100%
Other Sports: 79%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (women's)
  • Bowling
  • Cheerleading
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Figure skating
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Paintball
  • Roller hockey
  • Rugby
  • Running
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Ultimate disc
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Water skiing
  • Wrestling
  • Bags
  • Basketball
  • Disc golf
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag football
  • Floor hockey
  • Indoor sprint triathlon
  • Kickball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Sports trivia
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Wiffleball
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Adelaide Street Field
  • Duffy Bass Field
  • Evergreen Racquet Club
  • Gregory Street Tennis Courts
  • Hancock Stadium
  • Horton Field House
  • Horton Pool
  • Kaufman Football Building
  • Marian Kneer Stadium
  • North Gym
  • Owen Center
  • Redbird Arena
  • Redbird Track and Field Complex
  • Weibring Golf Club
Most Popular Sports
Like any typical state university, football and men's basketball receive the most attention. While they may not be the most successful teams, they still tend to bring in the most revenue and fans.
Most Overlooked Teams
The women's teams, in general, do not receive a lot of attention or support.
School Spirit
School spirit may not be present during every athletic event, but students are proud to represent ISU wherever they go. Those who do attend athletic games are bursting with spirit, while the ones at home tend not to care. ISU does receive a lot of support and school spirit if there are rallies held on the quad. A few past rallies have included raising money for Haiti earthquake relief, remembering September 11, and ISU's Relay for Life. Although some students choose not to attend athletic events, they still show their pride by wearing ISU gear to class or around town.
Getting Tickets
Tickets can be purchased the day of a game. Normally, games do not sell out. Also, tickets are sold in advance usually at Redbird Arena. Students receive a discount with proof of their student ID. It is fairly cheap to attend most ISU athletic games.
Best Place to Take a Walk
Constitution Trail
Did You Know?
  • If you plan on attending some ISU sporting events, sign up for a Red Alert Pass! These passes allow students into games for free with priority seating. It is a great investment for sports-loving individuals. Visit for more information.
  • When Illinois State University plays Bradley University in any sport, buy a ticket in advance. Those games are extremely fun because BU and ISU have been rivals for many years.

Student Polls

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 102 responses

  • 5% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
  • 25% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 53% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 18% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 103 responses

  • 2% Almost no one participates in them.
  • 50% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 32% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 16% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 101 responses

  • 4% No one pays attention to varsity sports.
  • 62% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 33% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 1% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.



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