As one of the smallest Division I schools in the country, Rice is known to always play against bigger schools, which unfortunately has not resulted in a fabulous athletic record. Home football games usually get a fairly decent turnout, and after claiming the championship title of the College World Series in 2003, the baseball team has since received massive financial support and attention. Sadly, most of the other varsity teams go virtually unnoticed by the overall student population. Compared to other universities that charge students to attend games and still fill the seats, Rice gives free tickets to any Rice student who wishes to attend a game.
While varsity athletics may be lacking, the club and intramural sports scene is another story entirely. A large variety of club and intramural sports is available, and a high percentage of the student population participates in one of these teams. Many club teams are often just as competitive as varsity teams. In 2010, Rice rugby won the conference title and went on to play at nationals. Competition between the residential colleges is what drives the intramural system (although non-team or non-college sports are also very popular). Powderpuff and flag football games between colleges usually draw a crowd of fans/cheerleaders from the respective colleges. It could definitely be argued that more students on campus care about the club and intramural teams than the varsity teams.