Stanford really does have one of the nation’s best overall athletic programs and manages to excel in everything from swimming to fencing. Everyone seems to be quite aware of the school’s success, and it is a matter of pride for most students. Still, Stanford teams are not supported by the student body to the extent that other comparable college athletics are. Students are often just too busy to get out and watch many of the games. If a team is having a poor season, game attendance will be especially dismal. Students are really into intramural sports, however. If someone wants to play a sport in a semi-organized way, it is definitely possible; and even if you don’t play on an official IM team, there are always a lot of pick-up basketball, soccer, or ultimate Frisbee games.
Having so many athletes at Stanford adds a strange dimension to what is generally considered a primarily academic institution. It may be interesting to have an IHUM section with future Olympic athletes, but don’t be surprised when you learn that many of them scored in the 1000 range on the SAT. Still, some athletes are among the best students at Stanford and manage to excel across the board. If you don’t play a sport, there is no better institution at which to be a fan—there is always a winning team at Stanford to cheer for.