When it comes to collegiate sports, UT Dallas students and faculty members often know more about the Texas Longhorns than their own Comets. Many factors contribute to this, the lack of a football team certainly being one of them; regardless, the apathy toward varsity sports is detrimental to the growth of school spirit and pride. It is true that the undergraduate athletics only started more than a decade ago, and that the student athletes work really hard and perform relatively well, dominating their sports divisions at times. However, there’s just not enough glamour or drama to it—like an against-all-odds victory, a fierce local rivalry, or a state-of-the-art stadium—to attract more students to the games. The University knows it and wants to improve the whole scene, but any new upgrades or buildings will certainly take a lot of time and money to be installed, and success is not guaranteed.
Intramural and recreational sports, on the other hand, are a big part of campus life. Almost everyone plays something, and many students play in two or three different intramural tournaments. Skill levels vary greatly among players, but you can always start a certain sport with other novices and gradually work your way up the ladder. Depending on the activity, you can get either good equipment or crappy ones. The intramural soccer fields, for example, are good, while the student union’s pingpong paddles cannot even make a good stand against their Walmart counterparts. Students tend to agree that the fitness center is adequate for good workouts, but it’s always crowded—and understandably so, considering that 20,000 students share that 4000-square-foot facility.