Sports attendance at Ball State University is dismal at best. Most students said they are often unaware a home football game is being played, and the team is almost never discussed in polite conversation, except maybe as the punchline to a joke. The University tries to encourage athletic pride among the student body with promotions and gimmicks, such as purchasing a lighting system at the football stadium for night games, but largely to no avail. The team's record is still terrible, and many students say they don't want to go to a game just to see the Cardinals lose. The basketball team does better than the football team, which isn't saying much. Its record has stayed mediocre, for the most part, with the occasional flash of brilliance every three or four years.
Whatever BSU sport, the phrase "Are you going to the game this weekend?" is almost never heard on campus—unless someone is planning on taking a road trip to IU or Purdue. Despite all this, the University offers a strong intramural sports program with volleyball and rugby being among the most popular. But when it comes to varsity sports, just take a glance at the basketball and football teams' years-long string of lackluster seasons, and you'll see why most BSU students would rather stay out in the parking lot and drink at Homecoming than actually go in the stadium.