Aside from basketball, tennis, swimming, and cross country, athletics isn’t a big deal at Grinnell. Few students show up to games unless you're friends with someone on the team—given that so many Grinnellians are on a sports team, everyone has a friend on a squad. Teams try to advertise sporting events as much as possible. The fact that Grinnell is lacking in the stadium department doesn’t help. But the administration just unloaded a huge investment in a brand-new swimming center and athletics facility. The gym is state-of-the-art, and much of campus is becoming sports aficionados. However, even with the athletic policy that anyone can play anything without getting cut, most of the teams are great. They practice hard and play hard.
The big exception to the lax athletic program at Grinnell is the men’s basketball team. The coach has successfully implemented aggressive playing strategies that have led to high-scoring games and consistent victories for the Pioneers. "The system," as it is called, involves a constant full-court press, and any shot taken that isn't a three-pointer is frowned upon. Students love going to games, most commonly with a liberal dose of alcohol in their system. The atmosphere is totally insane! Suddenly, mild-mannered economics majors become a part of a belligerent, jeering crowd. Grinnell students heckle the opposing team to the point that other schools shudder at the thought of having an away game. If you decide to go to the games, here are a few words of advice: be sure to wear red. Be a Pioneer!