Intramurals have been popular on campus since their arrival in 1969. Women could initially play badminton and volleyball and men could play softball, tennis, and golf. Men could also compete in track & field or wrestle. By 1975, there were more than 2,000 students participating in basketball, archery, football, paddleball, and table tennis. Today men and women can play soccer, basketball, softball, flag football, cornhole, and much more.
Sports teams were initially put on hold because many administrators wanted to focus on education, in line with the original motto: “Accent on Learning.” In addition to fearing that sports would take the focus away from learning, President John Allen and other prominent administrators feared that adding football and basketball was not “economically feasible.” However, in 1964, President Allen approved minor intercollegiate sports such as baseball, crew, cross-country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, tennis, and wrestling. In the late '60s tennis, swimming, and soccer became popular on campus and, in 1968, USF joined the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Then in 1972, money was allotted for women’s intercollegiate sports such as archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, golf, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.
USF’s soccer team won the state championship in 1966, with a record of 10-0-1. USF blasted the Jacksonville Dolphins 7 to 1 that December. Our soccer team also won five championships in six years before 1981 in the Sun Belt Conference and won the title again in 1986. USF Basketball won the Florida Four Tournament championship in 1981 by beating Florida State University in a fairly close game, 82-67. USF’s baseball team won its first Sun Belt conference in 1982 and they won it again in 1986.