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College athletics or college sports encompasses non-professional, collegiate and university-level competitive sports and games requiring physical skill, and the systems of training that prepare athletes for competition performance.

The assimilation of sport into academic life at Cambridge University in the nineteenth century was documented by Andrew Warwick:
Competitive sport was employed to improve discipline, health, and appetite while keeping students away from illicit activities when not in the classroom. Sport was also used to build bonds of respect and admiration between masters and pupils and to reconcile a determination to win with respect for rules and established authority.