Sophomore Brendan Madden attends football practice at St. Thomas Aquinas College every day from 3 to 6 p.m. He then has a few hours to shower, eat and do his homework before heading to his second sports practice of the day: esports.
St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York, is one of 102 colleges and universities across the U.S. with esports varsity programs. Thirty-five of those schools are religious affiliated, including 11 Catholic universities.
Michael Brooks, executive director of the National Association of Collegiate Esports, said smaller private institutions, many of which are religiously affiliated, are “leading the way in terms of fielding varsity esports programs.”