It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States. No minor league farm organizations exist in American football and it is in college football where a players performance directly impacts his chances of playing professional football. The best collegiate players will declare for the professional draft after 3 to 4 years of collegiate competition. Those not selected can still attempt to land an NFL roster spot as a free agent. Even after the emergence of the professional National Football League, college football remained extremely popular throughout the U. S, in many cases, college stadiums employ bench-style seating, as opposed to individual seats with backs and arm rests. This allows them to more fans in a given amount of space than the typical professional stadium. College athletes, unlike players in the NFL, are not permitted by the NCAA to be paid salaries, colleges are only allowed to provide non-monetary compensation such as athletic scholarships that provide for tuition and books.
Modern North American football has its origins in various games, all known as football, by the 1840s, students at Rugby School were playing a game in which players were able to pick up the ball and run with it, a sport known as Rugby football. The game was taken to Canada by British soldiers stationed there and was soon being played at Canadian colleges, the first documented gridiron football match was a game played at University College, a college of the University of Toronto, November 9,1861. One of the participants in the game involving University of Toronto students was William Mulock, a football club was formed at the university soon afterward, although its rules of play at this stage are unclear. In 1864, at Trinity College, a college of the University of Toronto, F. Barlow Cumberland, modern Canadian football is widely regarded as having originated with a game played in Montreal, in 1865, when British Army officers played local civilians. The game gradually gained a following, and the Montreal Football Club was formed in 1868, early games appear to have had much in common with the traditional mob football played in England.
The games remained largely unorganized until the 19th century, when games of football began to be played on college campuses. Each school played its own variety of football, Princeton University students played a game called ballown as early as 1820. A Harvard tradition known as Bloody Monday began in 1827, which consisted of a mass ballgame between the freshman and sophomore classes, in 1860, both the town police and the college authorities agreed the Bloody Monday had to go. The Harvard students responded by going into mourning for a figure called Football Fightum. The authorities held firm and it was a dozen years before football was again played at Harvard. Dartmouth played its own version called Old division football, the rules of which were first published in 1871, all of these games, and others, shared certain commonalities