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One of the participants in the game involving University of Toronto students was (Sir) William Mulock, later Chancellor of the school.A football club was formed at the university soon afterward, although its rules of play at this stage are unclear. Modern Canadian football is widely regarded as having originated with a game played in Montreal, in 1865, when British Army officers played local civilians.In 1864, at Trinity College, also a college of the University of Toronto, F. The game gradually gained a following, and the Montreal Football Club was formed in 1868, the first recorded non-university football club in Canada.

The best collegiate players will typically declare for the professional draft after 3 to 4 years of collegiate competition, with the NFL holding its annual draft every spring. Those not selected can still attempt to land an NFL roster spot as an undrafted free agent.

Although the college game has a much larger margin for talent than its pro counterpart, the sheer number of fans following major colleges provides a financial equalizer for the game, with Division I programs – the highest level – playing in huge stadiums, six of which have seating capacity exceeding 100,000.

In many cases, college stadiums employ bench-style seating, as opposed to individual seats with backs and arm rests. colleges or universities – Papa John's Cardinal Stadium at the University of Louisville and FAU Stadium at Florida Atlantic University – consist entirely of chairback seating.) College athletes, unlike players in the NFL, are not permitted by the NCAA to be paid salaries.

This allows them to seat more fans in a given amount of space than the typical professional stadium, which tends to have more features and comforts for fans. Colleges are only allowed to provide non-monetary compensation such as athletic scholarships that provide for tuition, housing, and books.

Modern North American football has its origins in various games, all known as "football", played at public schools in England in the mid-19th century.

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