Who Will Add D1 Lacrosse Next?

edited August 2013 in Division I
imageWho Will Add D1 Lacrosse Next?

Who will be the next D1 men's lacrosse team? It's a question the entire lacrosse community has asked time and time again. When a new team is added, it tends to fuel the conversation. Brian Conlon, of LaxKingsTV, is back on LAS with his argument on why one of FOUR teams will be the next to go D1!

Read the full story here

Comments

  • I think Elon is another strong contender. Furman and High Point went D1 recently and are similar types of schools. They have also added a D1 womens program and are moving to the CAA which sponsors lax. Also they pull in a lot of students from MD and other mid atlantic states already which would provide a fan base. They also have had moderate success in the MCLA as a perennial top 15 program in D2 for the past 10 years.
  • edited August 2013
    another day, another next-D1 post full of opinion and conjecture. FSU lost a big chip in their d1 bid by firing Harkins. Lacrosse brings in no revenue for the big football schools, so athletic departments are much better suited adding football scholarships on the men's side in a time where budgets are tight. Shorelax makes a good point of Elon and smaller, mid-major types (as we have seen with UMass-Lowell, Monmouth) more likely to make the jump at this point in time rather than a BCS big boy. Basing a prediction off of club success is a big assumption to make. Michigan's jump was more fueled by JP's fundraising ability rather than his ability to lead a team to Ws. Look at Marquette on the other hand, they sucked as a club team. Only a handful of club kids make these teams anyway. Such jumps are more fueled by a willing AD and generous boosters rather than whether the club program is good or not.
    Post edited by tonyperkis on
    thebuckethelmet
  • I like the list, but as tough as it is to admit as someone involved in the MCLA, I don't think the success of a club team on campus has anything to do with schools choosing to add lacrosse. Some of the recent additions to D1 (Boston, Marquette, Richmond) and some of the schools rumored to add lax (USC, SMU) have club programs that haven't been successful on a national level. The transition that Michigan made to D1 with a mostly club roster is a cautionary tale for schools thinking that club success could equate to a solid D1 team. A club program with a strong alumni group (with deep pockets) could certainly help encourage schools to make the move, but on the field club success isn't as much of a factor. Location, conference affiliation, and the general profile of the school are much bigger factors in my opinion.
  • There is false information in this post. It says that Boston College lost to Sonoma State in the Semifinals of the 2013 MCLA tournament. Boston College lost in the first round of the tournament to Sonoma State by a score of 14-6. 13 of the 16 teams in the Division One MCLA tournament were from the west so I find it interesting that the top seven picks of this article were teams from the east.
    Kevin Rowen
  • wesleypipes and tonyperkis are right.

    I love these articles about new D1 teams. "Hey, here are the places that would be cool to have D1 lacrosse! Here's my list with no actual research or understanding of how athletic departments and universities run."

    Each of the schools listed in the article is a BCS football school. In case you haven't noticed, only one BCS school has added men's lacrosse in the last 34 years. Michigan. And Michigan had a unique set of circumstances (head coach's fundraising efforts, aggressive AD, one of the only athletic departments in the country that makes money, best club program over 4 years previous to varsity, national alumni base that is heavy on the East Coast). All other D1 adds for men's lacrosse have been smaller schools or universities without football. That alone should get the research juices flowing. Why are the biggest athletic departments not adding lacrosse? What's holding them back? Why do the smaller schools do it? This an ongoing discussion on the LaxPower Forums, where there is some pretty good information.

    The bottom line is these big schools will not be adding men's lacrosse in the next few years, if ever. 1. Most of them are losing money on athletics and cannot justify spending millions on new programs when they are scrambling to find funding to take care of their current sports with new or upgraded facilities and more support. 2. If you already have big-time football, what is the incentive to add lacrosse? More exposure? Lacrosse exposure is completely irrelevant if you have BCS football. More applicants? Not a factor for big schools. They get plenty of applicants.

    I can see conference affiliation having a slight influence, but Big Ten schools and ACC schools still face the same financial challenges. It just isn't going to happen without huge infusions of money. I think we'll continue to see smaller, non-football D1 schools add men's lacrosse every few years. We'll be very lucky if we see one or two big schools pull the trigger any time soon.
    tonyperkisthebuckethelmetKrieg Shawsocolax2
  • We Constitution Stater's have been pushing for a UCONN Huskies DI team for years now. I'm sad to report that it isn't going to happen anytime soon. The state's education budget has been in the red since the Dubya years, and what little extra athletic $$ they have goes to their "up-and-coming" (their words) football program. After seeing what their basketball programs did for their U$News rankings, UCONN believes a strong football team can turn them into the next Michigan. I say good luck to them--they'll need it--but I'm not holding my breath on any hype for big-time lacrosse up in Storrs.

    In general, however, I think that DI lax learned an important lesson from JP and Michigan: support needs to come from the ground up. The truth is that adding lacrosse doesn't make sense for anybody--at least not until some passionate laxers can prove to an AD otherwise. Who will add DI lacrosse next, you ask? I'd say: whoever wants it most.
    masterblaster
  • I believe that Lacrosse will expand between now & 2020. I think expansion would happen with the major conferences due to Television budgets exploding in the next few years. The B1G has already sponsored a conference so we can see Minnesota, MSU, Purdue or an Indiana starting D1 Lacrosse. Expansion in the South and West will be the greatest where Pac 12 schools and SEC / ACC schools joining the fray. The great thing about having a D1 lacrosse program is that the start-up fees are much less than other sports (you can use a football practice field for Lacrosse). Look for USC, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, ASU & UCLA to start programs. The first four programs have Women's Lacrosse and Colorado does not sponsor Baseball. I can also see Colorado State in both Men's & Women's Lacrosse going the route of a Michigan where they have strong support and winning programs. With schools building $100 Million Athletic facilities within the next few years, 1-2 Million to start up Lacrosse is a small amount to get the fastest growing sport in the US today.
    socolax2tonyperkis
  • Kevin RowenKevin Rowen LAS Editorial Intern SoCal
    @pitmonster0315 the error has been corrected. Thank you for letting us know!
  • socolax2socolax2 CT's finest
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say none of the programs you have listed will have NCAA DI programs by 2030. Why? The reasons you have listed are ridiculous. BC dropped it for a reason, their club teams success, and facilities they had when they had the team, are not enough to make it happen. A booster with 3 million lying around is what it would take. And even then, the AD and the school would have to want it to happen. I'm a CT resident and there was a big petition going around to try to get UConn on the D1 lax train. Even with all that support it didn't happen. Money talks, BS walks. Also, having a women's team is not a good reason. Many schools with football are using women's lacrosse as a cosigner to even out Title IX. Why ruin that by adding a men's team? Or worse, if the school has neither, they then need to add both and then dump even more money into 2 programs when you don't have to begin with.

    Mid majors will add it slowly, especially if their academics suck, because lacrosse players tend to be highly academic people and because its a way to showcase their school in an exotic sport that they have a chance in competing in. There is 0% chance that Furman would be anything special in the SEC driven south for football, but you can bet your ass they'll make some noise in lacrosse.

    I think the biggest places lacrosse will grow are the NCAA Div III, especially out west, and MCLA. And frankly, I can speak from experience here, many MCLA programs treat their lacrosse like varsity and just fund it from a different department of the school, or have large dues that allow them to travel better than many NCAA football teams. Also, what if we don't want to be in the NCAA? Has that thought occurred to anybody? The MCLA presents a model to AD's that says "Hey, we don't have to worry about Title IX, recruiting violations, scholarships, AND it doesn't put us in the red by a couple million? count me in!" Instead its funded through student life, club sports, or the school's division of campus recreation (like programs council, etc.) I can tell you that there is a school here in CT who would have made the MCLA jump instead of the NCAA jump if they retained enough interest in the sport at the school. Unfortunately, many of those kids graduated/transferred and now the school isn't sponsoring the sport in either league.

    Anywho, I don't expect any BCS schools to add D1 men's lacrosse any time soon, and only a couple from mid majors in D1. The biggest growth will be in D3, especially considering there are more private D3 schools with endowments who can afford that type of thing, and use it as a function to draw in 30 extra sets of tuition dollars to a school that otherwise is unknown.
    All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
  • ahhyesrs said:

    I believe that Lacrosse will expand between now & 2020. I think expansion would happen with the major conferences due to Television budgets exploding in the next few years. The B1G has already sponsored a conference so we can see Minnesota, MSU, Purdue or an Indiana starting D1 Lacrosse. Expansion in the South and West will be the greatest where Pac 12 schools and SEC / ACC schools joining the fray. The great thing about having a D1 lacrosse program is that the start-up fees are much less than other sports (you can use a football practice field for Lacrosse). Look for USC, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, ASU & UCLA to start programs. The first four programs have Women's Lacrosse and Colorado does not sponsor Baseball. I can also see Colorado State in both Men's & Women's Lacrosse going the route of a Michigan where they have strong support and winning programs. With schools building $100 Million Athletic facilities within the next few years, 1-2 Million to start up Lacrosse is a small amount to get the fastest growing sport in the US today.

    Baseball, TV budgets, startup costs, and the fact that the Big10 has sponsored a conference will have nothing to do with it. All of the Big10 and PAC12 athletic departments you named would be better suited from a business standpoint by devoting funds to a known breadwinner in football. Why shake the dice on lax? Sporadic D1 growth will be confined to mid-majors with continuation of relatively more rapid expansion of D2/D3 teams as has been seen in recent years.
    masterblaster
  • ramslax17ramslax17 Mt. Vernon, IA
    i think either Colorado or CSU would add it next. they are both extremely successful at the club level and they have a pretty good local talent pool to draw from. i also think that BYU would be another good candidate to add lacrosse. finally, i think that more big ten schools will add it because it is sponsored now. chief among the big ten schools to add lacrosse is Michigan State because a) they used to have a varsity program b) it would be another sport in the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry, and c) there is now a conference championship to compete for
  • Kevin RowenKevin Rowen LAS Editorial Intern SoCal
    edited September 2013
    I know this conversation has been about MEN'S teams, but what about women's lacrosse? I could see the Pac-12 having women's lacrosse in the near future, especially considering that Stanford, Cal, Oregon, and USC already have Division I teams (did I miss any?). I'm pretty sure that all the other Pac-12 schools have club teams, and with some NCAA teams already established, it seems like a plausible move for the Pac-12. Another thing to note is that at UCLA specifically, I've heard rumblings of adding women's lacrosse as a Title IX balance for reinstating men's swimming.
    Post edited by Kevin Rowen on
  • edited September 2013
    In the West having a single conference to reduce travel costs would be optimal.

    The WCC is a conference with many of the schools having MCLA programs in place. Only two, USD and BYU, have the Title IX burden of football. The conference has a history of flexibility of adding schools, or allowing schools to play sports in other conferences, such as football.

    This structure would allow a Chapman, Stanford, or Sonoma State type school to participate.
    Post edited by mudd on
    Jim Henry, U.P. / PNCLL fan
  • mudd said:

    In the West having a single conference to reduce travel costs would be optimal.

    The WCC is a conference with many of the schools having MCLA programs in place. Only two, USD and BYU, have the Title IX burden of football. The conference has a history of flexibility of adding schools, or allowing schools to play sports in other conferences, such as football.

    This structure would allow a Chapman, Stanford, or Sonoma State type school to participate.

    This is how it would have to be out west. I dont think any of the big football schools (Pac-12) will add any time soon unless there are some earthshaking changes in the structure of college sports. But even then I just dont see them justifying spending so much money on a sport that really wont amount to much in return.

    Mid-major schools have the flexibility to look into adding lacrosse simply due to the fact that most of them dont have football. Many of them have high-profile basketball teams but thats relatively inexpensive. For most of these schools an extra 12.5 scholarships (NCAA lacrosse max), equipment, and coaches wouldnt be an impossible cost. What would kill these plans would be the travel cost. If a team joined an existing conference even some league games might be on the east coast. If they go independent they have to find schools willing to play them and travel to them.

    I think the only way it will work is for an entire mid-Major conference like the WCC or Big West to add lacrosse. I think it would work a lot like the MSPF does on the Women's side. Teams would make one or two trips out east, host a few teams that are traveling for spring break, then play the rest of their schedule against local league opponents. I dont know how close this is to happening, Ive heard it has "come up" at the WCC meetings whatever that means. I have heard rumors that USF will be adding a team over the next few years which would mean that all 10 WCC schools have at least some form of lacrosse being played at the school.

    I dont know if Chapman or Sonoma would be able to play in one of these conferences because they play in lower divisions. Chapman would have to join DIII and I think Sonoma is DII but Im not sure. These divisions are already represented in CA.

    Dan Podesta
    Saint Mary's Lacrosse President- 2010-2011
    Saint Mary's Lacrosse Vice President- 2008-2010
    http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/club-sports/
  • ramslax17 said:

    i think either Colorado or CSU would add it next. they are both extremely successful at the club level and they have a pretty good local talent pool to draw from. i also think that BYU would be another good candidate to add lacrosse. finally, i think that more big ten schools will add it because it is sponsored now. chief among the big ten schools to add lacrosse is Michigan State because a) they used to have a varsity program b) it would be another sport in the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry, and c) there is now a conference championship to compete for

    Ram,
    You obviously didn't read the comments or the follow up articles. Not going to happen. Doesn't matter how much you or I want it to happen. Doesn't matter how good the club teams are. Doesn't matter if there is local talent. Doesn't really matter that the Big Ten now sponsors lacrosse (maybe that has a minor impact). What matters is money. CU, CSU, BYU and the other Big Ten schools cannot afford to add men's lacrosse. Barring a huge gift (when I say huge, I mean tens of millions), it isn't going to happen.
  • edited December 2013
    Hi Guys,

    This entire article is made up conjecture. There is absolutely no emperical evidence, interviews with Athletic Dept. staff, or School Administrations. You have completely negated the massive surge in mid major additions, because your network is either too small, or you just aren't interested in doing your homework. I was hoping for more, when I opened this article today.

    Rummor Mill: Cleveland State has had meetings with it's Board of Trustees, Chancelor, and School President to consider the addition of a Div. 1 men's program, followed by an addition of a Women's program a year later (The reverse of what most schools do.). John Parry the Dir. of Athletics is a Brown graduate, and lacrosse program alum of the Bears. Additionally, before taking the A.D. position at CSU, Parry was instrumental in the establishment and meteoric rise of the Butler Bulldogs program, that unfortunately since his departure was canceled during an athletic dept. reorganization. He knows from an administrative perspective the do's and don'ts of establishing a quality D1 NCAA Men's Lacrosse program. CSU's facilities, with the encapsulated bubble over Krenzler Field, would give the Vikings a top notch facility to train and compete in despite NorthEast Ohio's inhospitable Jan-Feb. weather.

    Additionally, a Men's club team has been established and embraced by the school community over the past three years, introducing the sport to the urban campus' student body, with strong support administratively, as well as in attendance numbers at home events.

    (Gentlemen - That is a basic researched approach for a true lead in D1 lacrosse expansion, in the Men's game. Looking forward to better articles in the future!)

    My email is: Michaeljfink31@gmail.com if you would like to catch up sometime!

    All the Best.
    Post edited by Finklax31 on
    scriff
  • The elephant in the room for adding men's sports has been and will continue to be Title IX and football. Until that law is modified to balance out the football numbers, BCS teams will have trouble adding any men's sports, let alone lacrosse. I'm a big proponent for ensuring women have an equal opportunity to compete in athletics. I have two young daughters who are both active in athletics, so I am excited at the opportunities they now have that wouldn't have been available 40 years ago. However, football takes up 85 scholarships at the FBS level and 65 at the FCS level. There are no female sports that can match those numbers. Title IX has worked to provide more opportunities for female athletes, but some schools have had to cut men's programs like wrestling and tennis to ensure compliance. Football should stand alone - there are no other college sports that generate the revenue, but require the spending it does -- it is as close to a professional sport as you can come without actually saying they are pros.

    If football were removed from the equation, colleges and universities could look across the rest of the athletic department and balance it accordingly. If that were the case today, most schools would be in a position that they could add men's sports and lacrosse would be the most likely candidate as the sport colleges and universities would add for the following reasons:
    - Growing popularity across the country at the U6, JH and HS levels
    - Popular club sport within colleges and universities
    - Women's teams are already being added
    - Infrastructure in place (can leverage football facilities and justify schools spending millions/billions on practice facilities)
    - Lower cost compared to other possible additions (Baseball and Ice Hockey)
    - Spring schedule

    From the articles I've read and projections gathered from multiple senior level athletic administrators, I would project the greatest growth opportunity for D-I schools would be in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. D-II and D-III schools are more populous in the central and eastern time zones and have been and will continue to add lacrosse through the years. As some have mentioned, the key for the western states would be for multiple schools to add the sport at the same time. The PAC-12 is a prime example of a conference with the resources (schools on same page both academically and athletically) and desire (added programming for the PAC-12 network for the spring schedule - added exposure) to add additional sports. Schools like USC and Oregon have publically discussed about adding lacrosse as a varsity sport and have recently added women's teams. Colorado recently added a women's team and their men's club team is consistently ranked nationally (finished #2 last year, with their only loses coming to undefeated and national champions Colorado St). The sport has grown exponentially in California and Colorado, so recruiting and building teams quickly to compete nationally would not be a problem. Watching the women's teams early success will be a great use case.

    If Title IX restrictions would allow schools to add men's sports, I would suspect the PAC-12, Mountain West and WCC conferences would lead the charge. However, until then, any discussions like this are pointless, as schools have their hands tied with Title IX restrictions.
    scriff
  • ive heard rumor from former coaches of mine that went to oregon st. that there's a possiblilty of a pac-12,10,8 (however many teams from the pac-12 decide to go d1) will be a d1 conference in 2016.
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