ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon announced today (Wednesday, May 25) the elevation of men's and women's lacrosse to varsity status. The men's program will begin NCAA Division I varsity competition in the 2011-12 academic year, and the women's program will be ready for NCAA Division I varsity competition in the 2012-13 academic year.
Michigan is the first Bowl Championship Series (BCS) conference school to add men's lacrosse since Notre Dame added the sport in 1980 and started competition in 1981. Michigan will join Ohio State and Penn State as the only schools in the Big Ten Conference to sponsor men's lacrosse.
U-M's club-varsity program claimed three of the last four Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) national championships (2008, '09, '10) and won Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA) conference crowns in 11 of the past 13 seasons. The club program began in 1940 and was halted before World War II, but it restarted in 1965 and has been competing ever since. The program was elevated to club-varsity status in 2001.
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