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Championship Attendance Down, NCAA Ponders Change

Among the potential changes that Jarnecke said have been discussed, the most dramatic may be moving the Final Four a week later into June and playing the Quarterfinals on Memorial Day weekend. He said the idea of stretching out the weekend so the NCAA DI Final is a week later than the Semifinals hasn’t been addressed; in the early-June championship weekend scenario, he predicted it would be the same format as the current event.

Adding a week to the season does have some bigger hurdles, however, since that would keep students on campus longer after classes are over and there are costs associated with that. But removing some of the “opportunity costs” of playing on a holiday weekend might benefit the championship event, he said.

“If there’s a model and it makes sense, it’s something we’ll consider,” he said. “So we will explore that, but that part may be harder to come by than the other pieces.”

Lacrosse Party-Boy Image Worries Coaches

Duke University men’s lacrosse coach John Danowski still talks to recruits’ parents about the stripper party that led to false rape allegations six years ago.
University of Virginia coach Dom Starsia won’t grant interview requests about a former player who beat his girlfriend to death two years ago. Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala says a survey that showed lacrosse players are the biggest users of illicit drugs among college athletes was “deeply concerning.”

Dave Pietramala, head coach of Johns Hopkins University's men's lacrosse team, talks about reputation issues associated with college lacrosse. He spoke with Bloomberg's Curtis Eichelberger in April. (Source: Bloomberg)

As the sport grows from pockets of devoted followers on the East Coast to national prominence -- youth participation almost tripled from 2001 to 2010 -- it is struggling to avoid developing an image that could damage its future.

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Stalled Sport Ponders New Tactic: A Shot Clock

A high-flying sport had been grounded, reduced to a plodding affair by controlling coaches and stagnant rules. Fans were bored, especially late in games, as winning teams played keep-away for minutes on end.

That was college basketball in the 1970s. But to fans of men’s college lacrosse, it sounds much like their beloved pastime today.

Lacrosse is often called the fastest sport on two feet, but it has slowed considerably in recent years. That has sparked debate over a measure to speed up the game that men’s college basketball initiated nearly three decades ago: a shot clock.

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The Case For Lacrosse At UGA

Last Saturday, the University of Georgia club lacrosse team’s run in the SELC tournament came to a disappointing end. Despite this setback, the Bulldog laxers were able to post an impressive 13-3-1 record for the season*. The success of the club team’s 2012 campaign, coupled with the sport’s rapid expansion at the high school level throughout the state, has led me to believe that now is the time to make lacrosse the University of Georgia’s 20th varsity sport. I understand that there are issues with the athletic department funding another nonrevenue sport, and there is always the looming presence of Title IX with which to contend. However, those are discussions for another day. I only wish to write about the merits of the game.

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