How To Calculate if Your School Will Go Division I in Lacrosse

Add up the below variables that apply to your university.  If your number adds up to at least 100 congratulations you are going varsity in 2015!

Donor willing to supply lead gift of $3-$6 million +40
Board of trustees supports adding lacrosse +30
President supports adding lacrosse +25
Athletic Director supports adding lacrosse +15
Facilities in place +10
Successful MCLA team +5
Strong lacrosse interest in local community +5
Current conference sponsors lacrosse +5
Small private university +5
FBS Football School –20
FCS Football School –15

Obviously this is not a scientific survey so don’t take it for face value. We are more or less simply trying to make the point that at the highest level of college lacrosse, at the end of the day, money and power talks.  It should be noted that there are other variables and unique situations that cannot be accounted for in a ‘survey’ such as this (i.e. UMass Lowell adding lacrosse most likely to help them gain admittance to the America East Conference).  We also left Title IX specifics out of the 'formula' because quite frankly every schools Title IX situation is different and with the exception of the obvious (football’s influence) it’s hard to predict.

With that being said clearly we have weighted the first four variables the most because we feel those are the most significant.  I.e. without a large influx of money, and without a very supportive executive administration, lax ain’t happening, simple as that…all the other variables it can be argued are just window dressing.

And that my friends is why these ‘Who Will Go D1 Next’ articles, while fun, are pretty much conjecture.  Because if those top four variables we have listed are indeed the most important, as outsiders we have no way of knowing if they are in play at a given university.  Most of us don’t really know how an AD, or President, or Trustee feels about lacrosse unless they speak publicly about it.  Sure there are situations where some may make public comments that give us a hint here or there, but at the end of the day we are not in their executive meetings, so we have no idea if lacrosse is part of a master plan or not for a specific school.  

The same goes for fundraising.  Many university development offices go through ‘quiet phases’ of fundraising where steps are taken to keep a specific fundraising initiative confidential.  If a fundraising initiative is not made public or is not part of a larger university campaign, unless we have some sort of inside information we have no way of knowing if there is a lead donor(s) out there for lacrosse, or if the university is even interested in soliciting a potential lead donor.

So if at the end of the day we don’t have any knowledge specific to the most important variables needed to determine if a school will go Division I, then the reality is we can’t predict with accuracy if a school will make the jump.  We must rely on inside info, research, informants, leaks, etc.   There’s nothing wrong with that of course, that’s the foundation of investigative journalism, and a little bit of that would go a long way in adding some substance to all the ‘Going D1 Next’ articles that are out there.