Taking Issue With A 'Next Team to Go D1' Article

We here at the Growth Blog love LaxAllStars.com.  No website has done more to positively promote lacrosse and help grow the game in its history.  However this morning we read an article on their site that made our heads explode.  The article was titled ‘Who Will Add D1 Lacrosse Next’ and after reading the article it clearly should have been titled ‘List of Schools I Wish Would Add D1 Lacrosse and Some Reasons I Made Up Off the Top of My Head Why’.  In fact in reality this article could probably have been titled ‘List of Schools Least Likely to Add Lacrosse’. 

We get it, LaxAllStars needs hits, needs to drive traffic to its website, and nothing gets people talking in forums and talkbacks like the subject of who will go D1 next.  But come on.  Lets have some quality control here, some journalistic integrity.  Below you can find our comments, in bold blue, specific to the article ‘Who Will Add D1 Lacrosse Next’ (link: http://laxallstars.com/who-will-add-d1-lacrosse-next/)

1. Boston College
There are a couple big factors for Boston College that make them so likely to add a Men’s Lacrosse program (Again. They had a team until the early 2000s):

- They have already had a D1 Lacrosse Program in the Past
Please reference precedent where this has helped a team go D1 in the past and I’ll give you this. It has not helped Michigan St, NC State, Bowling Green, etc.

- BC’s club team has seen huge success. In 2013 they lost to Sonoma State in the Semi-Finals for the MCLA Championship, their only loss all season, going 13-1. That means there is a base of talent!
Where has this has helped a team go varsity in the past?  Maybe you can make a slight argument for Michigan, but you know what helped more?  The $6 million dollar lead gift and an open minded AD.  

- BC has a Varsity Women’s Program
I would actually argue that this does not help a team go D1.  With some exceptions when a team goes varsity they often add Men and Women Lax at the same time for Title IX reasons.  If a school already has Women’s Lax they then would have to determine what women's team to add, which may not be easy if they already have a lot of sport offerings.

- They have the facilities to support men’s lacrosse
Really?  How do you know that?  Oh they have a field and bleachers?  So does every other D1 school.  Do they have a dedicated team locker room?  Do they have sport medicine space?  Do they have equipment room space?  Strength & Conditioning?  D1 Lacrosse facilities are much more than lining a field.

- Boston University, their rival, is adding Lacrosse in 2014
BU is BC's rival?  That’s probably news to BC.  Yes in Hockey.  Everything else is all ACC all the time for BC.

If we see anyone add lacrosse in the next six years, I can almost guarantee the Eagles adding it. I would think that at earliest, BC will field a team by 2015, if not, then definitely by the 2016 season. Everything is set for them, they just have to give the ol’ thumbs up, in my opinion.
Division 1 teams announcing varsity status need about a 2 year lead time.  So for 2015 its going to be any minute now...

The Huskies are another New England team that surprisingly doesn’t have lacrosse yet. Boston College and UConn share some qualities that give inspiration for an addition of Men’s Lacrosse:

- UConn’s club team dates back to 1986, and that’s almost 30 years of alumni to work with, and get involved.
UConn's program is actually 50 years old and used to be Division 1.  You know how I found that out?  I went to their website (its called research).

- UConn has a Varsity Women’s Program
See Boston College above

- They have the facilities to support men’s lacrosse
Again, how do you know that?  UConn only has one turf field and its dedicated to Field Hockey (astroturf).  And you have no idea what their facility situation is specific to team support needs.

- UConn has one of the best in-state hotbeds to recruit from, Fairfield County in lower CT. Instate tuition for Uconn is only about $16,000, this could be a recruiting tool they could use. (Some people in Fairfield County may not have to worry about that kind of stuff, but some do. That’s homegrown talent potential  right there.
I will give you this.

- UConn has some great reasons to add lacrosse to their varsity program list. I see Uconn adding men’s varsity lacrosse in 2017, but by latest 2018. Maybe if their basketball team wins another championship, they can get some starter cash? I don’t know if it works that way, but I’m hoping it does.
Ugh.  The basketball team winning a national championship has nothing to do with going Division 1 in lacrosse.  If it did UCLA would have the best lacrosse team in history. If you don't know if something 'works that way', then either do the research to find out, or don't reference it in an article.

3. Virginia Tech
- Virginia Tech’s club lacrosse team is a tradition that runs deep. It is one of the oldest club teams around, started in 1948. They have several reasons to add a Varsity team.

- Club lacrosse has been around at VT since 1948, that’s 65 years of alumni to network with and get on board.
Having an old program is one thing.  Having organizing and motivated alumni is another.  But the most important thing is having an athletic department that actually wants to work with such alumni (see Michigan).  You can get as organized as you want and raise tons of money, but if the administration wants nothing to do with you or adding lacrosse then it’s a moot point (Just ask BC alumni).

- Virginia Tech enrolls 31,000 thousand students annually, and they pack the house for football games. I’d expect to see a good amount of fans at Lacrosse Games, potentially bringing in money for the school.
Wow big enrollment and packed house for football games is a factor in adding lacrosse?  SEC lax here we come!

- Virginia Tech plays one of the longest schedules in the MCLA, they start in February and end in late April. Very simulating to a real schedule.
This is dumb.

- Virginia Tech is successful at the club level
So what.  So is the other 25 or so nationally contending MCLA teams.

-Another contributing factor is that they could play in the ACC, which is their school wide conference. They have a lot of rivals in the lacrosse world, so hopefully they’ll want to compete with them on another file. Earliest we could see Virginia Tech getting a team is 2016, which I think they might do. 2017/2018 at the latest. What can I say, I’m an optimist!
I’ll give you being in the ACC is a positive factor.

4. Florida State
Florida State shares qualities with every other team on this list, while also having some differences. Although a “new” club program (founded 1999), FSU has a good opportunity (and a couple great reasons) to add a Varsity Lacrosse program.

- FSU’s club team has been successful. It’s one of the best in Florida, as well as all of the South
If having a good club team is actually relevant to going varsity please explain Marquette, Monmouth, UMass Lowell, BU, Jacksonville, Detroit, Mercer etc.  Plus it could be argued that Bill Harkins departure hurts FSUs chances.

- The only D1 lacrosse school in Florida is Jacksonville University. FSU can use this to gain a grip on Florida Lacrosse fans, and bragging rights against University of Florida for the future.
Yes I am sure lacrosse bragging rights against Florida is #1 on new AD Stan Wilcoxs list.

- FSU can be a leader in big schools adding lacrosse to their sport list. FSU can set an example and history as being of the first Big Sport school to add lacrosse. Imagine what the Media would be like?
The first Big Sport school to add lacrosse?  What??? Did you forget about Michigan? UGH

- Florida State has good reason to add a lacrosse program, but the earliest I see it being done is 2018. More likely would be 2019.
If you say so.

Honorable Mentions:

South Carolina – If I could add a 5th team, this would be it. The GameCocks should be adding a varsity program within the next 7-10 years. I can feel it!
So the research for this article is based on that you can 'feel' something is going to happen... 

Florida – If Florida were more successful at the club level, they might have replaced FSU. If Florida sees mores success, we could see a team fielded as soon as 2020. Their women’s team’s success doesn’t hurt.

Clemson – I expect Clemson to add a lacrosse program within the next 10-15 years. If South Carolina goes, Clemson might go a year or two later. It’s very much a domino effect with some of these regions.

The West – Plenty of western teams could’ve been on this list, but the only way I see big schools adding Lacrosse out west is if 4-5 schools go in on the same year, and form a conference with Denver to ease the traveling costs. That, or a school gets a large budget increase. *Cough* Oregon PLEASE *Cough*
The west is not a school. 

So there you have it people.  Make your own judgment call.  I do hope we are wrong, that would be great if all 4 of these schools went varsity by 2019.  But from Notre Dame (previous last FBS to go D1) to Michigan it was what, 25 years?  We could have a long wait.


Anonymous said...

Wow...crazy bomb you placed on this article. But you keep it real.

Anonymous said...

I take issue with the second sentence.