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realist20 wrote:Easy get rid of swimming/diving and wrestling. They would probably never drop baseball which is too bad as it is the slowest sport as well as the most boring. The finer points of the game and just its pure beauty are things that should be easily appreciated. No other sport has anything close to this. People who say baseball moves too slow for them must have awfully short attention spans.

As for ASU, considering that their baseball program has arguably been the school’s best athletic program over the years and that attendance is easily in the thousands for most home games, there would be no sense at all in dropping it, especially in favor of a sport that most people that go to ASU have barely heard of. I think a lot of people on these forums are delusional about the nationwide popularity of lacrosse. I go to Notre Dame and I can tell you most students barely have any clue we have mens and womens lax. The finer points of the game and just its pure beauty are things that should be easily appreciated. No other sport has anything close to this. People who say baseball moves too slow for them must have awfully short attention spans.

As for ASU, considering that their baseball program has arguably been the school’s best athletic program over the years and that attendance is easily in the thousands for most home games, there would be no sense at all in dropping it, especially in favor of a sport that most people that go to ASU have barely heard of. I think a lot of people on these forums are delusional about the nationwide popularity of lacrosse. I go to Notre Dame and I can tell you most students barely have any clue we have mens and womens lax. Playing baseball every summer when I was a kid with all my buddies was awesome. All it does is prevent high profile BCS conference schools from actually making the commitment to elevate their programs to a NCAA Division I status.

Why should the President at BYU or Michigan ever want Division I lacrosse at their respective institutions when he knows nothing about lacrosse but is told that he already has a lacrosse team complete with All Americans and a coaching staff. Then he looks at his books notices that he has offered hardly any funding to the program at all. Perfect. It is a Universities dream: They got something for nothing. The most for the least.

I have heard for years that Florida State, BYU, and Michigan are going varsity. No they are not. I hate to break it to all but those schools have zero interest in ever seeing Division I lacrosse on their campus. It does not matter what the club coach says or some rich supporter. Until you hear a school’s Board of Trustees or President support it, nothing else matters. I have heard the rhetoric and watched wanna be coaches and alums march around telling everyone that their program is going varsity. Nothing has ever happened and it is not going to happen any time soon. (Just a side note: these coaches need to be careful what they wish for. If Michigan or Florida State were to ever make the jump do you think you are going to be the coach? Every major coach in America would apply for these jobs. If the team is ever under the guidance of your athletic director he is going to bring in the best and biggest name he can to make it a successful program. You will still be the club coach at your institution.)

In an age of economic slowdown and shrinking departmental budgets men’s lacrosse is about as possible at these schools as pigs flying. Commitment to football programs that pay for the athletic department yearly budget and the ever present effects of Title IX make sure of this. Small Division I non scholarship schools are making the move but that is because the lack of funding, scholarship wise, makes it possible. Jacksonville and Mercer have, or are, developing programs but they are on limited scholarships. This solves many Title IX issues that may occur and makes the sport a revenue producer through tuition for a small school. 45 players paying tuition fills dorm rooms and the coffers. Lacrosse at these schools makes economic and enrollment sense while providing the school with a certain niche to attract students from geographic areas that they traditionally do not get students from. It makes sense. BCS schools do not need a niche and they do not need men’s lacrosse.

The other aspect of this is support and commitment from conferences. It will be interesting to see if the Big East sponsoring men’s lacrosse has any effect on other BCS conferences. Obviously there was support from the conference headquarters to organize the Big East and create a great conference. Jacksonville and Mercer are only the beginning of their conference schools to add Division I lacrosse but they knew this going into it. At the Jacksonville press conference a year ago the Athletic Director said that he had other schools in the conference ready to begin lacrosse programs and that process has begun. The interest on the part of other member institutions provided Jacksonville with the confidence to add. They knew before they press conference that in a number of years they would have a guaranteed a competitive schedule filled with like institutions and a conference championship that will give them access to the national tournament. No BCS athletic department is going to add a sport that is not sponsored and supported by the conference. It just is not going to happen.

I am sorry but this is the reality of the situation. While a couple of these teams are “virtual varsity” it really means nothing. All “virtual varsity” says is that a school can have a team with little expense incurred by the institution. They invest nothing. They administer to nothing. They give the team nice uniforms, a pair of shoes, and let them practice indoors at midnight. The school does not have to offer anything else and they do not. We can mask a schools disinterest in any combinations of titles and words but the stark reality is that these schools do not care. They program is part of their intramural program and gives students the ability to represent their schools and stay active. Bottom line. Everything else is window dressing.

Organized Club lacrosse is a retardant to the needed expansion of our game at the high profile Division I level. So name your All Americans and crown your national champions. So be it. Put forth the image that you are an equivalent to NCAA sanctioned lacrosse. That is fine. But realize that the administrations at your respective schools are never going to take the next step when you have already provided them with a product that cost them nothing.

That is common sense.

Officer Candidate very well said. Mens D 1 lax sponsorship has been essentially flat for 25 years and there’s nothing on the horizon that is likely to change that trend,
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especially at BCS football schools.

Only quibble I have is your point that MCLA club teams somehow “enable” the football schools to avoid starting D 1 programs. I don’t think those schools are going to start D 1 mens lax under any circumstances (MCLA or not). I would agree, however, that the existence of a successful MCLA program at a football school means very little as an indication that a D 1 program is coming in the future.

Schools like Michigan and Florida State have all the characteristics to be the test cases for that hypothesis (existing mens lax teams in the ACC and Big Ten, and HUGE football revenue that can fund many many varsity teams). But I’m betting that isn’t going to happen. And if it does (as you point out) all the current coaches and players on the MCLA team will be toast.

Even if the club programs were somehow retarding the start of varsity lax at bigger schools, what do you propose the near 10,000 “club” players do instead of playing lacrosse? Sit on their thumbs and do nothing? This isn’t some vast conspiracy of 18 year old kids banding together to keep D1 from growing.

I doubt there are many club coaches who are pompous enough to think they would be the head coach if their BCS school adds a varsity program. There are qualified coaches though. A number of MLL players and ex NCAA coaches have coached at various MCLA teams over the years. There are also definitely a handful of players on most top club programs who would make the D1 program though.

You really don’t have much idea of what some of these clubs are doing. More than a few are running 6 figure annual budgets. The final four and championship games are televised LIVE. If the NCAA or the school doesn’t want to add lacrosse, where is the overflow of high school players going to go? There are only so many D1 slots available to kids. What’s going to happen 10 years down the road when some of these “club” programs are regularly beating top 25 D1 programs? They’ve been doing that on the D3 side, and have been running with the low end of D1 in the past few years. They have real sponsorship deals with lacrosse and apparel companies. They fly throughout the country to play other teams. There are organized conferences, conference tourneys, and a national tourney. What is the difference between this and a varsity program aside from the club kids having to put up their own money? Also, most teams don’t even have a full time coach. They’re doing this with volunteers and part time administrators. It’s mind boggling how much they’ve been able to do. And yet someone can come on here and just sleight the work of hundreds if not thousands of lacrosse fans and players with a few keystrokes. I’ll ask again, if the money isn’t there at the university, what are these kids who want to play lacrosse supposed to do?

OaksSW12

I don’t know if your comments were directed at my posts or not. But I am very familiar with what is going on with the MCLA since I live in Colorado which has the very successful CU and CSU MCLA teams.

MCLA has grown a lot and will continue to do so. The same factors that are holding back any growth of mens D 1 teams (especially at BCS football schools) are fueling the growth of the MCLA. Playing college lax at many MCLA schools makes more sense for many kids than playing D 1, D 2 or D 3. To each his own, but I’d rather have my kid get his degree from Michigan or Cal (and play MCLA lax) than go to many low level D 1 lax schools (especially since the scholarship $$$ for most D 1 lax players are small to non existent). I know a few lax kids who have made that college/lax choice and I’m sure many more will make that choice in the future.

My only point is that mens varsity college lax isn’t likely to grow much in the future for reasons that don’t have anything to do with MCLA. Successful MCLA programs are not going to cause football schools start varsity lax programs. And successful MCLA lax programs are not preventing football schools from starting varsity programs either. With extremely few exceptions, BCS football schools are just not going to add varsity mens lax.

I don’t know how the level of play at the top MCLA schools companres with bottom D 1 programs,
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but I don’t see why I would care about that.