Johns Hopkins lax to B1G?

Submitted by laxalum on January 30th, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Article yesterday on Inside Lacrosse speculated that Hopkiins has been approached by the B1G for associate membership.  Not a lot of substance to the story, but if true this is huge news for lacrosse.  Would get the B1G to 6 teams, the magic number for conference formation and an AQ. 

Hopkins is the lacrosse version of Notre Dame.  Proud program with a ton of tradition.  Think they are the center of the lacrosse universe.  Have always been independant.  Only lacrosse program with their own TV deal (ESPN) to cover every home game.  Etc.  Lacrosse is their only D1 sport.  Everything else is D3.

From a B1G perspective interesting that they would actually consider an affiliate member.  Whole story is probably not a big deal to the majority, but for lacrosse followers this would be a major change to the landscape.


edit: Due to popular demand, changed the title.  Figured the fact that this was for lacrosse and had nothing to do with football would be assumed.



January 30th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

there is zero reason to do this, aside from the magical gets us to six teams so we can have a lacrosse conference reason.  I don't like this because JH will dominate the conference every single year, this wouldn't even be close to competitive or fair.  Thanks but no thanks.


January 30th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

Well if we brought in UVA and UNC as has been widely speculated, and added Hopkins as an affiliate for lacrosse (again this is pure speculation), the B1G would have a damn good and competitive lax conference. Maryland, PSU, OSU, Virginia, and UNC all finished in the top 20 in lax rankings last year. So, I disagree that Hopkins would dominate.



January 30th, 2013 at 11:22 AM ^

Yeah, I'm not sure if they would leave or not, but I'm not sure that Johns Hopkins would join as a lacrosse affiliate either. I think it would certainly be an interesting move for the conference if UVA and Hopkins were linked to the B1G in some fashion, though, and I definitely find it intriguing that both are being speculated as potential members/affiliates. I stand by my post, however, in that even without UVA, the supposed B1G lax conference would be strong and competitive. 


January 30th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

adding JH to the conference for lacrosse in the context of also adding further teams to the conference overall, like UNC or UVA.  If there were other teams coming that also had lacrosse programs then I'd be okay with JH joining for lacrosse alone, because there would be some teams at the top to compete against them.  It wouldn't just be JH and the 5 current Big Ten teams that it'd be smacking around all day.

I didn't realize also that PSU and OSU had decent lacrosse programs, I figured they were closer to the level of Michigan's squad.

So upon further reflection, I retract my opinion of "thanks but no thanks" and change it to "cautiously optimistic, depending on futher conference expansion"


January 30th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

That would be cool. And it's not lacrosse related, but weren't there rumors about having a Canadian University join the NCAA and Conference for hockey?


January 30th, 2013 at 11:25 AM ^

Canadian Universities are only eligible to join Division II.  Division I and Division III are US-only.  A Division II school can play at the Division I level in hockey (e.g., Ferris State or Michigan Tech), but the NCAA has explicitly stated that only US institutions may receive bids to Division I NCAA tournaments.

So we could add Toronto or McGill to the Big Ten, but they wouldn't be eligible for the NCAA tournament, so there wouldn't really be any reason for either the B1G or for the Canadian University to make the move, and a lot of good reasons not to.


January 30th, 2013 at 10:54 AM ^

It sort of sounds like they've been approached by damn near everyone.  Assuming Hopkins really does have their pick of any conference to join, I can't see them choosing any conference but the ACC or B1G, if any at all.  Unless they have a Texas complex, then maybe they'd go mid-major.


January 30th, 2013 at 10:55 AM ^

Next thing you'll be telling me, Maryland is joining the conference. C'mon guy.

...wait, what? Maryland already joined?! Yeesh, well at least it's not Rutgers or something.

....wait, what?


January 30th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

I'd imagine this would be akin to Chicago's membership in the CIC, only with Hopkins lacrosse playing in a newly formed Big 10 conference. In that light, it makes a ton of sense at least for the CIC, as Hopkins has tons and tons of research money, particularly in medicine and public health. 


January 30th, 2013 at 6:15 PM ^

that Hopkins and Chicago play in the same D3 conference.

It's basically a conference of schools that would be suitable academic fits for the CIC but have chosen to demphasize athletics...except for Hopkins lacrosse. It all makes good sense if you ask me.


January 30th, 2013 at 11:01 AM ^

Hopkins has stellar academic reputation.  Would this put them in the CIC?  That might be the lure for Hopkins to do it.  And it would improve the overall academics of the CIC, so from that perspective, wouldn't we all be in favor of it?

I'd think that, in 10 years, the Michigan - Ohio State - Penn State - Hopkins - Maryland quintet will be a dominant lacrosse machine.  Whether than generates significant revenue is a whole other question.


January 30th, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

The CIC would make the B1G the logical fit.  The question is how much of a benefit Hopkins would get from the CIC compared to the massive benefit the CIC would get from Hopkins.  While M is the current giant in the CIC in terms of federal $$, Hopkins pulls in double (1.6 billion versus 800 million.)  I would guess that if a place like Michigan doesn't see a research $$ downside to admitting a Nebraska, then Hopkins would stand to gain from CIC membership.  

Anyone know more about the extent to which being in the CIC acts as a resource multiplier? 


January 30th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

Syracuse, Princeton, Maryland, other words, they are one of the best programs in the country. I guess, for the Big 10, they would be adding prestige to it's budding LXS program and for JH, they would be getting $$$ out of it. 


January 30th, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^


Everything Delaney is doing is to get TV revenue from large population centers. He already has the DC-Baltimore area on board with Maryland.  Lacrosse is a great game and all that but for TV revenue?  Come on.

The big markets that may or may not be reachable are in the south, particularly North Carolina, Georgia and Floriday.

Unless this whole thing is about research freaking way.

Hardware Sushi

January 30th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

Damn, came here to post this.

Pretty awesome and unique situation for Johns Hopkins and the CIC, along with our lacrosse league. Would give instant credibility with Maryland and JH, plus solid members Rutgers and Penn State, with big brands M and OSU, and the potential to nab UVa/UNC. The Big Ten goes from no lacrosse to powerhouse almost overnight. I can only imagine it would also help recruiting. I'm really excited and rooting for this to happen. 

While we're at it, we should add U Toronto and McGill to the BTHC (semiserious).


January 30th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

I would be in favor of this if it led it to an academic relation similar to the relationship the B1G has with U of Chicago. Johns Hopkins had top tier academics/ research in both the social sciences and medicine.

Perkis-Size Me

January 30th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

I'm divided on this. I see the pluses in that Johns Hopkins is an amazing school and more than fits our academic standards. Plus, its always nice to have another huge research school, but still, aside from lacrosse, does adding Johns Hopkins add anything athletically, or am I missing something here?

I'd rather hold out for UVa/VaTech, or UNC/Duke, or some combination of these, but I figure UNC will never go anywhere without Duke and vice versa. I think these are overall much more balanced schools and still extends the B1G further into the Southern footprint.


January 30th, 2013 at 11:16 AM ^

I think that having JHU in a Big 10 lax conference is inspired. Lax is a huge growth sport nationally and JHU has great academics, which may be two lures for UVA and UNC, who are similar institutions on both fronts.

The idea of the B1G tradition being lost is true, but I think is unfortunately is colleateral damage from dealing with reality. The fact is that population growth is decreasing in the midwest and football on its own has not been great in terms of on the field success, so focus on other sports makes sense. Hell, with the concussion work going on here at MGH where I work and other places, I'm not sure football is a great long-term financial play in and of itself.  Finally, if cable ever does go ala carte (or the B1G network does), I guarantee you that a B1G lax conference has the potential for six figure subscribers on the East Coast alone JUST for JHU, UMD, UVA etc lax. 




January 30th, 2013 at 11:17 AM ^

Interesting...given that the current expansion rumors are circling around Virginia and North Carolina.  Adding Johns Hopkins for Lacrosse only makes sense if Virginia & North Carolina do not join this conference.  If UVA & UNC join the Big Ten, then the B1G gets a lacrosse autobid without needing an affiliate member.

The "Virginia to the Big Ten" rumor and the "Johns Hopkins to the Big Ten in lacrosse" rumor are most likely mutually exclusive.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:03 PM ^

Any possibility they go together? Hopkins wouldn't negatively impact the other sports, but would certainly sweeten the pot for LAX schools and may be a bit of a plus to UVA and UNC by ensuring that they will continue to be in a high level LAX conference. Not that LAX is where expansion comes from.

But your post further down suggests that Hopkins might be a minor but no-loss addition basically for one sport only. That doesn't seem to preclude the other two schools.


January 30th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

I would love to see this happen.  Having two traditional powerhouse programs in a league associated with the midwest would really help legitimize B1G lacrosse and help the game expand beyond the east coast, both of which will help Michigan get the lacrosse recruits they need and make them a better know commodity on the east coast.  Of course that will make it pretty difficult for Michigan to compete for conference championships, but in the long run should be a good thing. 


January 30th, 2013 at 10:01 PM ^

Coach Petro has been talking for a number of years about recruiting nationally, and tapping the growing hotbeds in the "west."  Note what is being built at Denver using non-traditional sources of talent.  Hopkins has, and will always have deep roots in the three traditional hotbeds (MD, LI, CNY) but being part of the B1G would give Petro more access to these newer sources of talent.

Billy Ray Valentine

January 30th, 2013 at 11:20 AM ^

I know this report is tenuous at-best, but it's interesting to consider the merits of a push east rather than south or west. My knowledge of lacrosse, like many, is thin, but I know D1 lacrosse is wildly popular in the Mid-Atlantic region, similar to hockey in New England and the Upper Midwest.

Oh ... the title really is misleading. I'm sure it was not the OP's intention to trick people, but I clicked on this thread thinking it was about something absurd, rather than intriguing.


January 30th, 2013 at 11:28 AM ^

Johns Hopkins is a lot more palpatable on academics side in that research hospitals are big business (Michigan does ~17 billion a year in treatment  and normally has ~60 billion in federal grants at any time).  

I like the idea of cooperating with them in lacrosse and perhaps using that to open some doors for institution ties on the medical side of things.  That would benefit the B1G.  Plus of course JH might decide it likes making money off sports and bring in other D1 sports.  Imagine how surreal it would be to turn on the TV and see Johns Hopkins vs USC in the Rose Bowl.  

Young John Beilein

January 30th, 2013 at 12:20 PM ^

I'm ignorant to the administrative dealings of large research institutions.  How will a one sport conference partnership lead to increased cooperation in medicine?  And I guess I am also wondering how you think Hopkins will just add D1 sports at a Big Ten (16?) level.  Aside from Lacrosse (and maybe cross country, I think), they probably can't beat a lot of upper tier high schools in other sports.  Also, their academic standards would provide a major hurdle for most D1 athletes.


January 30th, 2013 at 1:28 PM ^

The football thing was mostly a joke.  Although given the BTN seems to print money, JH might want to get into that at some point, you never know.  After all even if you go 3 and 8 in football, the BTN hands you a check for 20 million or whatever it these day.  

As for admin dealings, check out the CiC.  It contains every B1G member and UChicago, as they used to be a member prior to cutting all their sports.  The CiC is amazingly stable and amazingly good at getting grants.  A lot of schools would kill to get a seat at that table (word is Notre Dame's faculty foamed at the mouth when ND turned down a spot in the Big Ten).  The CiC ensures the research efforts of the B1G are coordinated.  When one CiC school goes after a big grant, the others help them out.  That can range from getting big name profs at various schools to combined their star power together on one grant to lobbying the Congressional reps in the home states of the various schools to help the schools get the grant (Senators calling up the CDC and encouraging them to strongly consider Michigan's application for money, that sort of thing).  This is a big business and athletics is nothing compared to it.  As I mentioned, Michigan's hospital system normally has billions in active grants, compared to the 60 to 80 million that athletics makes every year.  At one point I worked for a research lab that had 20 people and 70 million in active grants.  The two profs who ran the lab had a better revenue stream than Brandon thanks to the NIH and CDC throwing money at us like we were the only hot stripper at the club.  

You can also use these kind of ties to develop areas you don't have.  Say for example some random B1G school wants to build a kick ass cancer center.  They start some joint projects with Michigan, where Michigan's name is used to get the grant, but it gets the other school some funds to buy supplies, hire faculty/postdocs/, and so on and so forth.  Michigan of course also gets a cut of the pie.  Eventually the other school is strong enough to stand on its own.  Normally this is also coordinated to supplment current CiC programs as opposed to competeing.  

If JH also affilates with the CiC at some level, which doesn't seem unreasonable since it offers perks ranging from library sharing to grant cooperation, that is a huge win for us.  It is also while I'm strong against Maryland and Rutgers joining.  While they bring NJ and Maryland Congressional reps into play for lobbying, they're a net drag everywhere else and a fiscal burden on both the sports and CiC sides.  The academics welcomed Nebraska because they had a solid library (meaning they won't always be asking for our books via interlibrary loan) and a strong rep with various federal agencies that give out grants for things like farming, national park management, etc.  Rutgers and Maryland just suck in terms of having a massive of research grants.  Moving in JH as a partner instead of a competitor for NIH and CDC grants is a nice win.  


January 30th, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

Yeah, Hopkins isn't adding football. There's enough skepticism there among the faculty that lacrosse players bring down the level of the student body, which is very small for a Reseach I, about 5,000 students, which is about half the size of northwestern,  (but almost exactly the size of U of C). It would be great for the CiC, though. Amazing library, great biomed research, Bloomberg just gave $1 billion to the public health school, and it's basically the birthplace of doctoral education in the US (I believe it was the first American university to offer the PhD).


January 30th, 2013 at 5:42 PM ^

Hopkins would be huge for the CIC.  While Michigan brings in over $800 million in federal research $$ yearly, Hopkins brings in double that - $1.6 billion in federal research $$. A lot of that $$ is biomed, but a ton of it is also the Applied Physics Lab (lots of DoD $$ there.)  As a Hopkins alum, I would love for this to happen.


January 30th, 2013 at 6:37 PM ^

Chicago also has about 10,000 graduate students, which is more or less typical for the conference.  Most of the B1G consists of massive research institutions attached to large public undergrad programs, these are massive research institutions attached to small private schools. From the CIC's perspective I don't think there's any difference.

West German Judge

January 30th, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

I think the big x-factor in the BTN's continued success will be lacrosse, the fastest growing (non-NASCAR) sport in America.  Adding Hopkins would give us six along with Ohio State, Michigan, PSU, Rutgers, and Maryland.  Having an actual lacrosse conference would further encourage existing B1G members to create a team of their own and further validate the speculative additions of UNC and UVa.  It would go a long way in giving the BTN relevant programming year-round.


(no, I don't consider NASCAR a sport).


January 30th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

This sounds fishy to me. Now, Hopkins would fit with a new Lacrosse strategy, and its academic profile certainly fits the bill, but since when does the B1G cherry-pick teams from certain sports to be associate members? It has already been explicitly stated that they would do no such thing for Notre Dame in non-football sports. Why LaCrosse only?

This would be roughly analogous to signing Notre Dame as a hockey-only associate member (something that actually would have made some sense when hockey was realigning) or some other academically strong hockey school.