January 17th, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

He's a neighbor of mine and a great, great kid.  The article says his coach threatened to not talk to him again if he chose Michigan but trust me, he was kidding.  And I love how he credits the academics at M being the deciding factor.


January 17th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

Just curious, as I know nothing about lacrosse, what are the chances that the Big Ten adds lacrosse and we get to see some lacrosse on BTN?

Hardware Sushi

January 17th, 2012 at 1:28 PM ^

I think, based on some things DB has said about lacrosse being a spectator sport and wanting to grow our brand through that exposure, that a Big Ten lacrosse league is a long-term goal. That would ultimately provide content for the BTN.

However, I don't think a timeline has been set for that long-term goal, as we'll need more Big Ten schools to pick up the sport first to hit the minimum 6 schools/conference limit. Similar to hockey (although less prohibitively expensive because you just need a field versus ice rink), there are significant barriers to adding a men's program, namely scholarships for both the men's program and an equal amount of women's scholly's to hit Title IX requirements.

I do expect you'll see OSU/PSU/M matches occasionally on the BTN in the semi-near future, though. Michigan didn't sign any television rights over to our lacrosse conference, so the only thing stopping PSU/OSU/M from playing on BTN is the BTN getting enough interest from fans to show it (which, after seeing how many women's basketball games they played this past weekend, doesn't seem like it should be a problem haha).


January 17th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

Are there any other Big Ten schools that you know of that have club lacrosse teams that could easily make the jump if the Big Ten wanted to setup a conference in lacrosse? I see that there are only the 3 that you mentioned with D-I teams right now, but I would have a hard time believing that no other Big Ten schools have at least club level lacrosse.


January 17th, 2012 at 1:48 PM ^

Eight B1G teams participate in the MCLA - the exceptions are the three that are in NCAA DI, plus Northwestern.  But don't get your hopes up.  The MCLA has programs ranging from pseudo-varsity, like Michigan's, to seat-of-their-pants club teams with the emphasis on club.  Michigan made the jump, but Michigan was uniquely prepared to do so.  For the other B1G teams, some of them probably would be best served to simply start from scratch rather than trying to upgrade their club and its infrastructure.

In short, the concept of "easily making the jump" doesn't exist.  Michigan was one of the pinnacle, elite MCLA teams and will be starting this year near the bottom of the DI pecking order.

I mentioned it below, but if there's a school most likely to join DI from the B1G, it'd be Northwestern - the one non-MCLA member - because they have the infrastructure already.  But this is anything but inevitable, and much more unlikely than likely.


January 17th, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

There are three Big Ten schools with heavy east coast pull, and those are the three that currently have varsity teams. Lots of kids from LI to DC already go to those schools, and those names are already on the brains of kids in the areas where lax is big. Many of the other Big Ten schools, especially Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Purdue would be at a major recruiting disadvantage and would have a much harder time fielding good squads.

I could see schools like Indiana and Wisconsin being able to do it, Illinois as well because of Chicago, and NW because of the success of their women's team and the national name that they carry. MSU would be a decent choice because they have a very good club team and a history of D1 lax, but having two other D1 teams already in-state will make it harder for them until lax gets a lot bigger in the Midwest (which is happening pretty quickly).

Hardware Sushi

January 17th, 2012 at 1:55 PM ^

MSU used to have a varsity team but dropped it. 

Lacrosse people (I'm an outsider, I just read about it) seem to think they would have the "easiest" time adding it, but I wouldn't call adding two full men's and women's program costs easy to add.

The biggest barrier is adding millions of dollars of scholarships, travel, and support for what is a relatively-low revenue sport (at least in the midwest right now) and a women's team that will likely be low-revenue.

Plenty of schools have club lacrosse, that's really not an issue. Supporting these teams with the necessary resources to be successful isn't easy, though.

EDIT: Wahoo beat me to it.


January 17th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

I think we need at least one more team in the Big 10 for some teams to break off and for a Big10. For years, the ACC only had four teams but they were power house lax teams (Duke, Virginia, UNC and Maryland). The three current Big 10 schools that have lacrosse are Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan and we aren't the power house we need to be. State used to have one but they dropped it for various reasons. It would be good to see Wisconsin and State add programs and see what kind of momentum we could create.


January 17th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

I doubt the Big Ten will form a lax conference until it has six teams.  Wait, scratch that - I guarantee it won't.  It needs the autobid.  The ACC doesn't.

If there's a Big Ten school most likely to add lax in the next five years, it's Northwestern, thanks to their powerhouse women's team.  But nobody's ever said anything even remotely resembling official about that, and it's probably not on the burner.  Since three teams would need to add the sport (two if the Big Ten can wrangle Notre Dame) and given the hurdles in doing so, I would say Big Ten lax is at least ten years into the future.  Certainly not worth holding one's breath for.

oriental andrew

January 17th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

for instance, osu has 19 men's and 20 women's varsity sports, compared to 13 and 15 for Michigan, respectively (including LAX for both).  osu has men's and women's fencing, pistol, rifle, and spirit program (cheerleading?); men's volleyball; and women's ice hockey and synchronized swimming. 

As mentioned, there are also many men's water polo programs.  And did you know that there are also varsity men's skiing and women's bowling programs???  True story. 

Given our men's ice hockey legacy, a women's varsity team would be pretty cool.  Wisco and Minny have two of the top women's programs. 


January 17th, 2012 at 5:51 PM ^

The Hill Academy has a very serious lacrosse program - kids from there are getting a hybrid of field and box skills - Brodie Merrill is a huge box and field star, one of the best long-stick middies ever (still plays at an all-world level)  This kid is coming here prepared to play - great pickup.

oriental andrew

January 18th, 2012 at 12:26 PM ^

What you wrote:

The Hill Academy has a very serious lacrosse program - kids from there are getting a hybrid of field and box skills - Brodie Merrill is a huge box and field star, one of the best long-stick middies ever (still plays at an all-world level)  This kid is coming here prepared to play - great pickup.

What I understood:

The Hill Academy has a very serious lacrosse program - gobbledygook.  This kid is coming here prepared to play - great pickup.


January 17th, 2012 at 7:55 PM ^

I'm really excited that we're building up our lacrosse program, and think it's a cool sport that I hope becomes more popular in general.  But I realized what a newbie I was when I thought the headline was about Los Angeles International Airport.