Cajun’s Corner – Why Are They Clubs?


It is truly my dream to see varsity lacrosse in every school large and small across the country, but none more than LSU. I really do think of how cool it would be to buy season tickets, and concessions and sit on the front row to watch the Tigers play the Heels.

Most are laughing right now, and that makes perfect sense considering LSU is one of the least likely schools to adopt the sport, but hey, it’s my dream and a boy can dream. Louisiana has a long way to go but maybe I’ll see it before I die.

Today I was sitting around, pondering things that only Buddha could comment on, when a question popped into my head. “Why is it that college clubs are clubs, and not varsity sponsored sports to begin with?” Researching was commenced. I didn’t want hypotheticals or theories.


I wanted hard facts. Quotes. Testimonials. Dollars and Cents. Graphs. Everything. I want evidence as to why I can’t have what I want right this instant.

This is a long, long blog with lots of links and information, so brace for impact and take your time.

Title IX – The Cause for Suffocating the Growth of Lacrosse?

I won’t deny it. I love the MCLA, but every time I read about Michigan maybe making the jump, I get excited. Don’t you? Why haven’t they made the jump yet?

One of the most heated discussions for male laxers is anything dealing with Title IX. According to a whole bunch of blogs, articles, and news outlets, Title IX is basically the only thing to blame for the lack of Division 1 lacrosse teams in the nation, among other sports (wrestling, men’s soccer, fencing).

Now let me go ahead and stress this now – I’m a full fledged supporter of Title IX’s intentions. It’s done incredible things for incredible, deserving people. And while I do think there’s bound to be a way to reform it for the betterment of lacrosse, I’m not the guy with all the answers.

I’m just the guy who wasted three days digging up info on athletic programs and budgets for you to analyze.

So until I hear some actual proposals on how to “fix” Title IX, I’m not going to hop on a bandwagon that wants to destroy something that’s been overall beneficial to thousands (if not millions) of people, and I’m not going to push an agenda on you. Today’s blog is all about listening to both sides.

Let’s face it, I’m a male laxer in a non-traditional lacrosse area, and I’d kill to see the sport I love more available to people in my area.

The sport is virtually non-existent for girls in Louisiana. There are two high school girl’s teams, and LSU has a club. That’s about it for the gals.

C.E. Byrd Girls lacrosse in Shreveport, La
CE Byrd HS Girl's Lacrosse (Shreveport, LA)

It’s hard to promote school sponsorship, or growth of the sport in general, when inequalities are already present. All the while lacrosse is blowing up for boy’s at the high school level, as the high school’s are considering them school clubs.

This isn’t really a loophole to get around T9, because the clubs have to fund themselves 100%. Most of the funding comes from soliciting donations, and membership dues. The club that I coach has annual dues in the range of $250-400.

For those who don’t know, Title IX was enacted in 1972 to address a major problem in the United States. It made tremendous legal strides to promote gender-based equality in pretty much every aspect of life.

When referring to Title IX, most people only look to collegiate athletics, but in reality, it addresses all levels of education, sexual harassment, and workplace equality. For more positive info on Title IX, and some success stories since it’s inception, check out

Looking at the statistics, the inequalities in 1972 between men and women are absolutely mind blowing. I like to think we’ve come a long way in the past 38 years.

Schools and Institutions must play a careful balancing act
Title IX Creates a Balancing Act

But like all arguments, there are two sides to the story. Unfortunately for Title IX supporters, there’s a lot more opposing info out there in Internetland than happy faces.

To better understand the opponents of Title IX, I joined facebook groups, read blogs, visited websites, and joined more facebook groups. Out of all of these, only two of them really hit home with me (read also: didn’t sound crazy).

The first was an article from The Hoya, Georgetown’s school newspaper. This article ran on April 23rd of this year. I’ll go on record saying that it sucks that the guys would have to give up a sport in order to field a lacrosse team. Something about that just doesn’t seem fair to me (or more importantly, to the athletes who will receive the cuts).

I guess part of me is selfish, in that I just want to see SEC and ACC schools field varsity men’s and women’s teams before I die. But as it’s already been stated by one of LAS’s very own (coincidentally in a post about NOLA), these schools are going to have to give up other sports in order to field a lacrosse team. Often times it’s suggested that schools cut out baseball.

Give up baseball? Aint happenin down here

Sorry, but giving up a sport to make room for lacrosse is out of the question for any school. Say for a moment that LSU had lacrosse instead of baseball. How would you feel if someone decided to cut out the lacrosse program completely to make room for baseball? (You can interchange “LSU” with the school of your choice). I would start riot. Likewise, I think if you cut out baseball programs, baseball fans and players would do the same.

Random comment: Danny McBride plays the best characters on TV and in movies. Period. “Sure, I’ve been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I’m not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren’t as good. That used to be called patriotism.” – Kenny Powers

Back to business. Adding more sports to the equation means budget cuts in the existing sports, making them less competitive. Or it means increasing already astronomical budgets, and ultimately tuition. We’ll talk about that in a second.

So we can’t cut a sport, or it’s funding. And we can’t increase our budget without increasing ticket prices, or tuition. So it appears we’re at a stalemate.

The next argument that struck my attention came from the UConn lacrosse team. Check out their “Case for Lacrosse” page. Very interesting facts and statistics. After reading their website a few times over, I found it really hard not to think “Hmph. They have an interesting point…”

But again, I’m not finding any fair solutions to the problem. Getting rid of a men’s sport altogether to make room for lacrosse isn’t a fair solution, and beyond that, it’s only a local solution. If UConn wants to get rid of their baseball team to make room for lacrosse, so be it. That doesn’t fix the problem for other schools like UTexas, FSU, or Michigan, who all refer to Title IX as one of their biggest obstacles.

But after looking at these details closely, I’m starting to wonder if Title IX is really the problem.

The Comparisons

In this part, I’ll compare budgets of prospective SEC schools, prospective ACC schools, and ACC schools that already have lacrosse as a varsity sport. Realizing that LSU is the least likely candidate in the entire SEC to field a lax team, I’m still going to refer to them for most of the comparisons. Bear with me.

Let’s turn back to our Hoya article for a second. Since we’re going with The Hoya, I’ll focus on Wake Forest, and then make comparisons. According to this site, Wake Forest has an athletic budget of ~$40 million.

Compare that to SEC schools’ budgets for a second. Or read about Michigan’s athletic budget.

The sports offered at LSU that are not offered at Wake Forest include gymnastics (women), and swimming & diving (men and women). The sport offered at Wake Forest not offered at LSU is women’s field hockey. So there’s not a huge disparity between sports offered.

Wake Forest's BB&T Stadium - Largest crowd: 37,623
Wake Forest's BB&T Stadium. Largest Crowd: 37,623
Tigeer Stadium - Largest Crowd: 92,400
Tiger Stadium. Largest Crowd: 92,400

It’s obvious that football reigns supreme in the south. SEC schools dish out big bucks in order to make the big bucks. Football has it’s rightful place in college institutions (sorry, Wilson). LSU profits $39 million from football. Compare that to Wake Forest’s entire athletic budget of $40 million. For a list of the top 10 football revenue schools in 2005, click (my guess is this list hasn’t changed much).

Assumption: Non-revenue generating sports depend on revenue generating sports (football primarily, but also baseball and basketball) to fund their programs. Therefore, schools that generate tons of money from their athletics typically can support sports that don’t generate as much (if any) profit, while schools with less income like Wake Forest will probably have to wait a bit longer before considering lacrosse.


In retrospect, that assumption doesn’t make sense. If that were the case, then all big schools would have lacrosse teams, and the Stony Brooks of the world probably wouldn’t have lacrosse.

Now let’s look at a school that currently has Men’s Varsity Lacrosse – Virginia.

Here’s a look at some ACC schools’ budgets.

Despite having a significantly smaller budget than LSU, UVa offers six sports that are not offered at LSU:
Men’s Soccer
Men’s Lax
Women’s Rowing
Women’s Lax
Women’s Field Hockey

Klockner Stadium (UVa Lax Field) - Record Crowd: 7,807

Now is where I start to think “Wait a minute. You’re telling me that out of LSU’s $85+ million budget, they can’t afford to spend $3 million on fielding a competitive lacrosse team (men and women), while a school with a $55 million budget is ranked #1 in the nation? Really?……Really?”

This man's salary ($4 mil/yr) is more than the cost to field a Men's and Women's Lax Team

This, to me, says that the decision not to field a lacrosse team has less to do with Title IX, but more a lack of interest from the Athletic Directors and Fundraisers.

Perhaps there’s more to budget allocation than I’m aware of. After all, I’ve never worked in a school’s accounting or athletic departments, so what do I know? I found this site, which is a report from 2005 that shows how public colleges spent their athletic budgets. A balance sheet of sorts.

Schools without lacrosse:

Michigan Athletic Budget 04-05
Texas Athletic Budget (04-05)
LSU Athletic Budget (04-05)

Figures that stick out to me – Football’s Team Travel Expense. $1.5+ million to ride on a bus and stay in a hotel? Both Michigan and LSU only had 4 road games in 2005. Texas had 5 road games, but two of those were in Texas (Baylor and A&M). How did Michigan do it for so much cheaper?

I notice some pretty hefty losses in those non-revenue generating sports. So is it Title IX’s fault that these schools are forced to participate in activities that don’t generate money? If that’s the case, what is Virginia, UNC, Syracuse’s secret? How do they comply with T9, and still manage to support a successful lacrosse team on such a smaller budget?

Or is it even a big deal that LSU/UT/UM are posting losses in some sports to begin with? Looking at the Expense to Revenue Difference Total, they’re still posting multi-million dollar gains.

Let’s take a look at some of the lax-happy schools’ expenses.

Virginia Athletic Budget (04-05)
UNC Athletic Budget (04-05)

Syracuse was somehow exempted from participating in this athletic budget survey, so I thought it would be interesting to look up a school that currently does not have a football team, but does have a lacrosse team.

UMBC Athletic Budget (04-05)

Cutting it close there, Tar Heels.

I would love to see Hopkins budget considering their nice contract with ESPN-U this year.

Figures that stick out to me – both UMBC and UVa posted some nice gains in the “Non-Program Specific” column, as opposed to LSU, Texas, and Michigan, who posted massive losses ($-18 million, $-30 million, and $-8 million respectively).

Could you make the argument that these lax-happy schools aren’t playing big time college football, which is why they can afford the additional sports? Hard to make that argument for the ACC schools when you notice that salaries, student aid, and Total Operating expense figures are comparable. Hell, the 2010 Football season opener for LSU is against UNC in Atlanta, and most are predicting it will be a close game.

So what is it?


I have no clue. You might be able to make an argument that Title IX is a reason that lacrosse isn’t growing, I don’t think it’s the reason.

Here’s my best guess: Lacrosse just isn’t a big, prime time sport yet. And because it’s not a prime time sport, schools that would field a team could sustain massive losses in building facilities, scholarships, travel costs, etc.

Say U of Florida moves to NCAA D-1 next year. Who will they play? Cuse? Hopkins? UNC? UVa? Now that I have a feeling for how much travel costs for four away games are, I can’t imagine what travel costs for Florida would be.

And would anybody who’s not a laxrat buy tickets to see Florida vs Georgetown? Sure, that sounds awesome to us, but to Joe Blow on the street, it could matter less. Florida vs. Bama on the other hand…

For Florida to make the jump, they would need at least 3 or 4 other SEC or southern ACC schools to jump with them just to keep their costs down, and boost their ticket sales a little. What schools would make the jump with Florida?

Georgia? Auburn? Tennessee? South Carolina? Miami? I don’t think lacrosse is big enough at those schools, or in some of those states for that matter, to merit a reason to make the move and sustain even more $1+ million losses. Refer back to UConn’s picture of High Schools that have lacrosse for a reference.

Areas where High School lacrosse exists

In summary, while I do think that reforming Title IX somehow would help lacrosse’s expansion into big football schools, I don’t know of any fair ways to reform it. Beyond that, I don’t think reforming it is the solution. Suppose it was reformed tomorrow. Do you really think lacrosse programs would spring up the next day? Hell no.

The real solution? The sport needs to grow. Give back to the game you love. Spread the sport. There needs to be a lot more red dots on that map before dreams can come true.

In Other News

Incredible sports photography from Barry Spears. Louisiana lax is beautiful. Quarter-Finals: Brother Martin vs Catholic Semi-Finals: St. Thomas More vs Brother Martin

What’s really remarkable is how well Jesuit of New Orleans did this season considering their head coach, Mike Brantley, was deployed to Haiti with 24 hours notice. He missed half of the season. You can find the video of their work here. NOTE: there might be some graphic visions in the video.

Ronnie James Dio – Rest In Peace \m/

About the author: Knox is a 24 year old High School Head Coach in a small area east of Baton Rouge. He played High School ball for four years, and college ball for about 1 week until he realized his collegiate priorities rested with more important things like partying and eventually trying to get his grades up. He enjoys things that most Louisiana people do – eating boiled crawfish and alligator, a cold Abita Amber, anything LSU, his dog, and his beautiful girlfriend, Audrey. Lacrosse is not listed because most Louisiana people have no idea what lacrosse is.

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Knox Hutchinson
Knox is a 25 year old High School Head Coach in a small area east of Baton Rouge. He played High School ball for four years, and college ball for about 1 week until he realized his collegiate priorities rested with more important things like partying and eventually trying to get his grades up. He enjoys things that most Louisiana people do – eating boiled crawfish and alligator, a cold Abita Amber, anything LSU, his dog, and his beautiful girlfriend, Audrey. Lacrosse is not listed because most Louisiana people have no idea what lacrosse is.


  1. you were just baiting me with this whole article, weren't you?!?!?!

    I know you're trying to keep it unbiased but your “love of football bias” is showing. Put that thing away! You talk about how much money football brings in, but do you mention how much it spends? Sure, UF brings in a lot of money… but they spend a lot on their coaches (as you said, Urban makes a cool $4m per year!) and they spend a lot on brining a 600 person band to bowl games and they spend a lot on tutors and special housing and TONS of freebies. So this trickle down redistribution theory is just as false in college athletics as it is in the real world. Show me a study that shows trickle down works and I'll shown you a VERY flawed study. The rich get richer, that's how giving the rich more works. PERIOD. feel free to argue with me but as an FYI, I will literally destroy you.

    Now back to football's place at ACADEMIC institutions… college football is an absolute disgrace, as is college basketball. the graduation rates are literally laughable yet the amount of money spent on these “student”-athletes is preposterous. These guys are basically paid to be at school, the least they could do is go to class. but they can't. because of “prior” committments e.g. football.

    Football lost its place in college the second the kids became athlete-students or worse, just plain athletes. If lacrosse starts going down the same path it would lose its deserved place in college as well.

    MAJOR college sports are a cancer on academia and in the end, academics are the reason EVERYONE is supposed to be there. You want semi-pro sports? Start a league but leave the colleges for the smart kids who actually want to be there.

    • I did talk about how much they spend on the programs. See those charts above with all the numbers? The first column is the football expense statement. I even pointed out figures that stood out to me.

      The last line is the one you might be interested in – the Expense to Revenue Difference (pointed that out, too). That's total operating profit or loss. Take football away and see what it does to the bottom line Expense to Revenue Difference (last number in the bottom right).

      Say what you will, but numbers don't lie. Football programs at big schools make big money. LSU is one of two athletic departments in the entire country that receives no subsidies (other is Nebraska). At all. They're a fully self sustaining program. Because of the success of the football program, LSU athletic department donates millions of dollars (~$5m) to the university.

      edit: not that I'm arguing that the mentality of your average student-athlete is pathetic. I agree with you there. Most, but NOT all, are just there to play sports and hope to be drafted. But athletics do serve their purpose in all educational institutions

      • see that's the problem. I see those expense reports and there are SO MANY categories that are simply not covered by the budget. the most glaring is that “other” and “non-program specific” jump out at me. BIG costs but not associated to any program. Can guarantee fball eats up a considerable amount of those costs as well by the shear volume of their rosters.

        You are also looking at Texas, UF and LSU. 3 of the absolute BIGGEST college football schools out there. Do the same thing for UL-lafayette or SMU or Florida International. I don't think things will look the same… why? Because these smaller schools need to compete with UT, UF, LSU and they don't stand a chance. They spend way more than they bring in. I think only the top 10 revenue producing football schools are usually profitable out of over 100. Now do that math and tell me it works. OVERALL, football is bad for schools.

        Even in sports mad Chapel Hill, the bball team makes more for less! to be fair, this is a top 10 bball school. When you add in the hidden costs, the football team at UNC is more of a drag than a positive. When you look at what they do to the school's GPA and graduation rates, the hit is even deeper.

        Now I 100% agree and recognize that it is not even close to EVERY college athlete that doesn't graduate or gets bad grades.. In fact, most are probably there for the right reasons and trying academically. But the fact is that athletes graduate slower and with a lower frequency than typical students and with the exception of only TWO schools, they are being subsidized by the rest of the university. Fancy book keeping practices are nice but when you dig deeper, you see that numbers do lie when people want them to… which is ALL. THE. TIME. To me, that is a major problem! Maybe we need more math majors and less 6th string QBs who don't go to class simply because they play for Mr. Meyer.

        If we want big-time sports, there should be big time sports. Minor leagues could set up in college towns and there's their fanbase! I'd just rather know about a school because it has a great engineering program, not because they had 4 kids get drafted by the freaking Lions last year. Isn't that the point?

        • Well, to be fair, the football column represents all football expenses. I believe (not 100% on this) that “Other” represents an aggregate of sports not broken out (baseball, lacrosse, golf, etc), and “Non-Program Specific” represents an aggregate list of expenses and revenues not directly tied any one specific program (ie a donation of $1,000 by an alumni association not directly tied to one athletic program, or, say, the expense of hiring clerical staff to work in the department). It's a fair assumption to assume that football eats up a big part of Non-Program Specific, but accounting methods per school for Non-Program Specific differ (some put all contributions into this category instead of breaking them out), so that's one we'll never really know unless we had the actual balance sheet to see how the cash flows.

          I'll concede that the three schools listed are huge football schools, but let's lose track of what my article is about – why big athletic schools (D-1A) don't have lacrosse – and my point was not a lack of money, but more a lack of interest. Also, according to my also cited source, the tenth ranked school profiting from football is Auburn, generating $37,173,943. I'm pretty sure that 11,12, 13, and so on also generated huge profit from the sport up till a certain point. You pointed to UNC – even their mediocre football team still profits ~$7m. When comparing their football team to basketball team, we're talking a roster of 130 vs 25? Considering the costs associated with having that many more players, I think that's a feat!

          Now I'll concede that small schools DO suffer and lose money. ULL, which you pointed out, loses about $1.5m per year on its football program, half of which goes to scholarships. Florida International made about $650k off it's football program. But where is the tipping point? Certainly not after the 10th school.

          Here's a list of Division 1-A schools.

          Looking at a “middle of the pack school”, I randomly pulled UCLA, and Oregon State. Both made profit from their football programs – not up to the level of the big schools I listed, but more than $1m. When is it safe to assume average performing schools make average money?

          Even in lacrosse (as well as every sport for that matter), the bottom performing schools will post massive losses to sustain their programs. So at what point are we saying “football is the bad guy” as opposed to “sports are the bad guys?”

          By subsidies I was referring to government subsidies (ie your tax dollars)

          I honestly could care less for minor league sports, but that's more of my opinion than anything else. For that matter, I don't care too much for professional sports. It was fun to watch the Saints win the Super Bowl, but I've still only been to one game in my life. How many LSU games have I been to? Real question how many haven't I been to.. I think people have strong bonds to their alma mater, which is what drives them to support their college.

          • you're clearly right about a couple of things: 1) more than 10 colleges “make” money on football. 2) “Other” probably relates to other sports. namely NOT football. 3) Schools are not adding lax b/c of a lack of money, there is some other reason. Although that reason may be that reinvesting in football gets them a better return.

            I'll concede the top 40 teams in the country “make money” off of their football programs. This allows them to use their bogus accounting methodology (NO WAY LSU only spent $12M on their program last year. laughable to suggest that. I mean, no way!) and I'll even factor in Crave's “apps went up b/c people want to go to a sports school” argument as a positive.

            Overall, I still think football does more harm than good on college campuses. Do we want alumni giving to a school b/c the football team did well last year? Doesn't that incentivize football and sports above academics? Making money is great but educating students is kind of important too.

            My main problem is what people are willing to wipe under the rug for a couple more Ws. The tens of millions being made on the backs of “amateur” athletes is also HUGELY concerning, especially when a lot of them never even graduate.

            You also asked the question, “when do we start looking at other sports?” and the answer is immediately. I would even go so far as to say if your team isn't within 10% of the national average for graduation or GPA for regular students, your team should be ineligible to play for a NC. We are losing sight of what is important at American Universities and we are being willfully ignorant by saying, “LOOK! some of them are making money so it must be ok”.

            If people choose one school over another because of their sports program, then great. If people are going to school instead of not going just to play or be involved with D1 sports, then there is a MAJOR problem. I think the former is more common but the fact that the latter occurs at all is scary.

          • much animosity toward football bro…all i know, or care about, is that every saturday in the fall i know what im doing and my weekend revolves around football… tackle in the park in the mornings, n grub to a game in the afternoon… anyway loved the article well done, hope u rebut creole, sure am enjoying a good debate…btw geaux tigers…

          • Geaux Tigers.

            Well now is when I think we're starting to see cultural/philosophical differences between me and Connor.

            Connor asserts that if a major sport is causing colleges to sacrifice their standards, then that school needs to take a long look in the mirror and ask themself if they're sacrificing their integrity to sell a few tickets.
            Couldn't agree with Connor more.

            But the real difference is that at the end of the day, almost everyone at these major athletic schools knows that some athletes are strictly here to play sports. For Connor, that's a problem, and rightfully so. By no stretch of the means am I saying he's wrong for thinking that.

            It's just not how I see things. I enjoy sports. I'm fanatical about them. There's a reason why ticket sales are so high, and enrollment is coincidentally so high. People enjoy being entertained by a successful sports program. At the end of the day, if you ask me if I'm still proud of my degree despite the fact that some of our athletes can hardly spell their name, of course I'm still proud of my degree. And at least we have a chance to beat Florida.

            I had the opportunity to attend many better academic schools than LSU. But for me, the experience was what mattered most. It only took one magical Saturday in Death Valley for me to realize that.

            Like I said, nothing wrong with Connor's thought process at all. His priorities are just different from mine is all.

            Agree to disagree.

            edit: But never lose sight of the real reason for this article. I wasn't trying to make a case for football or sports. I was trying to point out what's REALLY holding lacrosse back. Instead of taking someone at their word that it was Title IX's fault, I wanted to see it in the budget where it wasn't a possibility (didn't find that answer).

            And I still love Connor.

          • I agree with you 100% on Title IX not being the real culprit. It's an easy excuse lots of schools use to restrict the expansion of their athletic programs. Kind of a stick with what works attitude.

            And I'm 100% ok on agreeing to disagree on this issue. I went to a liberal arts school with under 3000 students in Connecticut and our football was bad enough that I was able to walk on my senior year (having literally NEVER played the game before) although I was still the worst player on the team. And football was still a lot of fun. I actually love football!

            I think that probably flavors my outlook on college sports as much as anything. Basically, I'm incredibly elitist and biased. But I'm trying to overcome it!

            One argument I CAN make FOR sports to be elevated to high levels in college (even with my bias!) is that it preps these kids for the big time. Some of the guys on LSU's team will be stars in the pros. Maybe college is the best place for them to learn the ropes. Now if this is the case and the schools are making SO MUCH money… shouldn't we just pay the kids so we can stop calling them amateurs? I guess that's my problem. We try to rationalize it by calling the student athletes. Why? give them four years, pay them to be there and call them resident pros or something but students? please. Again, some of the guys are real students (the SS from FSU last year who is now a Rhodes Scholar is a great example) but let's find the guys who are only there for sports and let them do their thing.

          • I thought you might be interested in this…My dad actually brought it to my attention.… this new rule won't allow online correspondance classes to be taken to increase an athletes g.p.a through taking online courses, which alot of high school athletes do to be accepted by ncaa specs. If it werent for corresponance classes, there would be now micheal oher today, and no movie called “the blind side” to spark our football fantasies and emotions.

          • im not saying its good..or its bad, but this is tightening up the academic standards for student athletes..

          • Wow, that's really interesting. Correspondence courses have always been great for 2 types of students: those who want to get ahead and take more AP classes and college recruits trying to pad the ol' gpa. In my mind, both cases should be allowed since either way said student is chasing a dream.

          • Wow, that's really interesting. Correspondence courses have always
            been great for 2 types of students: those who want to get ahead and
            take more AP classes and college recruits trying to pad the ol' gpa.
            In my mind, both cases should be allowed since either way said student
            is chasing a dream.

            sent via iPhone

  2. Not sure exactly how it related to the Knox/ConnorWilsonLAS discussion but I thought I'd chime in:

    There are also a lot of hidden benefits for big time college athletics. In choosing a school I weighed a lot of things like majors I was interested in, campus life, lax, and also the presence of Pac 10 D1 sports. This was one of many factors that encouraged me to attend the school I did because it offered the overall package I was looking for. School is important but a University's appeal goes beyond the classroom.

    As an example of a smaller school that used sports to boost academics look no further than Gonzaga up in tiny Spokane, WA. Pre-Dan Dickau and the “slipper still fits!” GU was mostly unknown by people outside the NW and the only reason I knew about it was because I was indoctrinated at a young age. According to reports they saw a 59% increase in undergrad applications after the b-ball team went big time.

    Just food for thought…

  3. Loved the discussion, especially when backed up by facts. For what it's worth, 49 states have a balanced budget requirement and in this economic climate public colleges and universities will not tolerate athletics eating into the “scholastic” budget. Perhaps in five years we'll see some athletic departments get rid of the so called fat and maybe then lacrosse will have a chance to replace them once funding becomes more available.

  4. I had to chime in on this one. Now I totally agree that Title IX is not the “reason” lacrosse has not spread to more D1 schools, nor is it financing which I think this article clearly shows. Most big time schools have the money to throw around to fund a men's and women's lacrosse program. The real question is, will investing that money lead to more money being brought in? And for most big D1 schools (also read: SEC/ACC schools) the immediate answer is no. Lacrosse is not yet a revenue generating sport and that is holding it back.

    Speaking from personal experience, why would UA spend a couple million to fund men's and womens' lax which would not give anything back to the athletic department, when they can, for the same investment, add additional seating to the football stadium which will pretty much pay for itself next football season? Until lacrosse can be viewed as a sport with a good return on investment, it will always be on the back burner at SEC/ACC schools. And IMO the way to get lacrosse to that point is to continue to fuel the growth at the youth and HS levels. Especially in the southeast where football is king, the more popular lacrosse gets the harder it will be to ignore. And once the football elitists realize that an athlete that can play a couple sports well will always be superior to a specialized one, a whole new world of opportunities will open up. Just imagine an HS lacrosse program in AL (or LA) with the support of the football coach because he recognizes the advantage his linemen have since they have defensive footwork knowledge from lacrosse.

    In fact, I think there's more advantages to having football and lacrosse compliment each other instead of trading one for the other. Yes, big time college football has its share of “athlete-students” but for every 5-star recruit that signs to play at Bama (or LSU or any SEC school) there is at least one student that will now give serious consideration to that school. The growth my lacrosse team has seen over the last 3 years can be partially linked to the hiring of Saban (I know I'll probably irk Knox here). It's true, his complete and total climate change of the program, and our recent rise back to national prestige, has fueled the growth of the entire school. And as a result I'm getting kids coming out for the team that would have never given Alabama a second glace had it not been for the football team. This coupled with a focus on out of state enrollment has brought an influx of talent that is benefiting all aspects of campus (especially lacrosse). If Saban wasn't getting unGodly amounts of $$ already I'd think about donating a percentage of my take (btw my take is $0, and therefore any percentage of that is also $0). In all honesty though, there are some positives to the big money, big college sport mentality. And the fact of the matter is, especially in the SEC, football will always rule the roost. So instead of focusing on how it's detrimental to the culture of college in general, why not look for a way to have the two compliment each other.

    • $$$$ing Saban… But I have to say you're right.

      I will also say that I have more respect for Bama than Florida. I was raised to despise all things Florida. My Dad used to say, “Knox you can go to any SEC school, or any school in the country for that matter, as long as it's not Florida. I won't pay for Florida.”

      I think you're hitting the nail on the head with your second and third paragraphs, and thought you may find this interesting.

      I email'd someone yesterday, and I can't tell you their name, but let's put it this way – the guy came from a lacrosse heavy college to the SEC. You'll just have to trust me that this guy is a higher up and knows what he's talking about. I asked him what his thoughts about lacrosse in the SEC were. Here's his response.

      “I am quite familiar with lacrosse and think it is a great sport…in the long term I do not think there is much hope for men's lacrosse in the SEC, however, there is a chance albeit slim that women's lacrosse could grow in the conference…keep up the good work, any sport a kid is playing is helping their development.”

      To be honest with you, I was just happy he responded at all.

  5. I am a Cajun by birth and would love to see more Lax in Louisiana. I moved to Florida and have coached for 6 years. I currently coach a varsity girls lax team in Jupiter. (we won our district last year). My oldest daughter is a Junior at LSU and played high school lax here. Keep up the fight, hopefully someone will catch on. It is on fire here.

    I now coach two middle school teams, a JV and varsity high school squad and am looking at starting an offseason club team.

    Maybe I’ll move home one day:) Geaux Tigers.