Morgan State University is located in Baltimore, Maryland. We’ve talked about them before. From 1970 until 1980, Morgan State fielded a school-sponsored lacrosse program, and Kyle Harrison’s father, Dr. Miles Harrison, played there in those socially turbulent 1970′s.
Dr. Harrison eventually wrote a book called Ten Bears, which chronicled his experiences at Morgan State. I read the book for the first time about 6 or 7 years ago (pretty sure it came out in 2001) and have read it again a couple of additional times since. The lacrosse stories are great, and Dr. Harrison’s reflections on race, real integration and societal change are gripping. For those of us that have not lived through such tumultuous times, the book provides an important glimpse into our own, very recent, shared history. And although some of the subject matter borders on risqué, the lessons learned are worth it, even for the more squeamish readers. It’s a real story and even though I wasn’t there, I learned a lot from it surrounding change, leadership and dealing with adversity, and all just by reading the book. It’s not everyday you find a piece of lacrosse literature that accomplishes that!
Now, back to Morgan State Lacrosse today… Like I wrote above, the school cut the program in 1980 due to a lack of funding. But the current crop of Morgan State students has taken it upon themselves to start a new tradition of lacrosse at the school, and for an institution with such a rich lax history, this is a very welcome thing! This all began in 2005, a quarter century after the original team was cut. Currently the team plays in the NCLL (National Collegiate Lacrosse League), but it is supposedly making a push to return to NCAA status.
They don’t have perfectly matching gear and they might not play the typical slow-down, specialization game that most D1 NCAA schools now utilize, but they play with passion and when getting a team rolling, that is truly the most important thing. Morgan State says this of itself:
“For over 140 years, Morgan State University has been an important part of the higher education system in Baltimore City, the State of Maryland, and the nation. Throughout its histroy, Morgan has served the community with distinction while serving the educational needs of an increasingly diverse society. It’s distinction as Maryland’s Public Urban University assures that Morgan will continue to play a prominent role in Maryland’s education future.“
I love their mission and self-view. I can only hope that they will embrace the hard work that the club team has put in so far and that Morgan will bring their school-sponsored team back. A state university in Baltimore without a school lacrosse team is a surprise, and for Morgan State to not have a team would be a shame. Tip of the hat to the players at Morgan bringing it back, and here’s hoping the school steps up and gets involved!