Great conversation. One that may, as Shrek says, be like an onion; layered.
The initial thought I have is your premise seems to be, for the most part, based on the assumption that lax is a primary reason a student chooses a school.
I'll take my state, Oregon, for my response. You say that the talent is being split up by the smaller schools, let's … See Moretake Willamette and U of O only here to make my point simple.
U of O has a great law program, but Willamette is quite a bit better. (Ducks, save the hate; I am just trying to make a point here). Our fictitious student, Earl, has aimed to be a judge, perhaps a senator someday. He also happened to lead his high school to two straight championships, commonly thought of as one of the top two goalies in the state, and would love to continue to play in college.
Willamette's program is not threatening to go to Denver anytime soon, but they are a decent D2 program. U of O is a D1 threat year in and year out. Earl knows he will not be the third MLL player drafted from MCLA, but does believe in his dream to sit on a Federal Bench.
What would you advise Earl to do?
I contend the schools that can support a program should be supported by the lax community. Perhaps there needs to be additional levels added.
Until scholarships are given here on the left coast, let the clubs live and give the kids a chance to play.
Think of the possibilities. Some kid who played for Western Washington University may just start a youth program somewhere in a town he settled down in that had no program.
The game grows, and it's beautiful.
If anything, Title IX is slowing NCAA lacrosse growth and I personally think the days of $2000 dues should be numbered. As someone who filled out a FAFSA, I think it's weird that people spend that much on lacrosse every year. Do they know how much college loans suck? Virtual varsity has make-believe in the title. I can't think of a single MCLA program transitioning to DI lacrosse, but that should be the goal, even if it is farfetched. You criticize the University of Utah for not measuring up to BYU, while they still posted a 10-4 record, which is a healthy winning percentage. “Growing up” isn't called club lacrosse and if the awkward financial gap building between lacrosse and other club sports that aren't anywhere near as expensive keeps growing, we're only going to see more top coaches get mysteriously fired.
412 pointed out this week that MCLA figureheads are free to do and say what they want to, and I think that programs with administrative power, a good alumni base for fundraising, and a no-nonsense appeal to recruits in the MCLA like to complain about other programs keeping them down. Sure, concentrating the limited lacrosse resources of the American West into a few great programs would be fun for a few coaches, but I don't think it would benefit very many players.]]>