Will Delaware State Be The Next D1 Men’s Lacrosse Team?

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Delaware_State_Nascar_Jacket
I want a lacrosse jacket like this...

The big news first off is that Delaware State will be offering Division 1 NCAA women’s lacrosse in 2013.  So I guess the title was a little misleading.  They have a new coach and are looking for players.  To see the women’s game growing at the NCAA level, and D1 at that, is fantastic because it means more large schools are incorporating the sport into their athletic programs officially, but Delaware State is also sort of a special case, because the opportunity for men’s lacrosse is clearly present.

Delaware_State_Nascar_Jacket
I want a lacrosse jacket like this…

I’ll preface the rest of this post by saying that Delaware State has made no mention of adding men’s lacrosse, at least not that I know of.  But the potential is there… along with some obstacles.  But isn’t that usually the case?  At least there’s potential!

I’ll start with negatives and get them out the way.  Delaware State plays in the MEAC, and there isn’t a single MEAC team that offers men’s division 1 lacrosse.  Morgan State is in the MEAC and they offered lacrosse up until the early 1980s, but no other institution in the conference offers the sport on the varsity level.  Paring that with no mention of lacrosse being added on the men’s side and a tough economic climate, and things could look pretty bleak.

But then we get to the positives…

Delaware State currently offers 6 sports for men: Football, basketball, indoor track, outdoor track, baseball and cross country.  But they also offer 13 women’s sports: Equestrian, golf, volleyball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, indoor track, lacrosse, outdoor track, softball, soccer, and tennis.  When you cross off basketball, indoor track, outdoor track, cross country and baseball/softball for both sexes, you are left with football for the men, and equestrian, golf, volleyball, bowling, cheerleading, lacrosse, soccer and tennis for the women.  There is definitely room for a men’s lacrosse team at Delaware State, so Title IX isn’t an issue.  That’s something that can rarely be said.

The next positive may be more of wishful thinking, but I’m going to run with it anyway: Future Growth at the D1 level.  If Delaware State added lacrosse, I can only imagine that certain other teams in the conference would follow suit.  Lax draws in fantastic student-athletes, and a number of smaller schools have added the sport when trying to draw in high level male students (Lasell, Endicott, etc) because it makes them more competitive.  I could see this happening at smaller, or less well known D1 schools, and the MEAC is no exception.  The fact that the MEAC is made up of historically black colleges adds a unique additional layer of interest as it would prove that the game truly is expanding to new places.

Delaware State seems to be expanding their athletic program, and lacrosse isn’t the only sport they’ve recently added because the school also started a women’s golf team.  To not add a men’s sport next would be puzzling.  There can be doubt that DSU would start a men’s lacrosse team because they would have to start from scratch, but it’s the approach that they are taking with women’s lacrosse, so I don’t think we can rule it out on that basis alone.

So to sum up, no I have not heard rumblings that Delaware State is going to add Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse anytime soon… but the potential is definitely there!  If anyone has more info on the status of a potential men’s lacrosse team at Delaware State, we’d love to hear it!  But for now I’m calling it… Delaware State will (or at least SHOULD) be the next D1 to add men’s lacrosse.  Hopefully I’m not just dreaming.

At this point, it’s just conjecture.  So what do YOU think?

9 COMMENTS

  1. I wouldn’t be certain that there is room for a men’s lacrosse team under Title IX, you’d need to know more about how funds are being allocated and the gender distribution of the student population.

    There are 3 ways to comply with Title IX:
    1. Providing athletic participation opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the student enrollment. This part of the test is satisfied when participation opportunities for men and women are “substantially proportionate” to their respective undergraduate enrollment. 
    OR
    2. Demonstrate a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex. This part of the test is satisfied when an institution has a history and continuing practice of program expansion that is responsive to the developing interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex (typically female).
    OR
    3. Full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of underrepresented sex. This part of the test is satisfied when an institution is meeting the interests and abilities of its female students even where there are disproportionately fewer females than males participating in sports.
    So, without knowing more about the situation, we cannot say whether a men’s lacrosse team would be acceptable under Title IX. That said, let’s hope that it would be…

    • an EXCELLENT point… DSU only has 40% male enrollment.  So maybe there isn’t room.  They still seem better poised to add the sport, at least from a quick glance, than many other schools in my opinion.

    • Good Point … However, the rise of lacrosse in the U.S. and the number of Club Lacrosse Teams throughout the MCLA and NCLL (Intercollegiate Lacrosse), which happens to be over 200 schools … Delaware State and other HBCUs could join the ranks by competing in these leagues also … there is a lot more money floating around in the club levels! 

      Howard University … Hampton University … Morgan State University …
      Morehouse College all have a Lacrosse Team at the Club Level (National
      College Lacrosse League).  There is presently a campaign to identify
      Lacrosse Athletes at Historically Black Colleges & Universities
      (HBCU). 

      http://hbculacrosse.ning.com/ is a network that was
      recently created to connect HBCU Lacrosse athletes at their present and
      perspective schools.  Tell a friend … looking to play lacrosse at an
      HBCU … check out the network.

  2. Something to keep in mind: Delaware State is a Historically Black College or University (http://www.college-scholarships.com/historically_black_colleges_universities.htm).

    To say that lacrosse is unlikely to be added for men is an understatement, and the cultural significance of the sport plays a large role.  Add in the rivalry (if you can call horrible race relations a rivalry) with the University of Delaware, and I doubt it happens in our lifetime.  Political and cultural barriers play a definite role here, I’m not bringing up the race issue to rabble-rouse.

    Morgan State is the only HBCU to have a team so far, you can read about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_State_Bears_lacrosse

  3. Alot of other races are actually going to del state now for minority scholarships, so the racial barriers shouldn’t cause that much of a problem. Lacrosse is getting very popular in Delaware now and they’re starting to produce some quality players, if del state does add a lacrosse team, they could easily bring in talent from recruiting and players in the state. All though they might not have the best academics, the thought of playing division one lacrosse will still bring athletes in. I think it would be a good move for del state.

  4. Too many other better schools willing to make the financial commitment are now embracing lacrosse.  Delaware State won’t be able to compete with what the other new schools and programs are offering – athletically or academically.

  5. Howard University … Hampton University … Morgan State University … Morehouse College all have a Lacrosse Team at the Club Level (National College Lacrosse League).  There is presently a campaign to identify Lacrosse Athletes at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU). 

    http://hbculacrosse.ning.com/ is a network that was recently created to connect HBCU Lacrosse athletes at their present and perspective schools.  Tell a friend … looking to play lacrosse at an HBCU … check out the network.

    Reaching out to all conferences!!!