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.
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?