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Fall Ball: The Good, The Bad, The Suspensions

Welcome to Fall Ball! It doesn’t matter if you say it’s all about the grind, or all about effort… you’re wrong either way. Fall Ball is about two things: 1) building for the Spring, and 2) hopefully, staying out of trouble.

Some programs have been doing a great job with #1 and #2, while others are struggling with at least one part of the equation.

Maryland’s Red-White Scrimmage:

Cornell Fall Ball Hazing

Cornell’s Men’s Lacrosse team has been put on notice for hazing violations. Initial reports state that Cornell freshman were coerced to drink alcohol, and that it was a team-wide issue. According to a Fox News report:

Campus officials have reportedly taken a zero-tolerance policy to hazing of late, or particularly since the 2011 death of student George Desdunes, a Cornell fraternity member who perished after being bound with duct tape and forced to drink alcohol.

According to Bloomberg, since Desdunes’ death, Cornell has suspended at least four fraternities for hazing. The university encourages students to anonymously report hazing and maintains a website that details incidents on campus.

The lacrosse team will not be participating in scrimmages this fall, and will be replaced by Syracuse in a three-way scrimmage with the Iroquois Nationals and Israel Lacrosse. The Cornell men’s team will continue practices and training.

Rob Pannell commented on the issue to Bloomberg News, and had this to say:

I’m having trouble believing that any hazing took place,” Pannell said by phone. “In my five-plus years as a member of the Cornell lacrosse family, I can confidently say that no hazing took place. We’re a program many teams on campus strive to be like.

Details on the case are slowly beginning to emerge.

Furman Locker Room Move In

Marquette Makes Waves – The Bad Kind

Marquette is a relatively new program, with only a season under their belts, but they are making national headlines already, and not in a good way. One of their players has been accused of dropping acid, and punching a female officer in the face after a musical show.

Deadspin used the story to proliferate the “out of control lacrosse player” line, while other lacrosse sites used “funny” headlines to promote the story, and then said it wasn’t funny. In the end, it’s really not funny at all, as at least two people’s lives have been changed, and probably not for the better. I don’t know, but a broken orbital bone and almost 4 years in prison is not funny even in a headline, at least not to me.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Not every program is facing negative news right now, and Lafayette seems to be one of those programs that is doing just fine. The Leopards recently announced new captains for 2014, as Brendan Gover, Matt Evans, Jake Mann, and Mike Galione will lead the squad under second year head coach Jim Rogalski.

Rutgers has also named captains for 2014, and so has Harvard.

Loyola Stretching

More Good News – Potential Expansion

According to new reports, NCAA D1 Men’s Lacrosse could see tournament expansion in the next year or two. As early as this Spring, two more teams could be added in, and that would bring the tournament from 16 to 18 teams. This would require to play-in games (which D3 already has), where the lowest four AQ teams (most likely) would vie for the final two spots in the 16 team tourney. The change allows the NCAA to pay expenses for these play-in games, and makes them a more viable option. With two more conferences getting AQ bids this year, this move would keep the number of at-large bids the same.

Penn State’s October Prospect Camp

I feel like lacrosse is rapidly approaching football levels at some schools, and these Prospect Camps in the fall, only serve to reinforce that idea. Come to PSU for a Saturday football game, go to the prospect camp on Sunday, commit on Monday to the Nittany Lions. It’s a simple equation! Welcome to the big time at PSU, men’s lacrosse!

Kevin Dugan – New WJU Coach

Wheeling Jesuit (D2) has been rocked by the death of one of their players, and I’m very hopeful that Kevin Dugan’s hiring as the new head coach will help this program move forward. Kevin is a great guy, and true game grower. WJU needs support right now, and Dugan is a great man for the job. We wish the entire program the best!