Monday, March 15, 2010

Looking at Lacrosse and other links

Since there is a groundswell to bring back BC men's lacrosse, I tweeted this article earlier and wanted to repost it so more could see it. It confirms the biggest challenge facing Lax is Title IX. So for all you BC lax fans out there, just know that as long as BC has football we won't see sticks in the spring.

BC's game with Vermont will start at 5 PM. In another hockey note, Steven Whitney was named Hockey East rookie of the week.

Pat Dean was named ACC Pitcher of the Week.

After a few stints on college staffs, former BC lineman Mark Nori is now a head coach at the high school level.

The hockey bracketologists think BC is in regardless of what happens this weekend.

The Heights had a nice article on Matt Tennant's outlook on the NFL Draft process.


ObserverCollege said...

This is actually a serious post regarding the lacrosse article. The argument is that Title IX prevents schools from adding men's lacrosse, as athletic scholarship funding must be in proportion to the gender distribution in the overall student population. The 85 football scholarships represent a "yoke" that prevents other men's sports from being funded, due to Federal gender equity rules.

It's not true that the lacrosse fanatic, Florida AD Jeremy Foley, is simply handcuffed from adding men's lacrosse. There are steps that could be taken to promote the growth of men's scholarship programs in such sports as lacrosse.

1. An individual university could decide to devote enough resources to add not just men's lacrosse but also enough women's scholarships to meet Title IX rules.

2. An individual university could decide to add D-I Men's Lacrosse, but fund fewer than the maximum number of scholarships.

3. At the collective level, the member FBS and FCS institutions could decide to reduce the maximum number of football scholarships. Those scholarships could be reallocated to such sports as men's lacrosse without the need to devote further athletic scholarships to women's programs.

Like so many things, it's not that a lacrosse diehard like Jeremy Foley simply "can't" offer men's lacrosse. It's that he chooses not to do so, as the steps I have outlined above are more distasteful to pursue than to simply refrain from adding men's lacrosse.

blist said...

Excellent points OC. I agree completely. Title IX has done excellent things for women, and, in a trickle down way, girls sports too.

mod34b said...

Nice points OC. As a former BC laxman, I continue to be disappointed that there is no Men's lax (and i know many similarly situated alums who don't send $$ or lax-playing children to BC for that very reason)

The football problem is summed up in this quote frim the article:

"Of the 60 teams that play D-I men’s lacrosse, only 12 have I-A football teams and three of them are service academies where no athletic scholarships are offered so it’s not an issue. None of the recent additions – Robert Morris, Bellarmine, Jacksonville, Detroit Mercy and Presbyterian – play I-A football."

So, if this is right that there are only 9 D-1 lax teams with D-1 football too, I wonder if we can name the 9 that have both D-1 lax and D-1 fotoball

1 Duke, 2 ND, 3 UNC, 4 Md, 5 UVA, 6Syracuse, 7 Rutgers, 8 Ohio St / 9 Hofstra (but just dropped football). Is there any other such school?

These teams are, of course, very familiar and very similar to BC. BC could do men's lax if it wanted to. GFD does not want to use his resources to allow for men's lax. and that is the story.

by the way BC does have women's lax team, so that should offset the men's scholarships if they wanted a men's team,

I'd like to see BC drop the men's tennis and men's swimming, that should free up some $$

by the way, Men's hockey does not skew the numbers b/c there is a women's ice hockey and field hockey program; same with baseball; there is a women's softball team. Seems like the massive number of football scholarships is the problem.

JohnQPublicSchool said...

#9 is Penn State. There are a ton of schools that play FCS football. There has been talk of Villanova making the jump to the Big East in football if conference expansion ever happens, but who knows. I've also heard that they don't give out lacrosse scholarships too. No idea if that's still true.

I just really hope GDF can find a way to make this happen. Harvard is building a very solid program and you could have a solid 'city' rival.

Ry said...

i know for sure that men's swimming gets zero scholarships. take a look at our performance in the acc and you can see the result of that. i am not sure about tennis.

my understanding of title ix though is that it doesn't just mean scholarships, it is the total expense of money to fund the program. it's about giving students of both genders the opportunity to participate across the board, not just the financial support to do so. setting up a men's lax team would mean establishing another sport in which women could participate. it's not as simple as the men's and women's lax teams neutralizing each other, as one commenter said. how many more varsity level women's sports could BC reasonably provide at this stage?

there is continuous debate over what title ix actually requires and it seems that the ambiguity allows some schools (maybe BC) to use it as an excuse to avoid spending money on new teams.

mod34b said...

I think GDF is on record -- or something close to being offical -- as saying that BC will not start a men's lax team while he is in charge -- even a no scholarship version of a men's lax team

Ry, when BC had a team there were no athletic scholarships for lax players, so its not just a Title IX scholarship parity issue; it's that GDF does not see Lax as revenue postive and therefore it's no go. But I see your points about Title IX not being just a scholarship counting issue, but an overall moeny issue

GDF has been pretty blunt about it in the past, if memory serves, and I don't see any BC lax for decades to come.

mod34b said...

by the way, ATl, you say "there is a groundswell to bring back BC men's lacrosse. . . ."

Is there such a groundswell? a lax tea party?

I assumed all in strong favor of a return of the lax program have long since accepted that GDF will not budge on this.

Jim Foley said...

A member of my extended family played lacrosse at BC in the 90s. He told me at Christmas that a group of well-off lax alums went to Gene and asked him what they would have to do to get BC to bring back Lax at the scholarship level. Gene told them they would have to raise X amount of money. ($20Mil? Something in that neighborhood). The former players were only able to raise .5X. Gene told them thanks for the effort, but they needed to raise the full thing.

Count me among those who are really rooting for BC to bring back lacrosse. Considering the depth of talent in New England and the NY Catholic schools, we could be a powerhouse in the making if we fully committed to it. And it would be a great way to further ingrain ourselves with our new friends in the ACC. Imagine if BC were able to join Maryland, Duke, Virginia and NC as lacrosse schools. It would be fantastic.

Alexander said...

I know that a number of BC Laxers from the 90s as well as everyone on campus who has even the slightest interest in lacrosse really wants to bring it back to the scholarship level. The current coach of the club lacrosse team at BC also played on the last varsity lacrosse team at BC. However, I think the number is something closer to $50 mil. It would make sense for BC as well as FSU, two very successful club teams in the MCLA, to go varsity and join the ACC. That would be 6 teams in the ACC, the number required for the conference to have the conference champion receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. However, multiple ACC teams usually make the tournament anyway. Therefore, the ACC is pushing BC to really improve the baseball program before thinking about adding lacrosse. So I don't think there's any chance that the lacrosse team goes varsity before the "10-year" plan goes through.

matthew2 said...

thanks for the expert insight JF and Alex....

While title IX has done some good things, it has certainly done some harm. I have heard of girls that barely participated in high school sports being given scholarships, just to fill quotas. While female sports needs to be represented and accounted for, perhaps a compromise might be necessary.

I like the idea of football being represented as its own entity, as someone already mentioned... maybe match-up scholarships outside of football? I think that would be a good amendment to the rule in place.... to start.

While title IX means well, its translation to reality is anything but seamless.

reality said...

@mod34b- before you start advocating cutting other sports I suggest you remember what it felt like to have your sport cut.

i could sit here and say BC still has my sport, good riddance to yours, who cares about a lax team. is it played at the world-class pro level (operative word is WORLD-class not national level)? is it even a mandated sport in the conference? is it played world-wide? olympics? but that is not the point. i know NCAA lacrosse does a great job with the FInal 4, etc. i've been to big time lax games, princeton vs johns hopkings, virginia etc. its exciting stuff. but so is a tennis match at NCAAs in athens, GA.

the point is that you grew up playing something, invested a great deal of time, money, blood, sweat and tears in it. and you did it for a school that has since done something probably very hurtful and discontinued the program that you felt very attached to. that sucks. i would be upset as well.

the other point of the whole title IX thing that people sometimes gloss over is that we should not reduce opportunities for people to participate. my take is that the true spirit of the legislation is to increase opportunities for people to participate. and that is how we should look at it.

if sports are a true part of a university's educational structure then the financial aspect should be viewed as an operational cost and dealt with.

yes title IX deals with more than just scholarship count...

as for aspect of asking to raise money to resurrect the team; similar things happened recently at Colorado and Arizona State when the AD cut their mens tennis teams. Colorado was asked to raise X millions of dollars, boosters came up with maybe 3 million dollars in a little less than a week. AD said sorry, its all or nothing.

mod34b said...

Reality -- no disrespect to your sport was intended.

But did you know that LAX is the fastest game on two feet and, more importantly, is the fastest growing sport in the USA. BC should see this trend and invest in a sport that has real growth potential. I found that most kids that like football can also do well in Lax. There is huge potential for LAX in the USA. Good for BC overall image with kids as well.

I grew up playing tennis and wa son aswim team too (major groan), but think Lax is a better team sport and is better for a college setting than tennis or swimming. How many people actually go to an NCAA tennis match in Boston vs a Lax game.

Maybe some current BC student can tell us the situation of BC lax club games vs the tennis or swimming matches. My guess is that there is no comparison at all!