Frequent commenter and friend of blog(er) formerlyanon and I are were talking yesterday about how successful the athletic department has been in terms of coaching hires, facilities improvement, profitability, program success, etc. While there have been some historically bad seasons in football and basketball, many of the non-revenue sports experienced a lot of success. The current programs are fairly strong and there doesn’t seem to be issues with revenue streams, so we figured it’s about time to add more varsity sports. If my memories serves me, the last new varsity sport is Woman’s Water Polo which got started in 2001.
Obviously creating a varsity team or even promoting a club varsity team to full varsity status has a lot of strings attached. Obviously there is the cost of equipment, coaches, conference affiliation (if the Big Ten doesn’t have a championship in the new sport) as well as travel to teams that aren’t in the area. Beyond cost, there is the Title IX issue requiring roughly equal scholarships that also needs to be factored into the equation as well as countless other issues that I am omitting.
The Unofficial Varsity Blue Position
Admittedly this isn’t thinking too far outside of the box, but adding Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse seems to make the most sense to me. Some reasons why I think it’s a good idea in bulleted list form:
- Facilities already exist
- Men’s Club Varsity team has experienced a lot of success on its current level (National Champs!). Information is a bit hard to find on the Woman’s club team, but in 2007 they went 15-5 in the regular season, which seems good.
- Natural rivals in the area: Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State all have programs.
- Growing interest in the sport. It seems as though ESPN is pushing it rather hard, and ESPN really shapes the viewing market.
- At least for men, a major league exists.
- Just what we need to put some heat on Stanford for the Director’s Cup*
- Equal scholarships/teams added, so maybe there won’t be an issue with Title IX?
But there are some issues:
- Seemingly most fitting conference, the ECAC, has a pretty large footprint. In 2010 it will go from Massachusetts to Colorodo.
- The Big Ten doesn’t have Lacrosse.
- There are some real power houses in Lacrosse, so the teams may not have much initial success.
- Despite ESPN trying to make it cool, Lacrosse is still a niche sport.
- It would cost a lot of dollars.
Obviously there are a lot of things that I haven’t thought of in these lists. Additionally there may be other sports that may be a better choice. There’s a list of official Club Varsity level sports on MGoBlue for your (brief) perusal. So if you have suggestions about my idea or your own idea, leave it in the comments.
*Adding another sport will not help much at all to wrest the Director’s Cup away from Stanford. Unless adding that additional team causes all the other teams to win national champioships.