by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – In my US Lacrosse days, mostly covering the small schools, I was often asked by parents what should be the priorities for choosing a school to play lacrosse.
It was an easy answer.
I would explain the math: how much time is spent on the lacrosse field and then the time spent away from it? No matter how much the player loved the sport for those three or four hours, if they were miserable the other 20 or 21 hours, he was in for an awful – and likely short – experience.
You choose the school, not the lacrosse program.
Obviously, that calculus changes with Division I programs, because student-athletes are basically chattel at that point. You signed up for it. You’re an employee.
In my role with the MCLA, I get asked from time-to-time about how I would define our organization.
In one word: opportunity.
You have the opportunity to find a school that fits your academic, geographic or financial needs and still play for a championship in the sport you love. The MCLA exists to give lacrosse players the option to play at the school of their choice so they can stay close to home, pay in-state tuition or pursue that bio-chem major at an unbelievable school.
What the MCLA is not? A developmental league for the NCAA.
You can check the mission statement, the Magna Carta, the fine print. Anything. The MCLA has nothing to do with the NCAA. Sure, we’ll scrimmage them and receive transfers, but we’ll be here long after the NCAA crumbles.
As such, it’s always humorous to me when the various social media replies roll in prattling on, wistfully, about which X, Y and Z team is the next program “heading to Division I.”
Has the MCLA kept NCAA Division I afloat for the past decade? Yep. Marquette, Richmond, Michigan, Boston University, Utah, Iona, Lindenwood, etc. All former MCLA schools. The other two divisions are stocked with them, as well.
It wasn’t a deliberate choice or targeted pitch. Much of it had to do with behind-the-scenes work at those schools by vested individuals. A lot of it is due to the popularity of the sport. When it comes to Divisions II and III, some of them needed an enrollment boost.
But at no point, on any celestial plane, has the MCLA administration spoke of being a feeder league for anyone else. It’s just not how it works.
We’re here to give opportunity and options, not fulfill far-fetched dreams of NCAA incorporation.
MY TOP FIVES
1. South Carolina (3-0) – Seven-day stretch of three Top 10s incoming for the Cocks.
2. San Diego State (2-0) – The Aztecs have a salty defense, led by Karl Hedberg.
3. Virginia Tech (2-0) – Florida will give us a better feel for the Hokies.
4. Georgia Tech (3-0) – Jackets are winning, but giving up a bunch of goals.
5. Florida (1-0) – Gators will get a chance to really prove themselves this week.
1. UNC-Charlotte (3-0) – The 49ers win the big showdown with Wake Forest.
2. St. Thomas (2-0) – Tommies have a couple of weeks to prep for the Griz and ‘Cats.
3. Florida Atlantic (3-0) – The Owls are having no problem scoring goals.
4. Miami (3-0) – Canes square up with Kennesaw State this weekend.
5. Wake Forest (5-1) – The Deacs went toe-to-toe with a rugged Charlotte squad.
A PEEK AHEAD
The Pac-12 Shootout and the Rocky Mountain Rumble dominate the schedule this weekend, and rightfully so, but there are some other quality contests. Blacksburg, Va., is the site of the No. 8 Florida-No. 1 Virginia Tech throwdown that will go along way for seeding purposes in May.
On Saturday, we’ll get a rare UMLC-RMLC crossover game when Colorado State tangles with Purdue in Norman, Okla. Northeastern pops the cork on its season with back-to-back games against the top two teams in the country on the road.
Sunday brings a CLC showdown between Rhode Island and Maine – the two top squads in the conference. William & Mary gets its MCLA feet wet with games against Charleston and Appy State (conference game) in Boone.
SLIDES & RIDES
- Rough opening swing for Boston College. The Eagles lost an 8-6 decision to No. 5 Georgia on Friday night before getting dumped, 15-12, by unranked Clemson on Saturday. BC gets an opportunity for a bounce back effort when they play No. 4 Georgia Tech in Nashville this weekend.
- USC also took a pair of losses on its Lone Star excursion, bowing to both Southern Methodist and Texas. The Trojans will get Arizona and Cal at the Pac-12 Shootout. Colorado’s opening swing to the Southeast was also a tough one.
- Solid response by UC Santa Barbara taking down Cal on the road. The Gauchos balanced scoring is going to be an asset all season and the defense should keep UCSB in all of their games.
- The results weren’t what TCU wanted, but kudos to the Horned Frogs for making the trip to the Palmetto State to face South Carolina and Florida State. That should help them prepare for an LSA run.
- Congrats to Tampa for picking up their first win in the MCLA, a 20-8 triumph over the Citadel…Get nominations in for Warrior Player of the Week and PEARL Goalie of the Week by noon on Monday. Nominations to [email protected].