STATE MEN'S LACROSSE TEAM INFO
In their sixth
season as a club sport, the Men's Lacrosse team now prepares for the 2002
season. You can follow the action here at WWW.MSU.LAX.NET or for more information
please e-mail the captains listed above. Please direct questions concerning
the website to the Webmaster.
the early 1960ís a club was organized for lacrosse at Michigan State University.
Some years later the club organization was developed into one of the top
varsity Division one teams in the NCAA. In 1996 the success of this
team went unnoticed when the University eliminated the Michigan State Menís
Division I lacrosse program in order to comply with Title IX, a requisite
of Universities to insure gender equality in athletics. The teams limited
use of facilities and lack of financial support created a burden on the
success of the varsity program and it was forced to regress to a club level
sport. Since that date, the Men's Lacrosse program has reverted to a self-funded
student club organization. The team is proud to be the sole representative
of men's lacrosse at Michigan State University. The team travels
throughout the Midwest, as well as across the nation, competing in the
newly formed Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA) championship
and the coveted United States Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates (USLIA)
State Lacrosse is a member of the United State Lacrosse Intercollegiate
Associates (USLIA), the largest lacrosse league in the world. The USLIA
is made up of over 100 teams in 8 conferences that represent virtually
every region of the country. The USLIA is a superior collegiate level
organization for club lacrosse. Many teams try to get into the USLIA
and are denied admission. The USLIA holds high standards of play
and also strict eligibility standards within each club organization.
Michigan State Lacrosse club is fortunate to be a member of the Central
Collegiate Lacrosse Association. With 15 teams throughout the
Midwest, the CCLA is a well-recognized conference. All of the programs
in the USLIA are club teams that operate as "virtual varsities." They are
coached, highly structured teams, many with large budgets. Every
team competes at a national scale yet each conference has its own unique
styles and required games. Although the varsity team once played
at a superior range, the level of play in the USLIA has risen high enough,
and there are so many required games, varsity games are no longer played.
As with most collegiate level athletics, there is a regular season champion
as well as a conference tournament champion. The winner of the CCLA
tournament, along with the champions of the 7 other conferences, gets an
automatic bid to the USLIA national championship tournament in St. Louis,
Missouri in early May. Four other at-large bids go to the highest
ranked teams in the final regular-season poll that did not receive automatic
bids. The past three years, the University of Michigan won the CCLA and
received their first three bids to the national tournament, including the
#1 ranking going into the 2001 tournament. The team lost in the quarterfinals
each year but returns many players from those teams in this yearís quest
to improve on those results.
THERE A POST-SEASON TOURNAMENT?
the CCLA tournament is April 26-28 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The winner
of the tournament, along
with the champions of the 7 other conferences, recieves an automatic bid
to the USLIA national championship tournament in St. Louis, Missouri.
This year's touament runs from May 8-11. Four other at-large bids go to
the highest ranked teams in the final regular-season poll that did not
receive automatic bids. In 2001, Michigan State went to the CCLA tournament
as the #5 seed. After beating Purdue in the first round, the Spartans
fell to the soon to be CCLA champs, the Michigan Wolverines.
EVERY COLLEGE CLUB TEAM A PART OF THE USLIA?
No. Many club
teams are unaffiliated with any national league, and nearly 100 others
are part of the National Collegiate Lacrosse League (NCLL). The NCLL is
a very successful league, focused primarily in the East and out as far
as Ohio, that is geared towards more traditional, less structured club
teams. While some NCLL teams are very talented, most are uncoached, and
the league does not follow NCAA rules of play, nor do they have as strict
eligibility requirements as the USLIA does. The USLIA on the other hand
is directly affiliated with USLacrosse, the national governing body of
lacrosse. Its purpose is to provide a near varsity experience for student-athletes
at schools where there is no varsity lacrosse. In only its 4th year, the
USLIA has grown faster than its founders could have imagined. Many lacrosse
players, coaches and fans are still learning about the vast differences
between USLIA and NCLL or traditional club lacrosse.
THERE EVER BE VARSITY LACROSSE AT MICHIGAN STATE AGAIN?
not any time soon. With the phenomenal growth of lacrosse continuing at
the youth and high school levels across the country, it surprises many
that a school with the athletic reputation of Michigan State doesnít have
a varsity program anymore, while Midwest schools like Butler, Ohio State
and Notre Dame do. Obviously, a varsity program at Michigan State would
have incredible potential. Unfortunately, as schools scramble to reach
compliance with Title IX, the federally mandated requirement to provide
gender equity in athletics, more menís varsity lacrosse programs are being
cut than added. While Michigan State is leading the way among top-Division
I universities toward gender equity, the addition of menís lacrosse would
require the addition of a similar womenís sport at the same time. This
would not be cheap.
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