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The Sicatoka

Lacrosse at a "DI" UND?

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Also the thought that lacrosse or skating or soccer would be revenue generators is pretty optimistic.

Hey, I'll admit that. But baseball and softball have proven to be pure red ink. I'd be happy with something that'd have even an outside shot at paying its own freight.

Denver put 1200 in a lacrosse stadium in a snowstorm last year and filled their 3300 seat facility more than once. For comparison, in 2004 UND had 9 home baseball games with a total attendance of 2,347 (average: 261).

I'd pay to see UND guys with sticks beat on Denver guys another month or two in the spring, even in The Al. ;):0

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The recent interest on this board in lacrosse is interesting (to put it politely).

Since many Bison fans continually berate hockey as a UND sport, it shouldn't surprise anyone that you find lacrosse "politely interesting". :0

IMO, if UND is sincerely thinking about making the move to Division I adding sports isn't going to be part of the equation.
If the UND athletic department's best future state means dropping or adding sports, so be it. At a DII level, scholarship opportunities are more intended for local/regional athletes. Changing to a DI level broadens the potential pool to regionally/nationally. With UND's weather (golf and baseball effected) and facilities (baseball facility not DI quality), these sports become even more disadvantaged at the DI level.

So isn't NDSU going to add equestrian, just like SDSU? Isn't NDSU considering adding hockey after the DI transition is over? Isn't it too early to even ponder, what with no conference and all?

Making ends meet given Title IX and conference requirements for number and types of sports will be demanding enough.

For example (only), the Big Sky membership requires men's tennis (need to add that) and women's tennis and golf (can't drop those).

When the Big Sky was offering Denver U a position, it didn't make any demands to add sports on Denver U, which has a rather unique but limited sports offering. Why? Because Denver was bargaining from a position of strength. Not saying at all that UND would be in Denver's position, but it never hurts to bargain or at least ask. If the Big Sky goes to 12 teams, mandating that all 12 schools have all the core sports won't be as important.

Also the thought that lacrosse or skating or soccer would be revenue generators is pretty optimistic.
On a cool spring weekend evening in GF a crowd to 2000 to a lacrosse match in the Alerus might not be unreasonable. For synchronized skating, that could actually attract an audience of non-traditional fans, much like televised figure skating reaches a predominantly female non-sports audience.
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Equestrian, if begun, is actually a pretty smart move by the University.

It helps with Title IX and is likely to be a money generator for the University as a whole (though almost certainly a loser for the athletic department).

Those horses need to be boarded (for $$$) and the University's Equine Center needs boarders.

So by adding equestrian, NDSU will help accomplish a portion of their strategic plan: expand and finance the equine program and (presumably someday) begin a veterinarian program.

For UND, lacrosse in many respects would fit its strategic plan:

Target key states for enrollment:

Lacrosse would help target key states for recruitment (California, Washington, Colorado, and Illinois are all targeted states and all play lacrosse

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IMO, if UND is sincerely thinking about making the move to Division I adding sports isn't going to be part of the equation.

...

Also the thought that lacrosse or skating or soccer would be revenue generators is pretty optimistic.

I agree that UND certainly wouldn't fund additional new sports in a transition. However, replacing sports in which we can't compete or make money in D-I with sports in which we may be able to better compete might actually bolster a transition (remember those minimums!)

The appeal of lacrosse, compared to something like tennis, has already been well hashed out here -- fast growing, niche in which it may be possible to become successful, regional sport that's popular in parts of the world in which UND is already known / wants to reach out, natural appeal to fans of hockey -- UND's dominant sport, would likely compete against top-tier institutions (and a completely different set than we already play in hockey!)

The idea is obviously in the "shooting the bull" stage now, but I have to admit I like it. I'm quite certain, as a fan of UND athletics, that I would immediately be a bigger fan of UND lacrosse than I am of its baseball or tennis teams.

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I've never been to a baseball or softball game involving UND (though I've known many that play). I've played tennis with the UND women's team, but haven't watched a meet. I'd certainly PAY to go watch lacrosse. I guess that's what it's all about.

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A couple of things.

1. I'm happy UND has a successful hockey program and that NDSU doesn't.

2. Equestrian is on the list of sports to possible add if(When) Title IX gets sticky.

3. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that Denver was offered a spot in the Big SKy. I've heard this numerous places, but have yet to see it from a media or administrative source.

4. I don't see NDSU ever adding a vet med program.

//////////////////

5. Lacrosse doesn't fit because all-sports conference counts it. You'd essentially be spending money wit little in return (I don't believe that for a second that with scholarships that it would cashflow at UND).

/////////////////

6. I agree with the idea of replacement, if that's what it was. The problem is my point 5 above. You'd need tennis AND lacrosse, I don't see how that saves you any money.

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A couple of things.

//////////////////

5. Lacrosse doesn't fit because all-sports conference counts it. You'd essentially be spending money wit little in return (I don't believe that for a second that with scholarships that it would cashflow at UND).

/////////////////

6. I agree with the idea of replacement, if that's what it was. The problem is my point 5 above. You'd need tennis AND lacrosse, I don't see how that saves you any money.

I'm not sure what you are trying to say with "doesn't fit because all-sports conference counts it." Baseball and softball don't fit in the Big Sky. What would the SUs or UND do if an offer came along? I say you can't worry about that. The goal in my thoughts is a program that comes closer to "gating" its costs, and that stands a better chance of being nationally competitive, than the programs that are in place now.

About your point/question 6, why not M and W lacrosse: They'd self-neutralize Title IX concerns (like M/W hockey).

I'm thinking replacement, not addition. Now for some random observations and ("sudo"-)analysis by me. (Very scattered, sorry.)

Drivers behind thought process:

Going to sports with potential to be revenue neutral (v. negative, and positive is probably a dream).

Reshaping UND's athletic department to facilities strengths.

Reshaping UND's athletic department to climate realities.

Align UND Athletics to Strategic Plan II goals and objectives. (see star2city above)

Known data:

UND Baseball averaged 261 per home date in 2004.

UND Baseball had 2347 fans in total attend games in 2004.

Denver has maxed out their stadium (3300) for lax matches.

Baseball and softball facilities are wanting.

Baseball and softball consistently lose home dates in April due to weather.

The Al is sized to be able to hold lacrosse, and has a roof.

Assumption:

Golf (M and W), softball, and tennis did not surpass baseball in home attendance.

Data with high believability (strong source, but unverified independently):

UND Scholarships (limits and actuals)

Sport DI DII UND

Baseball 11.8 9.0 2.4

Golf (M) 4.5 3.6 0.2

Softball 12.0 7.2 5.5

Golf (W) 6.0 5.4 1.0

W Tennis 8.0 6.0 2.5

Potential scholarships available in a reshaping:

M: 2.6

W: 6.5 to 9.0 (depending if tennis survives my analysis)

NCAA Lax scholarship limits:

M: 12.6

W: 12.0

Travel costs?

DU's Recent Lax Schedules -- 16 to 17 dates. Normally two games per weekend. Four home weekends; four or five travel weekends (each > 500 miles).

This season's UND travel schedules:

Softball -- to FL, to UNO, to USD, to MSP, to Duluth, to (somewhere in MN).

Baseball -- to Emporia State (KS), to Washburn (KS? MO?), to FL, to Brookings, to Upper Iowa, to BSU, to Mankato, to UMC, to Duluth, to UNO.

Golf (W) -- to Detroit Lakes, St Paul, Marshall, Omaha, Vermillion, Mankato

Golf (M) -- to Moorhead, Bemidji, Fargo, Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Mankato, Lincoln.

Tennis -- five road trips (all to MN or SD)

I see at least five >500 miles travel weekends in there.

I guess I come to this conclusion:

UND, short of a domed baseball stadium or a warmer season schedule, won't ever come close to gating costs of the baseball program (or softball, or golf, or tennis).

Lacrosse at other schools has much better gates than what UND is getting today in baseball (et al).

Lacrosse would have some basis for appeal to UND's demographics (recruiting areas, fan base) as well.

I know there are many other fish to fry first (Buning's Day Planner thread), but it's still an interesting bull session with the folks here.

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I don't think UND should cut women's tennis, because both M & W tennis are required "core" sports for the Big Sky conference. Whether or not the BSC is in the fold for UND down the road, the school should still position itself as if it will someday be a member, because it is still the most attractive conference option, if we are to move DI. I like the idea of Lacrosse at UND, Sicatoka makes a great argument for it. And actually, far more people attend the NCAA lacrosse championship than do the Frozen Four or I-AA football championship, so it is a popular sport.

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A couple of things.

1. I'm happy UND has a successful hockey program and that NDSU doesn't.

2. Equestrian is on the list of sports to possible add if(When) Title IX gets sticky.

Synchronized skating would help out UND's Title IX - 30 girls or so could be on the team. With the REA as an attraction, UND could be a leader in the sport, which is likely to become an Olympic event.

3. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that Denver was offered a spot in the Big SKy. I've heard this numerous places, but have yet to see it from a media or administrative source.
See this post with quotes- Denver Post article is no longer available

4. I don't see NDSU ever adding a vet med program.
Isn't this one of Chapman's long-term goals?

5. Lacrosse doesn't fit because all-sports conference counts it. You'd essentially be spending money with little in return (I don't believe that for a second that with scholarships that it would cashflow at UND).
Denver has lacrosse and the Big Sky didn't seem to hold that against them. For golf, tennis, baseball, and softball, there greater DI expenses (coaches, travel, schollies) in which there would be essentially no return - but there is no questioning about their cashflow when there should be. Lacrosse wouldn't be cash flow positive but it has a chance of less cash flow negative compared with other spring sports.

6. I agree with the idea of replacement, if that's what it was. The problem is my point 5 above. You'd need tennis AND lacrosse, I don't see how that saves you any money.
The question is if the BSC would really require tennis (or golf) for all members if they go to 12. If travel costs to the Dakotas are such an issue for Big Sky schools, why would the BSC demand that Dakota schools field teams in those sports. Wouldn't it be reasonable for the Big Sky to make the following compromise?

The BSC will accept NDSU, SDSU, and UND as full conference members. In basketball, volleyball, football, and soccer, the original nine members will travel to the Dakotas. For M&W golf, M&W tennis, M&W I&O track & field, & M&W cross country, to save on travel costs the BSC will not schedule the original nine members for travel to the Dakotas and in turn the Dakota schools will only be required to field teams in 6 of those 10 sports. Seems like everyone would be pleased with this type of agreement.

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How does one convince the athletic department that UND needs lacrosse?

I love the lacrosse idea too. I would definately go to that. I wouldn't only bet it would be more watched and liked than baseball or golf, but even mens (and maybe womens) basketball. It would fit in right there with hockey.

Lets make this a reality!

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I can't imagine any senario where Lacrosse is profitable for any school in the northern plains. The closest away games for men would be in Denver/Colorado Springs, IN, and Ohio. For women it is Denver, CA, OR, IN, OH. Team are roughly the same size as hockey teams, and not being an established program will kill UND as few team will be willing to pay to travel up here when there are closer competitors elsewhere. Look how hard of a time NDSU has had scheduling home games during the transition. Lacrosse would be a huge drain on the athletic budget, unless you want the team to take a bus instead of a plane.

FYI, I love lacrosse and think it would be a great sport to have, but we have to be realistic here. :D Wait never mind this is a message board. ;)

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I understand folks' points about travel costs. It's an issue. But we'd be trading baseball and softball and M/W golf travel costs (see my previous post about where those teams go) for M/W lacrosse travel costs and be trading up to sports that we might actually "gate" some fans in. (All the numbers are in the thread.)

Another thought:

Could UND tap into the Canadian (Winnipeg) lacrosse fan market?

Canad Inn and UND lacrosse weekend packages in GF?

Edited by The Sicatoka

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I understand folks' points about travel costs. It's an issue. But we'd be trading baseball and softball and M/W golf travel costs (see my previous post about where those teams go) for M/W lacrosse travel costs and be trading up to sports that we might actually "gate" some fans in. (All the numbers are in the thread.)

Another thought:

Could UND tap into the Canadian (Winnipeg) lacrosse fan market?

Canad Inn and UND lacrosse weekend packages in GF?

Hypothetically, you drop men's and women's golf which would preclude UND from joining the Big Sky to add lacrosse. This helps the university how?

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Hypothetically, you drop men's and women's golf which would preclude UND from joining the Big Sky to add lacrosse. This helps the university how?

I think "star2city" covered it before:

The question is if the BSC would really require tennis (or golf) for all members if they go to 12. If travel costs to the Dakotas are such an issue for Big Sky schools, why would the BSC demand that Dakota schools field teams in those sports. Wouldn't it be reasonable for the Big Sky to make the following compromise?

The BSC will accept NDSU, SDSU, and UND as full conference members. In basketball, volleyball, football, and soccer, the original nine members will travel to the Dakotas. For M&W golf, M&W tennis, M&W I&O track & field, & M&W cross country, to save on travel costs the BSC will not schedule the original nine members for travel to the Dakotas and in turn the Dakota schools will only be required to field teams in 6 of those 10 sports. Seems like everyone would be pleased with this type of agreement.

The more simple answer is: It's all hypothetical right now.

UND can't control the BSC.

UND can control UND Athletics.

You can't live your life worrying about what others might or might not do so control what's yours to control and do what's best for you. (Isn't that what Joe Chapman and Gene Taylor have been telling us? :D )

Edited by The Sicatoka

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A few more points.

1. Synchronized skating isn't a NCAA sport.

2. Thanks for the bad post to an article, Star2City.

3. I haven't heard anywhere that adding vet med is a plan of Chapman's.

4. A conference doesn't care if you have extra sports, but most require that you field a given combination of men's and women's sports.

5. I don't think the BSC has any interest in having member institutions not field their core sports. The only current exception is Portland State without tennis which it promised to add after joining and I don't think the conference or other schools are too pleased about it.

6. From what I heard (from a little birdie) is that Denver had an invitiation waiting in IF they added football AND that Denver has no interest in the Big Sky; they want in the WAC, WCC, or Missouri Valley otherwise they're staying in the Sun Belt.

7. Show me anywhere that anyone said NDSU had a Big Sky invititation.

1. Synchronized skating organizations have petitioned the NCAA to recognize it as as an emerging women's sport, much like equestrian.

2. The link was accurate at time of the original posting. You can pay the Denver Post for a search to clear up your ignorance.

4. Very few require 16 sports like the Big SKy "does", which would make for 'exceptions' like Denver. If the BSC would have made an exceptions for Denver, they’d make others. The Missouri Valley requires very few core sports. When the Big East originally took in Miami, it didn't have a basketball program, which was then the marquee program of the Big East. Is your world always such a tiny box?

5. If its such a hard and fast rule, Portland St would be kicked out.

6. Your birdie must have been a cuckoo, cause its Wrong again. Denver had an invitation without football and wouldn't have had to add any other so-called "core" sports. (9 football+ 1 basketball only allows for perfect scheduling.)

7. Show me anywhere that anyone said NDSU had a Big Sky invititation:

From a Bisonville search

Gil Dobie Feb 17th, 2003, 7:42am

Word on the street in Fargo is that the Big Sky admission is a sure thing. It just needs the formal stamp of approval. Anyone else hear that, or is it just wishfull thinking?

JBB Feb Feb 17th, 2003, 8:11am

It could be wishfull thinking, but Ive heard the same thing. I was told that the field was well plowed and fertilized. Because of the statements that have been made you have to feel that NDSU must have some insites.

Hope your bisonville pals weren't your 'birdie'.

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I can't imagine any senario where Lacrosse is profitable for any school in the northern plains. Team are roughly the same size as hockey teams, and not being an established program will kill UND as few team will be willing to pay to travel up here when there are closer competitors elsewhere. Look how hard of a time NDSU has had scheduling home games during the transition. Lacrosse would be a huge drain on the athletic budget, unless you want the team to take a bus instead of a plane.

Reread the above, but pretend its the 1940s and replace "lacrosse" and "hockey." Such narrow thinkers.

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1. Equestrian is an emerging sport, synchronized skating is not.

2. Once again thanks for referring to a phantom article.

3. Show me anywhere where it says that Denver had an invitiation sans a football program.

4. Thanks for referring to a post on a message board about 'the word on the street'. I'd like something factual from someone in the know (same for information on #3).

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Reread the above, but pretend its the 1940s and replace "lacrosse" and "hockey." Such narrow thinkers.

I'm pretty sure hockey was an intrenched sport in this region in the 40's. Also, I don't think athletic budgets were a big concern to the school back then. If you want to go back to the 40's you can try and recuit lacrosse players to UND with the promise of 2+ day bus and train trips to play a game. :D

Cratter, I hope this is a bit, because it makes no sense. ;)

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I'm pretty sure hockey was an intrenched sport in this region in the 40's.

There was a time when it wasn't. Plus, when UND started it's hockey program in 1946, a lot of people said the university was nuts for thinking it could compete with schools like Minnesota and Michigan. Good thing we didn't listen to them, eh?

Also, I don't think athletic budgets were a big concern to the school back then.
Hockey is and always has been an expensive sport to play because of the facilities and equipment required. You needed money back then just like you need it now.

Cratter, I hope this is a bit, because it makes no sense. :D

It made sense to me. But then, I don't see the world through green and gold glasses.

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There was a time when it wasn't. Plus, when UND started it's hockey program in 1946, a lot of people said the university was nuts for thinking it could compete with schools like Minnesota and Michigan. Good thing we didn't listen to them, eh?

Hockey is and always has been an expensive sport to play because of the facilities and equipment required. You needed money back then just like you need it now.

It made sense to me. But then, I don't see the world through green and gold glasses.

PCM-

I'm insulted, Green and Gold glasses?? My great uncle was one of the founding payers in 1946, Johnny Noah is a great friend of my family, I certainly don't need anyone on this forum "educating" me on the history of Sioux hockey. I did not go to either school and try to support each program. Maybe you would like me to stop my $1,000+ donations to the Fighting Sioux Club? ;)

I'm trying give a differing opinion to this forum where everyone seems to be slapping eachother on the back for thinking of Lacrosse. You did not address my point that hockey was intrenched in this region in the 40's. Lacrosse is barely a fringe sport. That 46 team was compramised by local kids from GF, Crookston, TRF and other northern minnesota communities. IMO, hockey was about as close to a no brainer as you could have.

Lets talk about athletic budgets. Yes you needed money back then for the hockey program, but I think the % of athletic budget earmarked to hockey in 1946 is quite a bit smaller than it is now. I guess we'll differ on this lacrosse idea, but if you would just like me to shut up and not give a negative opinion I can do that. :D

Finally, sorry to flame you PCM, as I generally agree and enjoy your post, but you were way off base with your closing statement.

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I'm trying give a differing opinion to this forum where everyone seems to be slapping eachother on the back for thinking of Lacrosse.

I don't think "everyone" agrees that lacrosse is a good idea. I suspect that most readers of this board agree with you. From my perspective, you were the one attempting to end the discussion on differing ideas. I was not dismissing the idea out of hand. You were.

You did not address my point that hockey was intrenched in this region in the 40's. Lacrosse is barely a fringe sport.
My point is that hockey is a fringe sport in many areas of the country. In college athletics, it's a niche sport, but a sport at which UND excels and has been very successful. I doubt that lacrosse was an entrenched sport in every region in which it's now being played and enjoying success.

That 46 team was compramised by local kids from GF, Crookston, TRF and other northern minnesota communities. IMO, hockey was about as close to a no brainer as you could have.

And yet, UND had been around for more than 50 years before it made the commitment to seriously enter the ranks of big-time college hockey.

Lets talk about athletic budgets. Yes you needed money back then for the hockey program, but I think the % of athletic budget earmarked to hockey in 1946 is quite a bit smaller than it is now.
You can't compare then with now as far as athletic budgets go. The first full-time UND hockey coach was paid an annual salary of $3,500. That's a drop in the bucket now, but back then, it was a major expense.

I guess we'll differ on this lacrosse idea, but if you would just like me to shut up and not give a negative opinion I can do that. :D

I don't know whether lacrosse is a good fit for UND, but I am willing to entertain the possiblity. I can see that in some ways, it might make sense as an option for UND to explore is if it has potential as a revenue-generating sport.

Finally, sorry to flame you PCM, as I generally agree and enjoy your post, but you were way off base with your closing statement.

You're right. I apologize for that remark. I assumed too much. Sorry. ;)

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I don't think "everyone" agrees that lacrosse is a good idea. I suspect that most readers of this board agree with you. From my perspective, you were the one attempting to end the discussion on differing ideas. I was not dismissing the idea out of hand. You were.

Sorry to make it sound like I was trying to end the discussion, but some of cratter's one sentence comments, appeared sarcasitc. That's why I thought this whole topic may have been a bit. :D

You're right. I apologize for that remark. I assumed too much. Sorry. ;)

Thanks for the apology.

FYI, $3500 was alot of money to pay a coach back in the 40's. I still think that even idexing for inflation the costs of the 2005 hockey program far exceed the cost of the 46 team. Of course we'll never know for sure, but that is my opinon.

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Let's get back to discussing what UND will have to do to support DI in all sports.

All for it! I believe to support a potential DI department options that are possible revenue generators, instead of sure money losers, should be evaluated. Hence the conversation of pros and cons of lacrosse: Could lacrosse draw more fans than baseball (and be less of a negative impact)? I've long said I'd like UND Athletics to be able to pay its own way at the gate. I'm trying to find ways to do that.

Does anyone know if UND breaks down the athletic budget by each program?

These were posted on UND's IAC site. It is the projected FY 04 budget.

Game Management $1,414,250

Scholarships $1,320,238

Administration - Salary $950,189

Hockey $275,100

Administration - Operations $200,500

Football $192,132

Womens Hockey $174,983

Fighting Sioux Club $130,000

Training Room $123,353

Ticket Administration $115,045

Marketing & Promotions $102,700

Swimming $82,770

Womens Basketball $80,695

Womens Track $70,700

Mens Basketball $68,600

Baseball $62,603

Mens Track $60,605

Volleyball $59,000

Softball $58,975

Media Relations $55,000

Womens Soccer $49,600

Football $36,850*

Hockey $27,500*

Womens Hockey $24,500*

Mens Basketball $22,250*

General Sports $20,000

Mens Golf $16,500

Womens Basketball $15,210*

Cheerteam $11,475

Womens Golf $11,350

Buildings & Grounds $10,000

Miscellaneous Staff Travel $10,000

NCAA Championships $8,000

Tennis $8,000

Volleyball $7,000*

Baseball $4,500*

Swimming $4,000*

Softball $3,500*

Womens Soccer $3,000*

Mens Track/CC $2,500*

Womens Track/CC $2,500*

Tennis $500*

Mens Golf $500*

Womens Golf $500*

* recruiting only

Edited by The Sicatoka

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