Jump to content
SiouxSports.com Forum
Sign in to follow this  
The Sicatoka

Lacrosse at a "DI" UND?

Recommended Posts

As a Denver Fan, lacrosse is turning into a huge spring hit on campus. After only seven years at the D-I level, the Pioneers are ranked #12 in the nation. There are sellout crowds at $9 per ticket, and FSN-RM is picking up TV games. There are now 50 high schools in Colorado playing the game, and DU no longer must recruit all east coast atheltes. Today, DU is bringing Canadians, Colroadans, Texans, etc. The new stadium lax is already too small, and they are thinking about building more seats to accomodate the growth.

One of the coolest things about the game is that it is played by name-brand schools. In recent years, DU has hosted men's lax teams from serious schools such North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Syracuse, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Harvard, Penn State, Penn, Dartmouth, Villanova, etc.

I think North Dakota would great for the game- with an indoor facility, recruits would come. And the fans would enjoy the game - it's fast, physical and goes great with hockey fans. With only 55 schools playing at D-I, its much easier to get good in the sport quickly.

Puck Swami:

Thanks for an outside opinion. A few more questions: How well do think UND could draw per match? Are most of the lacrosse fans ex-HS players? How well does DU's women's team draw? Also, understand that the Great Western Lacrosse league is adding Bellarmine of Louisville to its ranks. Would that hurt UND's chances of getting into this league?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm! Another lacrosse suggestion! Actually the topic has already come up when discussing what UND should do to better position us if we move to DI. There's actually quite a few that like the idea, but don't know if potential revenue would cover the operating costs. Any idea how much of a profit comes from lax?

P.S. you guys are already planning to expand your lacrosse stadium? ;) Sounds like it's taking off alright. Sweet. ???

Denver has always drawn a good portion of its students from the East Coast, and had club lacrosse team even in the 1960s. What really made Denver lacrosse possible at the D-I level was dropping baseball in 1999, where climate was always an issue, and Denver could not consistently compete at a high level. It was an emotional cut, since Denver had a baseball team since 1867.

Today's lacrosse stadium was built over the old baseball field. It cost $7 million, much of which was donated by a rich alum. The team makes several trips east each year as well as its league schedule, and often, one of those trips is over spring break. The school also funds a small tournament at the beginning of each year, where top teams like North Carolina, Virginia and Syracuse are flown in on DU's dime to draw crowds (which they do).

Denver, with a $30,000 tuition price tag, must use its scholarships wisely. The fortunate thing about lacrosse is that it is a highly-upscale sport that is often played by kids that mirror Denver's affluent student demographic. In other words, even if you use/split your scholies on top athletes who may or may not otherwise afford a place like Denver, you can still fill out your team with enough tuition paying walk-ons to make the sport revenue positive. I think the NCAA D-I max on lacrosse scholarships is only 12.6 per team, and Denver has 38 guys on the roster. That means that vast majority of the players are getting little or no scholie money, and it is like that all over college lacrosse. The net effect of this is that the school is getting way more money from tuition-payers than it is paying out in scholarships. Addtionally, becuase so many lacrosse players come from affluent backgrounds and pay for themselves, it frees up extra money for more needy regular students.

Lacrosse attendence is a little smaller than D-I hockey. Top teams like Hopkins and Navy might draw 8-10,000 per game. Denver is in the 1,500-3,000 range for most games if the weather is nice, and more for big name teams at $9 per ticket. Record crowd is about 5K. North Dakota with a indoor facility would probably draw 1,000 or 2,000 at first, more if the team did well, as there is little competition in Grand Forks. Denver's womens team draws about 500 people on nice weather, 150 in poor weather. Women's games are free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yo, Swami, thanks for your time and thoughts. ;)

Lacrosse attendence is a little smaller than D-I hockey. Top teams like Hopkins and Navy might draw 8-10,000 per game. Denver is in the 1,500-3,000 range for most games if the weather is nice, and more for big name teams at $9 per ticket. Record crowd is about 5K.

You're saying your lax range is about 25-50% of your mens hockey average and your lax max is about 85% of your mens hockey average. (I'm assuming DU averages about 6000 for mens hockey.) Not bad.

I'd be happy with those raw per game numbers (1500 to 3000) at UND for lax.

UND Baseball doesn't draw 2500 in a season. ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You're saying your lax range is about 25-50% of your mens hockey average and your lax max is about 85% of your mens hockey average. (I'm assuming DU averages about 6000 for mens hockey.) Not bad.

I'd be happy with those raw per game numbers (1500 to 3000) at UND for lax.

UND Baseball doesn't draw 2500 in a season. ???

Today's Herald had this blurb:

A community meeting scheduled for Monday to discuss the prospects for arena football in the Alerus Center was postponed because United Indoor Football League officials were unable to make it to Grand Forks, Alerus officials said.

Inclement weather in the Sioux Falls, S.D., area prevented the UIF officials from traveling.

The UIF currently has 10 teams, including teams in Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb. The meeting will be rescheduled, according to Alerus Center officials.

Obviously, someone thinks GF presents a decent springtime indoor sports opportunity. Why not UND lacrosse? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From UND: D-I dollars

Phil Harmeson, senior associate to the UND president, cautioned other task force members not to get locked into a mindset that UND's Athletic Department has to be bigger. He said some schools actually are looking at cutting sports to make ends meet.

"Everything has to be on the table," Harmeson said.

If everything is "on the table" why not consider dropping non-revenue sports for sports that are growing and have a shot at becoming a revenue sport (and that you could be Championship-level competitive at)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From UND: D-I dollars

If everything is "on the table" why not consider dropping non-revenue sports for sports that are growing and have a shot at becoming a revenue sport (and that you could be Championship-level competitive at)?

Let's be like Cal Marvin and make this happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The good doctor loves this link,

so I decided to spend some time reading it the other day.

Did you know ....

- at any level of DI (I-A, -AA, or -AAA), the average DI lacrosse program costs less to run (lower expenses) than the average DI baseball program?

- at any level of DI (I-A, -AA, or -AAA), the average DI lacrosse program had an equivalent* or better net bottom line than the average DI baseball program?

* In DI-A, the average lax program had $1000 dollars more net red ink, a much less than 1% difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you know ....

- at any level of DI (I-A, -AA, or -AAA), the average DI lacrosse program costs less to run (lower expenses) than the average DI baseball program?

- at any level of DI (I-A, -AA, or -AAA), the average DI lacrosse program had an equivalent* or better net bottom line than the average DI baseball program?

* In DI-A, the average lax program had $1000 dollars more net red ink, a much less than 1% difference.

In a typical April (never mind March) by how much would a Saturday evening lacrosse game at the Alerus outdraw three afternoon baseball games at Kraft field? by 1000? 1500? LAX would have to be better to the bottom line for a northern school with access to an indoor LAX venue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LAX would have to be better to the bottom line for a northern school with access to an indoor LAX venue.

As far as "northern school", which "northern schools" have any real hope of winning a DI baseball title? Miami, Texas, Arizona State, and LSU will tell you "none."

Now a northern school with lax, and with a dome and historically good ties to Canada (where lacrosse is the other national sport), could be a whole other matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as "northern school", which "northern schools" have any real hope of winning a DI baseball title? Miami, Texas, Arizona State, and LSU will tell you "none."

Now a northern school with lax, and with a dome and historically good ties to Canada (where lacrosse is the other national sport), could be a whole other matter.

UMTC has done well in baseball and is probably one of the few northern schools that could compete in the College World Series. They have the advantage of playing in the Metrodome for early season games. Maybe UND could have that same advantage in lax. I hope that the committee takes a close look at lax as a part of the exploration of DI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UMTC has done well in baseball and is probably one of the few northern schools that could compete in the College World Series. They have the advantage of playing in the Metrodome for early season games.

They are using their available facilities to best use. (We won't comment on Metrodome beyond it's an available domed baseball stadium for them.) Optimum and maximum usage of available facilities only makes sense.

Maybe UND could have that same advantage in lax. I hope that the committee takes a close look at lax as a part of the exploration of DI.

That's where my thoughts are at exactly. Plus, there could be a hidden advantage of getting more traffic, use, and exposure of the facility (The Al) which is good for both UND and Grand Forks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are using their available facilities to best use. (We won't comment on Metrodome beyond it's an available domed baseball stadium for them.) Optimum and maximum usage of available facilities only makes sense.

That's where my thoughts are at exactly. Plus, there could be a hidden advantage of getting more traffic, use, and exposure of the facility (The Al) which is good for both UND and Grand Forks.

Lacrosse may make a lot of sense for UND someday but I guarantee you that the last thing the committee is going to be discussing is lacrosse. I am not taking a shot at those of you who have a big interest in lacrosse, it just isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not taking a shot at those of you who have a big interest in lacrosse, it just isn't going to happen anytime soon.

I've said through this whole discussion a very unique set of circumstances would have to occur. We're not near them ... yet. Someday? Maybe? Who knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said through this whole discussion a very unique set of circumstances would have to occur. We're not near them ... yet. Someday? Maybe? Who knows.

While I do not share your interest nor your knowledge of the sport, I appreciate your passion about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just think that if UND is looking at a major change, like moving all sports to DI, you might as well explore all options. That means looking at dropping sports and also looking at other sports to see if there is a better fit that could be added. Now seems to be a good time to look at lax.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I do not share your interest nor your knowledge of the sport, I appreciate your passion about it.

My passion is UND.

If UND were to go DI I see no point in going in sports where UND is guaranteed to be, at best, a footnote.

I see lacrosse as another potential "sweet spot" for UND (like hockey).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My passion is UND.

If UND were to go DI I see no point in going in sports where UND is guaranteed to be, at best, a footnote.

I see lacrosse as another potential "sweet spot" for UND (like hockey).

Sica, I think your logic is ridiculous. By your rationale the sports dropped if UND goes DI are:

Men's and Women's Golf

- as a northern team, we can never hope to compete with AZ State, Stanford, Arkansas, etc. Might as well cut some costs and scrap the teams.

Men's and Women's Cross Country

- men haven't even won a NCC title for many years, how will they amount to anything in DI? The women have had some success, but don't stand much chance of being a top tier team in DI. They don't bring in any revenue...cut 'em both.

Men's and Women's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field

- not good enough to compete with the big schools (UCLA, Arkansas, Florida, etc.) so we should eliminate the programs. No home outdoor track (for meets), no home indoor track, no use being "a footnote."

Men's Baseball

- as said before, a northern team will have no hopes of being anything but an also ran at NC$$'s. Get rid of the team to open up more capital for football, basketball, hockey.

Women's Tennis

- although the team has access to an indoor facility, they would also have a hard time overcoming the "footnote" status in DI. Get rid of 'em.

Women's Softball

-haven't had much success in DII against much weaker opponents than they would face in DI. The program obviously has to go.

Women's Soccer

-while they have had some recent successes (making it to NC$$'s, competing well in the NCC) they aren't likely to become the calibur of team that would compete on the national level like the men's hockey program does. Gone.

By eliminating 12 sports, UND is left with four women's sports (Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey, Swimming/Diving) and four men's sports (Football, Hockey, Basketball, Swimming/Diving) which have a decent chance of winning at the DI level. We would have no spring sports teams, and only one fall sport team for women and one for men.

Personally, I think that the "footnote" sports are what makes UND sports so great. They may not win as many championships or make all the money, but they are competing and representing their school just as proudly as the "bigger" teams do, without the fan support. They provide some diversity within the athletic department. I was a two (three, if you count indoor and outdoor track separately, which the NC$$ does) sport athlete for four years, competing in XC and T&F. I had many great experiences and met a lot of great people. As a "footnote" athlete, it hurts to see this attitude toward non-revenue sports year after year.

But hey, at least we would have some room for another "sweet spot," since the rest of the cabinet will have been cleared out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, but the catch, Sir Runner:

The NCAA mandates sponsoring a finite number of sports to be a DI (14 total).

M/W CC and indoor and outdoor track would survive because they are easy teams to put together and schedule. And you need those 6 teams to help meet the minimum 14.

Womens soccer survives because you need the womens team and the numbers of women to counteract football under Title IX.

Go back to the first pages of this thread and look for the scenario under which lacrosse would make sense. And, yes, back there you'll find that baseball, softball and mens golf would be the ones that would most likely face scrutiny. (Womens golf and womens tennis have Title IX working for them because of the big football roster.)

Like I've said, certain specific scenario. (Look here.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh...didn't see the beginning of the discussion. I'll try to read through the entire discussion next time I post a long response. If we decide to go DI, going with the minimum number of sports probably makes most sense financially for the athletic department and school...along with satisfying all Title IX qualifications of course.

But, how do you explain to the Baseball Alumni that their sport (one of the oldest here at UND) is being cut so that a new, emerging, and more hip sport can be added?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And 'runner', one more thing:

I'm a guy who believes that if college athletics can't support themselves at the gate or through donations they shouldn't be there. I'm not always a popular guy for that belief, and I also know that's not the world we live in.

I look here and see all of the dollars in state and university monies and student fees diverted to fund athletics and I wonder if they couldn't be used for better things within the university structure: labs, instructors, research, more scholarships for the total student body. The primary mission of a university still is academics.

If subsidized athletics is going to be there, yes, I will try to lobby for competitive teams that may also approach fiscal self-sufficiency. If that's a problem we must agree to disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But, how do you explain to the Baseball Alumni that their sport (one of the oldest here at UND) is being cut so that a new, emerging, and more hip sport can be added?

Very carefully? :lol:

I don't believe it would be a drop-add situation. I believe it would be drop (to get fiscally stable), get stable, add at a later date, scenario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And 'runner', one more thing:

I'm a guy who believes that if college athletics can't support themselves at the gate or through donations they shouldn't be there. I'm not always a popular guy for that belief, and I also know that's not the world we live in.

I look here and see all of the dollars in state and university monies and student fees diverted to fund athletics and I wonder if they couldn't be used for better things within the university structure: labs, instructors, research, more scholarships for the total student body. The primary mission of a university still is academics.

If subsidized athletics is going to be there, yes, I will try to lobby for competitive teams that may also approach fiscal self-sufficiency. If that's a problem we must agree to disagree.

The two go hand in hand. Without college athletics many alumni don't feel motivated to donate. College sports gives alumni something to take part in and stay connected to the university through. I think you'd see far less donations to academic interests if alumni didn't maintain their allegiance through college athletics. Collge athletics is about prestige and a poor athletic program reflects badly on the university as a whole. Look at George Mason for example, I read an article in USA today that they're expecting a record freshmen enrollment next fall and that interest in their school by high school students as risen dramatically with their NCAA tournament run. College athletics add in many areas that aren't always tangible when it comes to the balance sheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×