Should Louisville Add An #ACC Men’s Lacrosse Team?



Good evening, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sports fans.  Here we are about one week out until the NCAA Men’s Division I Lacrosse Championship first round games begin – and I thought it would be fun to write about the future of the sport.

Men’s lacrosse is one of the ACC’s prime sports – and ACC institutions get a lot of airtime when the postseason begins.  ACC institutions have won the national title many times over the last two decades.  The ACC has never had enough teams in the conference to earn an auto-bid to the postseason, but that has never mattered because the quality of the play (and the players) is so high that the conference’s teams always earn at-large bids.  Could the balance of strength change in the future such that the Big Ten or others get better at lacrosse?  I’d argue probably not because all of the best lacrosse players are right here in the Mid-Atlantic – but lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the United States and good players are found everywhere.  If the ACC adds another team, the conference would be granted an auto-bid – and would dominate a sport where it already does really well.

Which ACC institution should add men’s lacrosse?  Louisville is my first and prime choice.   Why?  Well for three reasons:

First, Louisville has the resources to add a program (h/t @JeffGreer_CJ).  For example:

Louisville ranked first among ACC public schools and 15th in the nation in ticket sales, bringing in $29,586,555 last school year, helped in large part by the school’s basketball program, which ranked third in the nation in attendance per game. U of L’s football team, in its first year in the ACC, broke 55,000 in attendance three times, including 55,428 for the season opener against Miami, a program record at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Second, Louisville has the leadership in an outstanding athletic director in Tom Jurich to make men’s lacrosse successful.  We’ve praised Tom Jurich in the past here on the site.

Third, Louisville has the terrific lacrosse facilities – and you can bet if they need any modifications, the Cardinal athletic fundraising operation will come through.

Louisville will have no trouble at all attracting men’s lacrosse recruits to a new program – good players are found everywhere as we said above.

NCAA men’s lacrosse needs to grow – and Louisville should be the NCAA and the ACC’s next program.

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