You are hereCould CU add another men's D1 sport?
Could CU add another men's D1 sport?
Move over basketball and football, there could be a new men’s team making headlines in the coming years!
Last month, the Athletic Department at CU announced it was adding a women’s Division I lacrosse team to it’s collection of varsity sports. While this brought the tally of varsity sports to 17, only seven of these are men’s.
Yet, the addition of the women’s lacrosse team might have opened a door for a men’s team to make a comeback.
“The way we are committed to Title IX in compliance through federal law is through proportionality. This doesn’t mean equal number of sports, it means an equal number of participants so adding women’s lacrosse helps us with our fundamental balance and our numbers associated with title IX,” says Athletic Director, Mike Bohn.
According to Bohn, the women’s lacrosse decision was an easy one for the athletic department with regard to facilities, level of interest, and season of play. For example, there are several fields on campus the Lady Buffs can utilize and Boulder weather is fitting for the spring sport.
However, when thinking about adding a men’s sport, the Athletic Department has to consider these factors as well as budget, gender ratio, equipment, travel costs and much more.
The biggest consideration for administrators is funding. Sports that require a lot of equipment and large facilities are weak candidates. Ice hockey and baseball, for example, don’t fit the bill.
Ben Fuchs, co-captain of the CU Club Baseball team agrees:
“Baseball would be hard to do because you need a lot of land. There’s really no place in Boulder to put a field, there’s just not enough space. And there’s a lot of money you have to raise to build a park and all the facilities.”
On the other hand, the university would be wise to add sports in twos as it is already equipped to support sports like lacrosse.
“I think the facility is already there. We have Kittridge or Folsom and Dal Ward. And pads aren’t that expensive because we are buying in bulk and a lot of companies are willing to cut deals for teams like us,” says Alex Puldy, men’s club lacrosse co-captain.
In addition to funding, another way to ensure success of a sport is through student interest and popularity. This was a huge factor in the women’s lacrosse decision and could come into play in thinking about a men’s sport as well.
According to Bohn, the Athletic Department keeps a watchful eye on promising club programs as indications of student interest.
“We always monitor the progress associated with our wonderful club history here and their national championships which are wonderful and very exciting,” says Bohn.
Indeed, success exists outside the Division I level at CU as seen through its widely competitive club sports. There are over 30 clubs offered at CU, many of which compete at levels comparative to Division I.
The men’s lacrosse program is a great example as they have made it to nationals for the past three years. Lacrosse also happens to be the fastest growing sport in the state of Colorado. If that doesn’t indicate enough interest, men’s lacrosse, along with men’s volleyball, hockey and soccer, receive the most emails about joining the Pac 12.
Much like its women’s counterpart, men’s lacrosse seems to offer what CU students crave in a varsity sport.
“It’s a growing sport and it’s pretty entertaining as far as action goes. It’s physical, it’s fast, it moves quick. We do have a lot of students from the East Cost so that could be a factor as well because that’s where the sport is most popular,” says Thomas Appel, men’s club lacrosse co-captain.
While instituting another men’s Division I sport is now a possibility proportionally, it will take time to acquire the necessary funding to launch a successful program.
When the time comes to add another men’s Division I sport, the Athletic Department need look no further than their own club programs.