posted 03.26.2011 at 12.13 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

IWLCA Petitions NCAA to Get Women's Lacrosse Championship Back on TV


Maryland will not get to defend its NCAA Division I women's lacrosse title on national TV, if the Terps get that far. The championship final instead will be streamed live by NCAA.com.

The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) delivered a petition Friday to the NCAA in hopes that it will reconsider its decision not to televise the 2011 Division I women's lacrosse championship. A contract between the NCAA and Turner Sports eliminated live television coverage of the event, which for the last several years has been broadcast live by CBS College Sports and its precursor, CSTV.

Instead, the game will be streamed live by NCAA.com.

"The recent contract between the NCAA and Turner Sports has eliminated any 'live television coverage' for this event, but not for 23 other Division I and II championships, including 14 men's sports and 9 women's sports. This is unacceptable explicit gender disparity," the petition states.

"More specifically, we view the two-tiered structure of telecasting the Men's Division I Lacrosse Championship on ESPN while relegating the Division I Women's Championship to video streaming through Turner Sports as a symbol of gender inequity."

The petition, signed by 478 members of the IWLCA, specifically requests that the NCAA place the Division I women's lacrosse championship on the ESPN schedule of NCAA championship telecasts. It makes no reference to the Divisions II or III championships, but coaches representing those levels are among the signees.

"Women's intercollegiate athletics has spent the last 35 years challenging athletic departments and universities throughout the country to address similar separate and unequal treatment between men and women's sports," the petition states. "We ask that the NCAA support women's equality in intercollegiate athletics and place the Division I Women Lacrosse Championship on the ESPN schedule of NCAA championship telecasts."

Turner Sports, which owns and operates cable channels TBS, TNT and TruTV, won digital rights to the NCAA championships with a 14-year deal signed in September 2010. The company also manages several other sports websites, like NASCAR.com and WBNA.com.