Southern Methodist Considering Varsity Lacrosse Addition
Southern Methodist University is moving to the Big East in all sports in 2013, mainly because of football considerations. But the move could have an impact in the lacrosse world, according to SMU athletic director Steve Orsini, who says that varsity lacrosse is a sport that school is considering adding.
SMU, located in the heart of Dallas, Texas, feels that by moving to the Big East the school can return to a place of national prominence it hasn't felt since the late 1980s when the football program received the so-called "death penalty" for major NCAA violations.
And with the new money SMU will receive from their new conference's television and football bowl contracts, the athletic department is looking to beef up its profile, and perhaps add athletic programs. Lacrosse was one of the sports mentioned by Orsini in an interview with ESPN.com. Baseball, softball and men's track were the others.
"Lacrosse, as you know, is growing here, and the Big East represents the footprint of the best lacrosse in America," Orsini said. "Those are all things we'll discuss and see at the presidential level here."
Southern Methodist currently fields club lacrosse teams in the MCLA and WCLA. It's unclear whether Orsini was speaking about adding men's varsity lacrosse, or women's, or both. But he was talking about the Big East, which means the NCAA Division I level.
At the very least, the fact that the AD of a Dallas university is talking about adding varsity lacrosse is another sign of the growth of the game and the recognition the sport in general is receiving outside lacrosse circles.
And an FYI: Some members of the SMU men's club team scrimmaged the U.S. U19 Men's National Team when it visited the Dallas area in November.