Kent State Board Approves Addition of Women's Lacrosse
Kent State's board of trustees approved the addition of women's lacrosse on March 9 at its quarterly meeting, according to reports. The team will begin competition in 2019 as the first addition to KSU since women's golf and women's soccer were added in 1997.
According to Marilyn Miller of Ohio.com, the approval was made in conjunction with the decision to make Kent State a smoke-free campus. Women's lacrosse would be the 10th women's program, 17th overall, and will share the field hockey facility.
“It’s a fast-growing sport,” said Flashes athletic director Jeff Nielsen to Ohio.com. “We’re in a hot pocket in Northeast Ohio for both men and women. ... I don’t have to go out and fundraise and build from scratch for them to practice and compete."
He added there are 38 women's lacrosse teams within driving distance who could be potential rivals, including Ohio State, Michigan State and Notre Dame. Nielson also estimated a program budget of approximately $500,000 for staffing, operations and student-athlete scholarships.
Part of a five-year comprehensive strategy, adding the sport was identified as one of six key takeaways to "adapt to the ever-changing NCAA landscape," wrote Nielsen in a letter to the fans on March 10, which outlined the findings of the school's strategic visioning committee.
Among the other key takeaways were maintaining the school's current mix of sports with seven men's and nine women's programs, specifically using men's basketball for revenue while relying on private support, building its national identity and ensuring the safety of their athletes.
"I hope you will be as excited as we are about the future of Kent State Athletics," Nielson said.
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