Lacrosse’s glass ceiling

I hope our readers enjoyed my coverage of the Duke lacrosse season. Some may have noticed that I’ve become a lacrosse fan. And I’m not alone. The final four in Baltimore drew approximately 50,000 fans per day. And, as the Washington Post notes, the sport, which not long ago was confined to a few pockets in the east coast, is now being played at the high school level in many parts of the country.
As the Post also notes, however, the game is not expanding at the college level. Despite high school talent that is probably at least twice as deep as it was 10 or 20 years ago, the number of college men’s lacrosse program has remained basically the same.
The Post doesn’t explore the reasons for this, but Title IX must be the main culprit. That’s the law which, as interpreted, basically requires colleges to enroll as many women in intercollegiate athletics as men regardless of comparative interest. It causes colleges to eliminate programs in which many students would like to participate, for example men’s wrestling and tennis, in favor women’s programs (say, a bowling team) for which interest is minimal and must be ginned up.
In this environment, it’s no wonder that colleges aren’t starting men’s lacrosse programs, which require (as I understand it) at least three dozen players. Doing so seems like a sure-fire way to encounter Title IX compliance issues.
College lacrosse therefore faces what the Post calls a “glass ceiling.” Many excellent lacrosse players have nowhere to play, and lacrosse fans at many schools have no team to watch.
Thus, notwithstanding the failed attempt to try the three Duke lacrosse players for crimes they didn’t commit, the feminists get the last laugh when it comes to college lacrosse.
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