Syracuse is moving to the ACC in the near future and will become the conference’s fifth lacrosse team. The NCAA requires six teams to receive an automatic qualifier for the championship tournament. Even before Cuse (and Pittsburgh) left the Big East, speculation about additional ACC lacrosse programs has run rampant.
Before getting into the nitty gritty, I want to thank Lacrosse Forums poster TALAX for setting me straight on the Yellow Jackets. I originally dismissed them out of ignorance, but the below comment made me give the school a second look.
Georgia Tech is one of only a couple schools in the ACC that could add men’s lacrosse right away without having to add a women’s sport along with it. The school is like 75% guys. Makes a lot of sense to me. Although I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for any of the ACC schools to add lacrosse, Ga Tech is one of the few in the country that are actually Title IX compliant right now.
This was followed by a post from a current GT student and laxer:
Ga Tech actually used to have a D1 program before the depression and being a student there, on the lacrosse team, we hear whispers about D1 pretty often.
Now, the words of somewhat anonymous internet posters cannot be taken as absolute truth. Of course the historical and Title IX information can be supported. And I don’t doubt the “whispers about D1″ either; this is probably a common occurrence on several high profile campuses with reputable MCLA teams. Being in the ACC only adds fuel to the fire.
GT currently plays in the Southeastern Lacrosse Conference. The Yellow Jackets have compiled a respectable record over the years, but always seem to finish behind the Georgia Bulldogs. Going back to 2006 (the extent of the MCLA archives), the Bulldogs have won every regular season meeting between the rivals. The Jackets need to defeat their biggest rivals before they can make real headway in the SELC.
Not that their perennial shortfall has carried much of an impact. In September, GT lax signed a major endorsement deal with Warrior/Brine. Not only does this deal include the typical customized pads and gloves, it also includes GT-specific shafts and footwear. In addition, Warrior/Brine will also play a major role in GT’s youth camps, clinics, and leagues. Needless to say, this is a pretty big deal for a middle of the road MCLA team…
- Custom gold, white and navy Brine King III gloves and
- Warrior Nation elbow pads and guards
- New Brine and Warrior heads
- Custom Warrior Georgia Tech Lacrosse printed shafts
- Custom New Balance and Warrior turf and grass cleat footwear
- GT Lacrosse Camps Inc. will be covered under the Brine/Warrior partnership
If the school truly invested in the team, then there is a good chance that they would take a page out of Maryland’s book and use their football stadium as the home venue. Bobby Dodd Stadium is the oldest on-campus stadium in NCAA Division I-A and seats 55,000. Even with such a large capacity, the stadium could serve as an intimidating destination for opponents. The Atlanta skyline makes a gorgeous backdrop year round.
Make no mistake, Georgia Tech is a big time football school. But it’s a team that will forever be cast in the Bulldogs‘ shadow. While the baseball and basketball teams do command some respect, they also play second fiddle to UGa. Adding lacrosse would give the Yellow Jackets a real chance to shine in the Peach State, and throughout the country. If nothing else, it would set them apart from the Bulldogs and make athletes at the bigger school jealous for a change…
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