I firmly believe that it is merely a matter of time before USC adds D1 lacrosse. This belief is rooted in a comment made by USC President C.L. Max Nikias last October when he announced the women’s varsity team:
…in the next three to five years I think we are going to be in a position to also introduce a men’s lacrosse team.
And is supported by additional comments made by USC senior associate athletic director Mark Jackson on May 3, 2011:
- “We’re exploring the opportunity for men’s lacrosse internally. We recognize how fast the sport is growing, and the popularity from youth lacrosse all the way up. It’s something we’re really cognizant of. We launched women’s lacrosse, and hopefully men’s lacrosse is somewhere in our future.”
- “It’s in the exploratory stages, but we understand where the game stands out here and how fast it’s growing,” Jackson said of adding a varsity team. “We haven’t put any kind of specific time frame on it, but it’s not to say we haven’t talked about it, because we have. I know it’s a sport that’s important from our president [Max Nikias] on all the way down. We’ll continue to talk about it for sure.”
Here is a collection of posts I made on the Lacrosse Forums regarding USC:
- I would say Southern California will be the next major program to announce men’s lax.
- So we might be looking at 2015/16 for the Trojans. Perhaps sooner if the school feels that it can be profitable. With Nike’s interest in lax and their sponsorship of the school, it could definitely be sooner. Being a private school means that they have more control over these decisions than Cal would.
- You would have to think that recruiting players to LA would be fairly easy anyway…
- I know USC has made some strong comments, but Stanford is not a bad call either… Your idea of both coming in at the same time makes perfect sense. I could definitely see that.
- The president of the university (USC) has also said that they are considering adding D1 men’s lax. From the sounds of it, there is interest across the board with all of the key people.
For all intents and purposes, the Trojans’ chances look pretty solid. In fact, the whole situation seems to mirror the events at Michigan pretty closely. The only glaring exception is the lack of an MCLA team this season. Perhaps varsity plans played a role in the elimination of the club team; the school may want to distance itself from any potential issues during the season.*
In October, LAS mother ship reported that USC may be planning a new lacrosse facility as part of its campus development plan. Wilson already did a great job of discussing the plans and building, so I am not going to rehash it here. Read his original post to get the skinny. Or you can just check out the image below to see for yourself.
Even if the above stadium is not in the mix, a men’s varsity team has a few options. Katherine B. Loker Stadium and McAlister Field are viable options for most games. Games against marquee opponents – especially Notre Dame – could be held at the Memorial Coliseum.
Regardless of the venue, I truly believe that USC will be the first Pac-12 school to add men’s lacrosse. The Trojans will most likely be the first D1 varsity program on the West Coast. With interest coming from the athletic department and the school’s administrative offices combined with the high school lax boom in California, the conditions are ripe for this move.
*If anybody connected to the USC MCLA program has any additional, insider information, we would love the heads up.
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