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Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
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DawgNBama Offline
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Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
The hockey thread below got me thinking. Although hockey is not very popular in the South, it does seem like lacrosse is gaining in popularity. It really stinks that there is no pro league for lacrosse, because it seems like that is the South’s answer to hockey. Still, the sport would generate more programming for the SEC Network, so it might be something to look into, but I want others’ thoughts on this idea.
02-09-2018 03:21 AM
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The Cutter of Bish Offline
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
You'd think wrestling would be popular in the SEC. Lacrosse makes sense at some SEC schools (Vandy for sure, Missouri and Florida also come to mind), but not enough at others.

Consider who doesn't have it in the ACC, and how that might explain it failing to launch in the other place. Clemson, GT, Miami, VT...might be why it's not at SC, UGA, FL, and Tenn.

Heck, to call it a blue blood's sport doesn't mean a thing down south. The sport would be an obvious one in the portfolios at Rice, Tulane, Vandy, SMU, Miami...nope.
02-09-2018 04:41 AM
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NoDak Offline
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
There actually is a pro lax league with teams in the South, the MLL. It as teams in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Boca Raton.

There is also an indoor lax lleague, the NLL, but it is mostly Northern or Canadian.
02-09-2018 05:15 AM
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chargeradio Offline
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
Title IX is in the way on the men’s side. There is also still a relatively thin talent pool from which to recruit, but that improves every year.

I’m not sure the SEC Network really needs additional programming given how well SEC baseball and softball draw, not to mention spring football. Some of the “winter” sports like gymnastics and swimming also end later than basketball.
02-09-2018 05:27 AM
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Renandpat Offline
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
If the SEC would add a men's sport, it would be cheaper to just add soccer. It, like wrestling, is less scholarships (9.9 to 12.6) and cheaper travel and recruiting budgets.

Most importantly, the SEC has never been worried about diverse athletic departments like the B1G and PAC because they can pour more $$$ into football.
02-09-2018 07:39 AM
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NoDak Offline
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
An SEC hockey league is far fetched, but there are some SEC schools that may give it a go. Alabama may talk too much, but their club team officials say a rink for a varsity team is coming and upgraded their club team to the highest level. UGA is making noise about upgrading to a higher level of club. Tennesesee and Kentucky have rinks in their cities that host minor league teams. UAH is the only current southern DI hockey team.
02-09-2018 08:51 AM
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
Womens LAX is starting in the American next year.
Members Include:
UConn
Temple
Cincinnati
ECU
Vanderbilt
Florida

Surprised SMU and Tulane do not have Womens LAX
02-09-2018 09:32 AM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
(02-09-2018 08:51 AM)NoDak Wrote:  An SEC hockey league is far fetched, but there are some SEC schools that may give it a go. Alabama may talk too much, but their club team officials say a rink for a varsity team is coming and upgraded their club team to the highest level. UGA is making noise about upgrading to a higher level of club. Tennesesee and Kentucky have rinks in their cities that host minor league teams. UAH is the only current southern DI hockey team.

I wouldn't say it's that far fetched. It won't happen next year or anything, but if the league can find about 6 willing participants then it could happen.

Bama may very well be moving in that direction. I know there have been discussions in the AD about benchmarks that need to be met. A lot of good work has already been done by the guys that run the club organization. They essentially approach recruiting like a D1 program as it stands. They can't offer scholarships, but UA's new enrollment strategies have made it a lot easier to attract kids from other regions of the country. That and they get decent crowds at their home games.

One thing to consider, if Bama adds hockey then you can bet that Auburn will at least take a long hard look at it.

An interesting wrinkle in this could be what happens with the next wave of realignment. Oklahoma is also in ACHA D1...if they join the SEC then that's potentially another member. Arkansas has also made that move so there's another prospect.

Knoxville still has a minor league team although I think the one in Lexington is defunct. Nonetheless, let's also remember that Vandy plays in what is now a pretty solid hockey market. It might be a smart investment for them.

All in all, hockey will never be as popular in the South as it is in other regions, but it's still one of the more profitable professional sports. College hockey has subsequently grown to where it's not unusual to see it on TV. That means there could be an opportunity to market our schools to people across the country. I'm not sure the folks at the SEC office are planning to capitalize on this, but if they're smart then they're at least considering it.
02-09-2018 10:02 AM
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10thMountain Offline
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
Lacrosse is growing like crazy in the south and all these schools do have club programs that function in a high "virtual varsity" league called MCLA that essentially tries to run a NcAA D3 style program.

The problem of course is the combination of FB and Title IX is killing off men's sports rather than expanding them.

If there ever is lacrosse in the south it will likely be women's only which is very different from the men's game.

Of course as a fan of this fast paced hard hitting game, I'd love to see the annual A&M vs LSU men's lacrosse game be a SEC conference game
(This post was last modified: 02-09-2018 10:27 AM by 10thMountain.)
02-09-2018 10:05 AM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: Could the SEC start its own lacrosse league??
Lacrosse will be hard to pull off anytime soon. It's grown in popularity, but it's still primarily an East Coast sport.

Men's soccer would be an interesting prospect. We've already got Women's soccer at every school, I believe, so the basic facilities already exist.

The problem is that the way soccer talent is typically developed is more about getting kids into academies at a young age, working with them, and ultimately turning them pro at a very young age.

I know college soccer is still relevant as far as producing players for MLS, but that might change in the coming years as more athletes engage in the sport. Thing is, if you're a decent soccer player then there are professional opportunities literally all over the globe so maybe you don't limit yourself to the traditional path of a college athlete in the US.

All in all, I'm not sure it would really pay dividends for the SEC at this point in time. We'd have to pick up another Women's sport which would increase the cost. We'd have to do that for any new sport, but it means we should really be focused on something that would increase our profiles.
02-09-2018 10:16 AM
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