University of Richmond Set to Add Men's Division I Lacrosse

Most members of the men's indoor and outdoor track teams are also members of the cross country team. They will be able to continue to participate in cross country and compete in limited track meets, although they will not be eligible for postseason competition or NCAA championships in track and field.

Beginning in the 20132014 academic year, the University will sponsor 17 NCAA Division I teams. All compete in the Atlantic 10, except women's golf and football, which compete in the Colonial Athletic Association. Men's lacrosse will seek associate membership status in an existing NCAA men's lacrosse conference.

The University of Richmond athletic department serves approximately 360 student-athletes.

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Frequently Asked Questions on the Addition of Men's Lacrosse and Changes in the University of Richmond Athletic Program

1. How did the University reach this decision?

It has been more than ten years since the University evaluated and made changes to the intercollegiate sports it sponsors. As a result, the University's April 2011 athletic strategic plan recognized the need for a thoughtful and forward-looking assessment of the University's Division I sports to ensure that we meet the future needs of the University and the next generation of student-athletes.

That assessment involved more than a year of extensive study and analysis of the most effective means for fulfilling the University's athletic strategic plan, which includes a commitment to enable our student-athletes to achieve ambitious academic, athletic, and personal aspirations, and to compete successfully for conference championships and national recognition. This reconfiguration of the athletic program and the prospect of building a nationally regarded men's lacrosse program put the University in the best position to meet those objectives and more fully leverage our athletic assets.

The analysis leading up to this decision was conducted by an internal task force that included representatives from athletics, the faculty, and administration. Over the past year, the task force shared data and emerging findings with the University's Board of Trustees on multiple occasions before the trustees were asked to consider a recommendation that the University add men's lacrosse as a Division I sport and discontinue sponsoring men's soccer and men's indoor and outdoor track and field at the conclusion of the 201213 season.

2. Why add lacrosse and discontinue other men's sports?

After extensive analysis, the University concluded that this reconfiguration of the athletic program and the prospect of building a nationally regarded men's lacrosse program put the University in the best position to achieve objectives established in the athletic strategic plan and more fully leverage our athletic assets. These changes will result in a new $3 million athletic endowment and more resources for other Olympic sports, while reducing the total number of Division I sports.

Men's lacrosse is an excellent fit for the University and will be well positioned to compete for conference championships and attain national recognition. Lacrosse is the fastest-growing male high school sport and one of the fastest growing NCAA men's sports. Because there are only 65 Division I men's lacrosse teams, the University has the opportunity to build a highly competitive men's lacrosse program while the field is still relatively small. The University can effectively recruit in areas where the popularity of high school lacrosse is rapidly expanding. In addition, there is strong interest in lacrosse on campus and among alumni, as demonstrated by the success of the championship club lacrosse team.

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2012-09-21



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