Boston University doesn't have a coach yet -- and, for what it's worth, only loosely has a men's varsity lacrosse program -- but little things like that haven't stopped the Terriers from elbowing their way into one of the country's most established Division I lacrosse conferences.
Starting in the 2013-2014 academic year, Boston University will tell the America East to "Shove it, jerkfaces!" and join the Patriot League in all sports, including men's lacrosse:
Boston University has formally accepted an invitation to join the Patriot League on July 1, 2013, for the 2013-14 academic year, Daniel H. Weiss, Chair of the Patriot League's Council of Presidents and President of Lafayette College announced Friday.
"Boston University is an outstanding addition to our membership as a private institution with a robust academic reputation and prolific athletic history," said Weiss. "This decision to add Boston University to the Patriot League mirrors the Presidents' commitment and vision to the stability and long-term positioning of the League."
* * * * *
Boston University will join the Patriot League in the following sports; men and women's basketball, men and women's cross country and track and field, field hockey, women's golf, men and women's lacrosse, women's rowing, men and women's soccer, softball, men and women's swimming and diving and men and women's tennis.
"I am delighted to welcome Boston University to the Patriot League," Patriot League Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich said. "Boston University has a strong tradition of excellence in academics and Division I athletics, both of which reflect the core values of the Patriot League. They will strengthen the League both in the classroom and on the field of play."
"This is a really unique opportunity for us to challenge ourselves," said Mike Lynch, Boston University Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics. "We will be entering a league that embodies the ideal of valuing academics as the highest priority while sponsoring very competitive athletic programs. That is our commitment too."
This is a huge opportunity for the Terriers as they look to develop their varsity men's program. With yearly games against Bucknell, Colgate, Army, Navy, and Lehigh, Boston University has the opportunity to sell recruits on high-end competition and a platform that carries with it a CBS Sports Network broadcast package. Most importantly -- like Marquette before them and Michigan before Marquette -- entrance into an established league provides quick credibility, even if the curve toward success is pronounced and exceedingly difficult. This should give the Terriers a leg up in program growth over schools like High Point and Mercer, which are wandering the Division I landscape with only a donkey and looking for games of bridge wherever they can.
It'll be tough for the Terriers to move into the rich middle of the conference, but the alternative -- riding shotgun in the America East and hoping for the best -- isn't nearly as enticing as playing in what has become one of the toughest leagues in the nation.
The inclusion of Boston University in the Patriot League fold brings the league's lacrosse membership to eight, which may alleviate some of the tiebreaking insanity that has gripped the conference with only seven members playing six league games. This is both a positive and a negative, as chaos has its charms (mostly, that it's totally bonkers).
Now, about all those things that the Terriers need to do before they can actually play in the Patriot League. . . .