Good news, everyone! Hampton is going to have a Division I men's lacrosse program. And they're going to start playing as soon as [checks calendar on the wall] now-ish.
Hampton University has plans to add men’s lacrosse for the 2016 season, a Hampton athletic administrator confirmed to Inside Lacrosse Tuesday morning. The athletic administrator has begun reaching out to potential regional opponents in an attempt to build a schedule for next season.
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Hampton does not currently offer women’s lacrosse and would be the lone MEAC men’s lacrosse program (though Morgan State famously fielded a successful team through the 1970s, the Bears’ program was dropped in 1981). MEAC schools Howard and Delaware State offer women’s lacrosse.
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The addition of men's lacrosse at a historically black university could hold significant implications for a sport in which racial diversity — specfiically the prospect of making access to the sport easier in conjunction with increasing racial diversity — has become a common conversation. A 2010 NCAA study reported that just 1.9% of DI lacrosse players were black, and fewer that 10% were non-white.
This is an aggressive timeline if Hampton sticks to it. Cleveland State -- which officially announced that it would enter the Division I men's lacrosse sphere in late March -- will not start its adventure until 2017. The Pirates, contrastingly, have less than 12 months to construct a team, a schedule, and a vision.
UPDATE: Lacrosse Magazine has a little more on the situation. Also:
Lloyd Carter will be the Hampton lacrosse coach. He founded the club team and played for Morgan State. Team will play as independent in 2016— Corey McLaughlin (@Corey_McL) May 5, 2015