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Utah’s Athletic Director: “No we are not adding lacrosse.”

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BUT THERE’S PLENTY OF WIGGLE ROOM!!!

USC v Utah
What’s good, Utah?!?
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Shout out to the great @Jac_Coyne for flagging this Tweet by Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Well that certainly got my attention! At face value the Tweet seems pretty definitive, Utah is not adding lacrosse. I guess that’s that then, case closed.

However, as we all know, 140 characters don’t always provide the full picture. So after I saw the Tweet by Jac, I did a little internet sleuthing and found the full audio of the conversation between Dr. Hill and ESPN700. Just as you might expect, there’s more to the story. A link to the audio can be found here, the pertinent part of the conversation begins around the 6:08 mark. I transcribed the lax banter below.

Q: What’s the status or the conversations, what do they look like in terms of maybe adding teams down the road or at some point, adding new women’s teams, men’s teams? Something along those lines. Just adding new sports to the University of Utah.

Dr. Hill: You know we’re really not in a position right now. You know, I mean, we need to make sure that we’re doing everything we can for all our sports. And, you know, we’re not there, we’re getting closer. We’re very good with, and our coaches are very good with, doing the best they can and being good with our dollars. So right now we’re in a holding pattern, and to answer your specific question, no we’re not adding lacrosse. (Laughter) I hope that doesn’t cut the interview short.

(Ed. Note: I would’ve certainly had a follow-up on that question, but that’s just me.)

Just as I suspected there was a bit more context. Dr. Hill could’ve easily said “we aren’t adding lacrosse now or in the next 10 years.” That would’ve shut the door on all the speculation immediately. However, phrases like “You know we’re really not in a position right now” or “So right now we’re in a holding pattern” are phrases someone would say when they want to answer a question and move on, without boxing themselves into a corner.

Dr. Hill does an admirable job of dodging the question, but as we’ve seen from other statements from the University of Utah, there’s plenty of wiggle room in his answer.