We did it!
Men's lacrosse passes the board of trustees unanimously. The trustee members cheer on the conference call. "Historic day!"— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) June 16, 2017
After 11 months of early reports and rumors about going Division I, the Utah Utes Board of Trustees unanimously voted to make Men’s Lacrosse a Division I sport!
Chris Hill is discussing the parameters of lacrosse with trustees: Will start with 40 students, not the full allotment of 12.6 scholarships.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) June 16, 2017
Hill tells the trustees Utah sees a chance to "be an innovator" in the sport and the Pac-12.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) June 16, 2017
It also seems like they will start NCAA play in 2019.
That's a wrap on the official part of adding lacrosse, which will play it's first season in the spring of 2019. Press conference at 10 a.m.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) June 16, 2017
The rumblings ramped up yesterday when the Board of Trustees were scheduled to vote on adding the sport via public documents found online. Utah’s rumors began 11 months ago, with the school denying any report.
More details are coming in as well:
Utah athletics has just sent out a release on adding lacrosse. The sport will be endowed by a $15.6 million "anonymous" lead gift.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) June 16, 2017
Coach Brian Holman, who was an assistant at UNC for many years, will be retained as head coach when lacrosse goes D-I.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) June 16, 2017
And to put the icing on the cake, the Utes have send out a release.
Men's lacrosse is the U.'s first completely new NCAA sport since women's soccer was added back in 1995. The Utes began fielding a beach volleyball team this past spring, drawing its members and coaches from the existing volleyball program. With the addition of men's lacrosse, Utah will support 20 total NCAA sports—eight men's and 12 women's.
"A lot of research and effort went into our decision to add men's lacrosse," said Hill. "With several great club sports expressing an interest in achieving NCAA status, a working committee was formed to determine the parameters for adding a new sport. Among the factors considered were the potential impact on our other teams, financial self sustainability, compliance with Title IX and popularity in our community. Men's lacrosse met those criteria. It is the first endowed program for University of Utah athletics. Nowadays, adding sports at the college level almost always requires an endowment, which resonated with the University-appointed committee."
The program was endowed through a $15.6 million gift funded by an anonymous lead donor and other benefactors he enlisted. No state or university funds will be used to support the program.
So Brian Holman stays as head coach and the team will begin play in 2019 at Ute Soccer Field, where they currently play now. They will also try and find a conference to join. They will stay in the MCLA for 2018.
Quick reminder, the University will have an official press conference at noon to discuss this.
And please, stay calm.