Big Ten Lacrosse Conference Now A Reality

By Kyle Rowland on June 3, 2013 at 11:31a
B1G! B1G! B1G!

The Big Ten Conference has announced men's and women's lacrosse will be the league's 27th and 28th official sports. Johns Hopkins has been accepted as a sport affiliate member for men's lacrosse beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.

“We are excited to announce the launch of Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse and the addition of Johns Hopkins as a sport affiliate member,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “Johns Hopkins is an outstanding institution with a legacy of success in men’s lacrosse that is simply unmatched in intercollegiate athletics. Lacrosse is an emerging sport among our current schools and is a long-held passion among our East Coast institutions. With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers in all sports and Johns Hopkins for men’s lacrosse, we will have the requisite number of institutions to make men’s and women’s lacrosse official conference sports, building upon our tradition of broad-based sports competition. We look forward to the start of the first Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse seasons in 2015.”

Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Johns Hopkins will participate in men’s lacrosse with Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Northwestern competing in women’s lacrosse.

When Eleven Warriors sat down with Gene Smith earlier this year, he indicated that the conference was looking for an affiliate member to start a lacrosse conference. Johns Hopkins has long been rumored as the targeted school due to its strong academics and rich lacrosse tradition. The Blue Jays have 44 national championships, more than any other program. 

11W: Is there still a discussion to have a Big Ten Lacrosse Conference?

GS: There is a discussion. There’s talk about bringing in an affiliate member. The bylaw says you have to have six. Because of the nature of that sport and its growth and Maryland’s success, we’ve discussed identifying an affiliate member and possibly creating a Big Ten Lacrosse Conference.

UPDATE 12:19 P.M. In response to a request to comment by Eleven Warriors on Johns Hopkins' addition, Smith said, "It will certainly add prestige to the league. Having a program like Johns Hopkins with their stature in men's lacrosse, along with the growing success of our Big Ten schools, makes this a great league. No trepidation at all (in adding an affiliate member). In these days of expansion, we need to think differently on a number of fronts, but certainly how we create strategic alliances for competition experiences for our student-athletes."


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dubjayfootball90's picture

this is amazing news for the sport and the school. big time program joining as a member. Very good to hear

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

ATXbucknut's picture

Great to hear.  Any idea why did the B1G not bring Johns Hopkins' women's team into the conference? I know that would give the women's side 7 teams vs. 6 for the men, but it seems like it would only increase competitiveness and exposure on the women's side.

rampageripster's picture

JHU's women are not independent like their men are, so they are comfortable in the ALC where they are now.  I would imagine that if JHU feels like it would be beneficial, the women would eventually switch over.  Women's lacrosse is a very different sport with a much different following (I, for one, really don't care for it even though I'm a men's lax player and ref).  Can't treat it in the same vein as women's soccer, basketball, or ice hockey.

Cause I couldn't go for three

703Buckeye's picture

JHU can only join the B1G for Lax, unless they want to move up completely to D-I. Most people do not realize that JHU is a D-III school, they simply take advantage of a rule allowing a single team (per gender) from a D-III school to play at the D-I level.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

AndyVance's picture

As was discussed when this rumor started percolating earlier this year, this is a good move for all concerned. The academic benefits of getting JHU in the B1G's Committee on Institutional Cooperation is a big deal, not to mention that it's great to have a LAX conference of our very own.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

Not to be outdone, the SEC is adding the Ringling Brothers Clown College in Sarasota, Fla. as an affiliate member. 
Seriously though, having Hopkins on board is a nice little coup on the academic side of things. Just as long as they don't start getting uppity and thinking that sports exist other than lacrosse.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Buckeyes_Terrapins's picture

…I'm not sure if this is a dig at Hopkins, or…je ne sais quoi.  But yeah, Hopkins has known for 100 years that lacrosse is their thing, and, as the article directly states, they are being accepted as a member for lacrosse only.  They are D3 in all other sports.

xrox's picture

That had to be a dig on the SEC. Who else but the Big Ten could bring in such a quality school like Johns Hopkins? The ACC has the academic prestige, but not the presence. The SEC has the presence but no academic prestige. The Big Ten is a perfect fit for Johns Hopkins lacrosse, and I'm excited to watch it on BTN now that I've had my first taste of the game this year.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

No dig at Hopkins. They're known for three things: medicine, excellent academics generally, and lacrosse.
I think they fit right in with the B1G in the limited respect  that they're "joining." I'm wondering if they were concerned about whether their program, good as it has been, needed a conference affiliation to keep up? I believe I saw that they hadn't missed the national tournament in something like 40 years, whereas the Buckeyes made it to the tournament despite a complete lack of tradition.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

rampageripster's picture


Cause I couldn't go for three

Haybucks's picture

John Hopkins is Northwestern's Men's Field Hockey.  Can they field a men's baseball team for Wiscy?

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain