The Big Ten is adding lacrosse as a sport in 2015. So, does that mean we’ll be seeing the Gophers compete in the sport soon?
Not likely, according to athletic director Norwood Teague.
“It would be very difficult for us to talk about adding sports, especially on the men’s side because of Title IX,” Teague said Monday, following the announcement that the Big Ten is adding Johns Hopkins as an affiliate member for men’s lacrosse only. “[It’s] extremely difficult, and right now it would be a non-starter.”
Both the men’s and women’s lacrosse leagues will include Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. Maryland and Rutgers officially join the conference starting in 2014.
Six teams are required to hold a conference championship, so adding Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins — a seven-time NCAA men’s champion — as an affiliate member brings the Big Ten to the minimum number for men’s lacrosse. Johns Hopkins has competed as an independent since its inception, and now the Blue Jays will have a conference rival in Maryland.
The sixth team on the women’s side will be current Big Ten member Northwestern, which has won seven NCAA championships since 2005.
The addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse will give the Big Ten 28 sports in its portfolio.
Staff writer Joe Christensen contributed to this report.