Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 30, 2024

Men’s Lacrosse considers league affiliation

By Elizabeth Arenz | March 14, 2013

President Ron Daniels sent a school-wide email on Tuesday announcing the possibility of the Men’s Lacrosse Team joining a formal league after its 130-year history playing as an independent team. The University has decided to form a committee, made up of alumni and school officials, to evaluate Hopkins’s affiliates opinions on the prospect; they have until May 15.

Ernie Larossa, Hopkins Associate Director of Athletics and Director of Athletic Communications, elaborated on this group’s crucial role in the decision making process.

“Hopkins lacrosse is a big part of Johns Hopkins so we want to make sure we gather feedback from people who have an interest in the program,” he said. “The members of the committee will gather information from our many constituents to present to President Daniels so he can review the responses.”

The team has recently decided to consider the benefits of league affiliation because of the recent conferencing shifts that have taken place, causing potential limitations for unaffiliated teams.

“We’ve always enjoyed the status as an independent, but because of the realignment that’s going on nationwide, some of the leagues have reached out to us to gauge our interest and find out how Hopkins Lacrosse might fit into the plan when everything shakes out for them,” Larossa said.

The growing number of conferences means that there will be more automatically NCAA tournament qualified teams and fewer prospects for those teams remaining independent following the official lacrosse season. Longtime rivals also may have greater difficulty scheduling games with Hopkins due to their changing affiliations.

Though the Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse team has been approached by several conferences, no formal invitations have been extended.

“Hopkins is an easy school to come talk to because we’re not already part of a conference,” Larossa said.

Conference membership would mean an end to the independence Hopkins has maintained for over a century, though it may be a necessary step to continue the team’s success.

Larossa, who has worked with Hopkins’s athletic department for 16 years, said the team has never been contacted by leagues and seriously considered the possibility of participation before.

“This is the first time anything like this has happened,” he said.

Although conference membership may mean greater opportunities for team members, it may result in a reduction in the authority of David Pietramala, Head Coach of the Men’s Lacrosse Team.

Regarding his role in governing players who recently violated the team’s policy, Pietramala stated that he makes the final ruling.

“It was my decision to sit [players] in the game and I will be choosing when I sit them,” he has explained.

Last week, Larossa also elaborated on Pietramala’s responsibility in the punishment of team member’s in violation of rules.

“[Pietramala] doesn’t report to me,” he said.

Joining a national league would force the Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse team to disclose more information regarding team proceedings, as it would be governed by a larger association.

Though the lacrosse team has had to deal with issues of violation this season, it should not affect its current consideration of conference affiliation.

“The long history of Hopkins lacrosse is strong and this season’s results shouldn’t sway decisions makers in any direction,” he said.

Daniels has promised a decision promptly following his review of the committee’s findings.

 


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