How it’s not just time and money to get a men’s lacrosse team at UConn:
Support is great, but UConn has other issues to consider. For example, its general student body is pretty much split down the middle, 50-50, [David] Benedict said. It may fluctuate from year to year, but for the most part the student body is 50 percent male and 50 percent female. And it must stay in line with those numbers athletically, too.
“That’s where the equity is built off of,” he said. “When you look at the number of opportunities and the amount of financial aid you distribute within athletics, it has to be representative of that, so by adding a women’s or men’s sport right now would throw that equation off, and that’s what you have to be able to address.
“But can you do it? Yes it’s possible to do it. Would there potentially be equity or Title IX issues? Yes there could potentially be those types of things. Right now based on our sponsorship of the programs at UConn, we could not add another men’s or women’s team without adding a similar program of the opposite gender. So in this case, if you’re talking about adding men’s lacrosse program, you would need to add a similar program to match up with it on the women’s side, so yes it can be done. What it comes down to is money and being able to afford to do that. So you have that piece, and you have the general funding piece we would need to address. The state isn’t necessarily increasing their support of UConn right now, so it certainly couldn’t come from a reliance on the university. It would have to come externally.”
“Why would you be opposed to start a program you could be competitive in at that level? That’s what we wake up every day and try to do,” he said. “Obviously, you’ve got challenges and opportunities to develop your student-athletes academically and socially, but we’re in athletics to compete and to not have a program or not be sponsoring a program in which you really think you can be competitive at that level, yes, it makes a lot of sense. It is disappointing to see a lot of those kids going other places and helping those programs compete at a very high level and us not being able to take advantage.”