Blogs and Commentary

posted 03.18.2011 at 9.02 a.m. by Jac Coyne

Morning Jac: Michigan's Tell-Tale Heart

It's been thumping just beneath the floorboards of the Michigan athletic department for nearly a year now. It's a rhythmic cadence that must have Wolverine men's lacrosse coaches, players, fans and boosters holding their hands over their ears trying to silence the pounding.

Var-si-ty. Var-si-ty. Var-si-ty.

We've reached the point where if and when the university announces the move to the NCAA Division I ranks, it will be the most anti-climactic news in the history of the sport.

The concept of Michigan ditching its MCLA roots to go varsity has been around for years. It was all the way back in November 2007 when Wolverine coach John Paul planted the seed for the move.

"Whether it's three years from now or 15 years from now, Division I lacrosse at Michigan is inevitable," Paul told a reporter from The Michigan Daily. "The way the sport continues to grow, and all of the selling points that we have for it, it's going to happen."

The idea gained further momentum last November when Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon told an alumni club that the school would add varsity men's and women's lacrosse at some point. There have been signs that the administration is on the verge of making the decision for months now, but Michigan has not pulled the trigger.

Because of this, we now know the Wolverines could conceivabley go for an MCLA five-peat in 2012. Even with its advanced infrastructure and above-average MCLA talent, they've moved past the zero-barrier where Michigan could be ready any earlier than 2013.

Adding to angst caused by Michigan's tell-tale heart was the surprise announcement by Marquette in December that it would be they, the Golden Eagles, who were the next visionaries to see the promise of lacrosse. Marquette, a school with very little tradition at the non-varsity level and located in Wisconsin, of all places, became the darlings of the lacrosse world as Michigan sat idle.

Why the delay for the Wolverines? Maybe they still need to tweak some proportionality numbers. Maybe all of the money isn't there. Maybe there are some human resource hurdles to jump. Who knows?

Michigan needs to make a move soon, however. Every passing day, Michigan moves closer to that time when it may lose another year (and another recruiting class) before it is ready to start. And with every passing day comes the possibility that another school announces it will be join the party, beating Michigan to the punch the way Marquette did.

If that happens, the Wolverines will no longer have the ability to be leaders in the Division I lacrosse surge. They will be followers -- a notion that makes any Michigan man's head throb.

Best & Worst
Best part about today: The lawn is officially clear of any snow, so the first round of Friday afternoon golf is quickly approaching.

Worst part about today: Things are looking pretty good right now, so no complaints.