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Archive for Lacrosse

Nov. 22, 2017 — A strong move at Louisville

It was announced on Monday that Scott Teeter, who had coached both Canisius and the Canadian women’s national team in recent years, would be the replacement for the embattled Kellie Young at Louisville.

In Teeter, Louisville is now able to tap into someone who managed to get Canisius from an also-ran into a three-time champion of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

But in addition, he assembled the U-19 team that beat the United States at the 2015 World Cup, bringing the names of Selena Lasota and Danita Stroup into everyday conversation. Teeter subsequently took on the job of coaching the senior women’s national team, and won silver at the FIL World Cup and at the IWGA World Games last summer.

“Scott is an amazing coach that gets the most out of his players,” said Gary Gait, who now goes from fellow Team Canada coach to ACC rival at Syracuse. “Winning the world U-19 championship for Canada solidified his ability to coach players to their maximum potential. He is destined to have a great coaching career at Louisville, competing at the highest level in the ACC.”

The price of poker has just gone up in the ACC, it seems.

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Nov. 16, 2017 — A note of congratulations

I didn’t want to go too long without making note of this news item from the world of women’s lacrosse, because it is a significant and well-deserved change.

Jenny (Slingluff) Levy, who built a North Carolina program that made the Final Four in its second and third seasons, then figured out how to win a national championship 15 years later, is now the head coach of the U.S. senior women’s national lacrosse team.

I first met Levy back in 1996 in the upper levels of the horseshoe at Goodman Stadium at Lehigh University. She and the team were sitting together watching the track meet unfold in front of us as Maryland was playing Temple.

At the end of our talk, I told Levy, “One of these days, you’re going to win one of these,” meaning a national championship.

I thought it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that North Carolina, with support from an athletics department who knew how to get the best out of their student-athletes, was someday going to win a title match. But little did I suspect that it would take three overtime periods in a wild game at Villanova Stadium a decade and a half later for this prophecy to come true.

This appointment comes at an interesting time in Levy’s career. Carolina is now a perpetual contender for national honors thanks to masterful recruiting and marrying these recruits to her offensive and defensive tactics.

The duty of national team coach means taking a small amount of time away from the focus on all things UNC, including some fall-ball tournaments as well as an annual preseason tournament, usually in Florida, when the United States national team pool gets a runout.

Somehow, I get the feeling your current FIL World Cup champions are in good hands.

 

Nov. 6, 2017 — A new sheriff in town?

This blog was one of the few to keep following the story of continuing discontent at the University of Louisville’s women’s lacrosse team.

But with the program hemorrhaging players and with a new athletic administration in place after the many scandals befalling the football and men’s basketball teams the last few years, the next athletic shoe dropped today, as head coach Kellie Young was relieved of her duties this afternoon.

Responding to the media was interim athletic director Vince Tyra.

“We will forever be appreciative for the effort that she put forth to start the University of Louisville lacrosse program from scratch,” he said in a news release.

The final straw for Young, after four years of small transgressions, was a lawsuit filed by Madeline Beck, a former member of the lacrosse team, who alleged a lack of proper medical care after overworking herself during a conditioning activity, leading to hospitalization.

The Beck lawsuit by itself was not the only accusation having to do with Young’s coaching methods. But the most damning occurrence had to be the fact that members of the team have been transferring out of the school in droves, with two more leaving school this past weekend.

And I think that’s what caught the attention of the powers-that-be at the school. Makes you wonder if there will be more house-cleaning at Louisville soon.

Oct. 25, 2017 — A trickle becomes a flood

Last spring, 24 members of the Louisville women’s lacrosse team participated in at least one game.

But since the fall of 2016, 16 players have been reported to have left the Cardinal program. Some went back to play at colleges near their homes. Others transferred in groups to follow former assistant coach Katrina Dowd to the University of Oregon.

Some pundits may look at previous trickles of players away from the campus, as well as as a USA Today story alleging verbal abuse by head coach Kellie Young.

As we’ve said in the past, I don’t believe that Young is the problem that is chasing away the players from the program. After all, with the social media tools for documentation that have been used in the past to entrap students who act poorly, I note the lack of credible evidence that Young has been engaging in a pattern of player abuse.

However, one does wonder about the campus at large. This is a university whose basketball program has been allowed free rein when it comes to using sex workers. Its coach and members of the athletic administrative staff are on leave with the intention of dismissal.

Did the women’s lacrosse team somehow encounter some of the environment the basketball team brought to campus?

This is something that bears watching.

Oct. 5, 2017 — An example of fake news, with women’s lacrosse as the milieu

A few days ago, a website called Campus Reform published a story detailing a social media firestorm involving the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

What is alleged is that a Twitter account named for the entire UMBC women’s team gave a “like” to a tweet attributed to President Trump. The school’s African-American student group is alleged to have engaged the account in a tweetstorm over the “like.”

The only thing is, there has been no independent verification of the owners of the two Twitter accounts, one of which is alleged to have been deleted. So have a number of the alleged tweets.

Campus Reform is a website owned by The Leadership Institute, a group which started in 1979 through the backing of right-wing activist Morton Blackwell. And the only other two media outlets which ran the story were MRCtv, a group started by right-wing activist L. Brent Bozell III; and PJ Media, a group started by right-wing billionaire Aubrey Chernick.

None of the three media outlets focused on the veracity of the Twitter accounts, the ethics of having an entire college sports team collectively owning a social media account, or the nature of racism on the UMBC campus.

Instead, all three of these media outlets attacked the Black Students Union for allegedly calling out the lacrosse team.

Convenient, isn’t it? That’s why I think the entire story is a lie, a fabrication, a farrago of untruths.

In this era when fake news is alleged to have gotten sophisticated enough to affect a Presidential election, it’s maybe time for not only we as citizens to be sophisticated enough to recognize a fake news campaign, but for websites like this to call out the fake news sites for re-running this trash.

Because that’s what it is.

 

Sept. 28, 2017 — The WPLL’s Tweet-storm masks the UWLX’s resurrection

In a couple of days, the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League will take to the pitch for the first time as part of a weekend of lacrosse games at the U.S. Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md.

And if you monitor Twitter, you couldn’t avoid mention of the new league. Dozens of Tweets promoting some aspect or other were posted. Some mention the players in the exhibition game, others mention the legends to be honored during the weekend. And still others are beginning to delineate the parallel educational program that was promised during the rollout of the league.

The educational program is a youth lacrosse program which is being called Futures, and it is a partnership between the league and Brave Enterprises, a company founded by former Princeton attacker Crista Samaras.

While all this is going on, however, there has been a number of changes at United Women’s Lacrosse (UWLX), the inaugural women’s league that played a pair of quality seasons with four teams. A company named 3D Lacrosse has partnered with the league and with its suppliers, Nike and STX. A new governance structure is in place, with Kristan Ash as league commissioner, and with former commissioner Digit Murphy joining Syracuse coaches Gary Gait and Regy Thorpe, 3d Lacrosse CEO Greg Waldbaum, and Carol Rainson-Rose.

If there is one thing that the new UWLX has through the 3D takeover, it’s an expansive series of markets in places such as Georgia, Los Angeles, Houston, and Colorado. To be sure, there are still four teams planned for the 2018 season, and all four are located in WPLL markets.

In the absence of regulations regarding the definition of who can contract with whom for the services of a lacrosse player, this whole situation could blow up in the next six months. The FIL may have some interesting meetings over the next few months.

Sept. 13, 2017 — A lawsuit in Philadelphia has the school district flat-footed

Remember this?

Well, this has been happening the last few days.

And given the incredibly weak-as-water response by the flacks at the School District of the City of Philadelphia at the end of the story, I think McRae has not only a winning case, but one which may broaden legal definitions even in the face of government interference.

Watch this space.