The Stories That Matter Most To The Utah Lacrosse Community

Rumors Abound: Utah to NCAA D-I?

Utah Utes LacrosseThe last four days have been a firestorm of rumors and gossip surrounding the University of Utah men’s lacrosse program. Seemingly conflicting reports, speculation, and the unreliable nature of social media information has grabbed lacrosse fans’ attention across the nation and created a new buzz about the growth and direction of lacrosse in Utah and in the West.
While we want to be clear that it’s all just rumor and speculation at this point, we felt it was important to make sure that the Utah lacrosse community is up to speed on what’s being said as it could greatly change the landscape of lacrosse in our state. We’ve heard some rumors and confirmed some truths as well, but we want to wait until everything is official and everything announced. So, we’re going to try to walk you through what’s known and what’s been said up to this point:
The first piece to the puzzle came way back on June 6, when it looked like college lacrosse’s all-time winningest coach, Dom Starsia, was being let go by Virginia. In an interview in the Baltimore Sun he said “I look forward to seeing what the next great adventure will be.” Starsia mentioned that he recently entertained a job opportunity in Utah, which he discussed with his wife Krissy. “My wife said to me, ‘Hey, we’re not moving to Utah.’ I said, ‘Twenty-five years ago, you said we weren’t moving to Charlottesville.’”
Although there was almost no excitement or speculation about what Starsia was talking about at the time, it did plant a seed in the minds of those who closely follow college lacrosse and they started keeping a close eye on the Beehive State.
On July 9, an influential member of the lacrosse community mentioned on twitter that he’d heard “the worst kept secret in the state,” which was that the University of Utah was going to field an NCAA D-I team in the coming years. Other lacrosse aficionados took notice and soon national lacrosse outlets like 412 Lax, Lax Sports Network, and College Crosse picked up on the story.  In their pieces on the subject, the outlets mentioned rumors that national champion North Carolina longtime assistant coach Brian Holman had recently been in town and that the Utes recently got a D-I player transfer and a D-I commit.
The University of Utah athletic department, however, put out a tweet that seemed to quash these rumors. “There is no plan by Utah Athletics to add lacrosse or any NCAA sport at this time.” To add to the debunk, Lacrosse Magazine talked to longtime Utah SID Liz Abel who said, ‘We are not in a position at this time to add lacrosse or any sports and have not discussed dates for possible sport expansion in the future.’ But, soon after, College Crosse and the prestigious Inside Lacrosse published a letter to Ute players that seemed to indicate something of the opposite.
So, how much of this is true, how much should we believe, and when should we mark our calendars to watch D-I powerhouses like Denver, Syracuse, and Maryland come to town? We won’t know how much is factual until the University of Utah gives us something official. However, if any of it is true, it’s a great step in the right direction and could have big implications for the Utes, the state of Utah, and the western expansion of the NCAA game.

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