The Big Ten Conference announced today that men’s and women’s lacrosse will become the conference’s 27th and 28th official sports and that Johns Hopkins University has been accepted as a sport affiliate member for men’s lacrosse only beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
“We are excited to announce the launch of Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse and the addition of Johns Hopkins as a sport affiliate member,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “Johns Hopkins is an outstanding institution with a legacy of success in men’s lacrosse that is simply unmatched in intercollegiate athletics. Lacrosse is an emerging sport among our current schools and is a long-held passion among our East Coast institutions. With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers in all sports and Johns Hopkins for men’s lacrosse, we will have the requisite number of institutions to make men’s and women’s lacrosse official conference sports, building upon our tradition of broad-based sports competition. We look forward to the start of the first Big Ten men’s and women’s lacrosse seasons in 2015.”
Big Ten competition in both sports will feature Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers, with Johns Hopkins participating in men’s lacrosse and Northwestern competing in women’s lacrosse. Big Ten rules allow for a conference championship when six institutions sponsor a program in any given sport.
The six programs that will comprise Big Ten men’s lacrosse boast 56 national championships, with schools that have competed for more than a century. Johns Hopkins has been an independent since 1883 and leads all schools with 44 national championships. Maryland has claimed 11 national titles, while Rutgers has also won a national championship. The Scarlet Knights launched men’s lacrosse in 1887, followed by programs starting in 1913 for Penn State, 1924 for Maryland and 1953 for Ohio State. Michigan instituted a men’s lacrosse program in 2012. Maryland, Ohio State and Penn State each qualified for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship this season, with the Buckeyes advancing to the quarterfinals.