Xavier University announced Sunday it will add women’s lacrosse as its 19th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I varsity sport.
Women’s lacrosse, the university’s 10th women’s sports program, will play its inaugural season in 2022-23 and compete in the Big East Conference in the spring of 2024.
ICYMI | We've announced the addition of @XavierWLAX !
— Xavier Musketeers (@XUAthletics) May 16, 2021
Explaining why the Cincinnati university chose lacrosse, Xavier Vice President and Athletics Director Greg Christopher said, “As we looked, and we looked at all opportunities that are out there on the women’s side for NCAA sports, we narrowed in on women’s lacrosse pretty quickly.”
The game has gained immense popularity at the high school and collegiate levels in Ohio, the Midwest, and along the Eastern seaboard, leading the school to add it as its first new sports program in 16 years.
A Self-Sustaining Program
At a time when universities are cutting sports programs because of the financial strain imposed by the pandemic, Xavier’s addition of the new sports program comes as refreshing news. The new lacrosse program will add approximately 35 student athletes to the school’s current roster of 300.
The new program will be a self-sustaining one for Xavier.
Since the university will have to hire a head coach, there are likely to be start-up costs. However, the school hopes that like other sports, the new lacrosse program will break even or generate positive net revenue in the long run.
“We have an operating budget for each sport but when you add back in the NCAA funds we receive for each sport, coupled with tuition, housing, board revenue from the partial scholarship and the walk-on student-athletes, that’s where we find that a vast majority of our sports are net revenue positive to the university,” Christopher told The Cincinnati Enquirer.