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Howard University Men’s Lacrosse Club Seeks Administration for Support

Empowered by community support and financial backing, Howard University’s men’s lacrosse club strives to overcome administrative hurdles and showcase its skills on a broader stage.

Howard University men’s lacrosse club huddles during competition. (Marcus McIntyre/The Hilltop)

In 2023, the resurgence of the men’s lacrosse club at Howard University was fueled by the will of the Howard community eager to witness its success. Now, the team seeks to once again lean on the strength of that community to advance their dreams even further.

Buoyed by an overwhelming display of support from their peers and community members, the club amassed over $7,000 through a GoFundMe for operating costs. With this financial backing, the club officially launched in the fall of 2023. However, this new endeavor faces a challenge extending beyond monetary value.

The Bison have the goal of joining the Next Lacrosse League (NCL), which is a lacrosse league featuring seven other HBCUs: Lincoln University, Bowie State University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Coppin State University and Norfolk State University. 

The Bison’s entry into the league is contingent on support from administrative offices within Howard University. The necessary actions from these offices are still pending which leaves the Bison without permission to join the league. 

“The main thing preventing us from being a part of the league is finding an administrator to sign the participation agreement necessary to play,” Howard University men’s lacrosse executive board told The Hilltop. “In order to join the NCL, we would need support from Howard’s Student Affairs Office and the Office of Campus Life.”

To expedite the consideration and potential support for their cause, the club reached out to the community, and once more, Howard is rallying behind them.

A petition to have the club inducted into the league was started on Jan. 8 of this year and has already garnered over 850 signatures. 

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According to the Howard University men’s lacrosse executive board, “The league implements an Olympic-style game format of ‘sixes’ as opposed to the traditional 10 versus 10. This not only provides a more exciting and faster gameplay but also helps smaller and less experienced teams learn the flow of the game.”

As a young program, a league tailored towards smaller teams appears to be an ideal fit for the Bison, especially considering the composition of the other schools in the league.

The Bison have already tested their mettle against the league’s fiercest competition, engaging in a scrimmage with the reigning NCL champion Morgan State Bears at the beginning of the 2023–2024 school year.

Although unable to secure victory against the champions, the Bison demonstrated their competitiveness in a narrow 9-12 loss in the match.

More scrimmages are scheduled for the Bison during the spring. However, the Bison seek a consistent and well-organized competition against fellow HBCU teams on an annual basis. 

Beyond the field, the league offers something invaluable in the current climate – a platform. With their games set to be streamed on television, the Bison would have the opportunity to showcase their skills to a much larger audience than they could independently. 

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“The men’s lacrosse club at Howard University seeks to inspire a certain caliber of players both on and off the field. Sports has always been an outlet for young men to express themselves and teach them valuable lessons applicable to all modes of life,” the executive board added.

Howard’s administration faces a pivotal decision regarding the status of the men’s lacrosse club, with a deadline set for the end of January. The question persists: will external support be compelling enough to influence the Howard University administration?

Copy edited by D’ara Campbell

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