The Girl in the Pressbox: My sports wishlist

It happens each year. My dad gets a serious look on his face and I know it’s coming but I’m never ready.

“What do you want for Christmas?”

And then I roll my eyes and say, “It’s only September.”

But hey, it’s getting to be that time of the year and it’s never too early to get started on that wish list, even if it is only October and you’re more concerned with your perfect Halloween costume. I guess not much has changed since we were kids.

Except maybe a few things have. Those wish lists to Santa are much different. I used to think clothes were such a boring gift, actually come to think of it, they still kind of are. It’s not like I can wear every article of clothing I got for Christmas all on the same day. And wasn’t that the best part of Christmas? Taking all of your new toys over to grandma’s for Christmas dinner.

So instead of working on that list of practical items that my dad is expecting, I wrote this. Come on, what better to ask for than more sports?

Football stands above all other college sports for most schools. In a year that saw college football grow even more, with 12 new programs and a record nine new NCAA teams join the ranks, there is still plenty of room for college athletics to continue growing.

The emphasis will always be on football. Saturday afternoons are now reserved for college football with cult-like following.

But where else could we see growth in college athletics? It’s not always just the big three sports anymore. Ohio University has a broad spectrum of athletics, but if there were ever a chance to expand, there are a few varsity sports I’d like to see take the field.

Obviously Title IX plays a part in any decision like this, but let’s suspend that for the moment. Let’s pretend the logistics don’t exist. I know that a lot more goes into adding a team then designating a field and ordering some uniforms. It’s a big decision that involves a lot of time and planning.

Someday though, I think it could happen, especially if the university continues to grow. The sports on my wish list are demanding more attention and are increasingly gaining momentum.

While all of the teams I have on my list exist in intramural or club format at Ohio, I’d like to see varsity teams suit up.

Here’s my varsity sports wish list:

Men’s Soccer

I’d like to see Ohio University add a men’s soccer team first and foremost. The growing popularity of the sport warrants some attention in college athletics.

Soccer is reaching new heights in the United States with more and more kids across the country are donning shin guards and cleats and learning soccer, one of the most popular sports in the world. I love that Ohio University has a women’s soccer team but I hope someday men will join them.

Lacrosse

Photo by Chaz Niell/SSM/Icon SMI.

Photo by Chaz Niell/SSM/Icon SMI.

It isn’t one of your more popular sports, but without a doubt, it’s growing. Many programs look to be added in the coming years. Will Ohio University ever join the list?

The Big Ten is joining the club and adding both men’s and women’s teams. Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers will each add  men’s and women’s teams. Northwestern will add a women’s team.

Lacrosse is popular along the East coast and mid-Atlantic states. Now that the Big Ten is taking a big step and bringing more teams to the Midwest, could MAC teams, including Ohio University become part of the next wave of expansion?

Rugby

I’d love to see a rugby team at Ohio. It’s just fascinating to watch. Maybe Ohio University could be the among the next group of colleges to field a rugby team.

Listed as an emerging sport with the NCAA, women’s rugby is a full-contact sport, something unique in women’s college athletics. The sport is one of the most popular in the world. Though it’s not one of the most widely recognized in the United States, it is growing rapidly.

Harvard and Davenport universities added a women’s program for this academic year, joining Eastern Illinois, West Chester, Bowdoin, Norwich and Quinnipiac.

I’d love to see a rugby team at Ohio. It’s just fascinating to watch. Maybe someday Ohio University will join that list.

Just a quick glance at the news section of the NCAA pages for lacrosse and rugby show that most headlines focus on one central principle: growth.

Quidditch

While I’m on it—quidditch? Yes, please. Now that one would be interesting. After all, who wouldn’t want to see the magic of Harry Potter take hold as a varsity sport? I’ll leave you at that.

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