Mighty Loyola

May 31, 1994

Congratulations to Loyola College of Maryland for finally winning recognition as one of the across-the-board mightiest athletic powers in the nation.

The small college on North Charles St. had the temerity to go to Division I in sports 13 years ago, which seemed folly. Loyola lacked the resources to go head-to-head with the mega-universities and behemoth sports machines. So it seemed.

This academic year, Loyola placed in the NCAA tournament for the very best university teams in -- not one, not two, not three, not four but -- five sports. Men's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse.

There was a magic moment in the men's lacrosse season when Loyola was first in the nation, and you read up the list from No. 20, through all the mightiest, most famous, largest universities of the East, household names every one, until you got to Number 1 -- Loyola College of Maryland. Which to a Baltimorean seemed only appropriate.

All this was without apparent harm to Loyola's academic prowess. It was achieved over years when Loyola was coming to terms with co-education by diverting more resources to women's athletics. Now it has 14 intercollegiate teams, half men's and half women's, and more than one-third in NCAA tournaments. Nearly one-tenth of the undergraduate student body is on these teams, and less than half the players are on scholarship. Most of them play for the love of the game.

A huge state university would kill to be in two or three NCAA tournaments. Five, no one expects.

Loyola is, simply put, one of the great jock powers in the land. And they don't do football.

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