Loyola quits CAA because of dates clash

League tourney conflicts with Hopkins game, exams

College Lacrosse

August 01, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The Loyola College men's and women's lacrosse teams have parted from the Colonial Athletic Association, school athletic director Joe Boylan confirmed yesterday.

The move results from the conference's decision to add a men's postseason tournament, which creates scheduling problems for Loyola.

The tournament's championship game is to be played during the first weekend in May, when the Greyhounds usually play Johns Hopkins. The Charles Street rivalry dates to 1939.

Boylan said his primary concern, however, was that the weekend coincides with final exams at Loyola, and that it wouldn't be feasible for players to be away from campus during that time.

"We told them we'd go in the CAA as long as there was no postseason tournament, [so] we had no choice," said Boylan. "At this point in time, we are not prepared for that, and they knew that from Day One."

Boylan said that the league dropped the women's team because of the men leaving the conference. CAA Commisioner Tom Yeager did not return calls yesterday.

Boylan said both teams will play as independents this season, and there are no immediate plans to join a conference.

The Loyola men entered the seven-team CAA, which includes Towson, Hofstra, Drexel, Sacred Heart, Delaware and Villanova, as an associate member last season. They won the conference with a 5-0 record, but the conference did not have an automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament.

With next spring's NCAA event expanding from 12 to 16 teams, the CAA was given an automatic qualifier.

Five other conferences have automatic qualifiers with the rest of the tournament field consisting of at-large teams.

The Loyola women's team has been an adjunct CAA member since 1992 and has won six conference titles since joining the league.

Of Loyola's 16 Division I athletic programs, the men's and women's lacrosse teams are the only ones not members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

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