Lacrosse Magazine is reporting that the decision is getting oh so closer, at least according to some sources within the proposed member schools.
"It's picked up some real momentum in the last few weeks," [Rutgers men's lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta] said Wednesday. "It's by no means a done deal, but the conversations are much more focused than they've been in the past. Every school has shown a level of interest."
Every school means that Syracuse had to be one of the interested parties. Long happy to remain independent, the Orange are reading the writing on the wall and are starting to consider life in a conference.
"At this point, Syracuse has been reluctant to give up their independence, and if somebody at Notre Dame can't understand that, then you're not trying very hard," Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan told LMO. "All the arguments they have and might make are arguments we've had on the football side of the equation...but I hope in time they come to think differently of it."
That has apparently become the case, as the Orange come off a 2007 season in which it finished with a losing record and out of NCAA tournament contention for the first time in 25 years.
Even if Syracuse has changed its stance as reported, there are still other obstacles to overcome. Providence and Villanova would have to upgrade their financial commitment to men's lacrosse to meet league requirements. But according to Stagnitta, there appears to be a genuine push to get past any roadblocks.
Honestly, what is Syracuse waiting for? What's the problem, that their strength of schedule will evaporate? The Big East schedule will require games against six teams (including quality programs Georgetown and Rutgers), leaving plenty of open room to schedule Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Virginia, Albany, Cornell, etc. A Big East tournament of four teams could bring interest up and generate some extra revenue (especially considering the Carrier Dome would be the likely arena). And I think this would honestly be a turning point for lacrosse in general. The rest of the country would align itself in conferences as well (those that haven't already) and lacrosse will actually begin to look like an official collegiate sport.
It's a no-brainer. So look for this to fall through because of some bureaucracy and financial-issues.