Mesa State College adds three more sports

The facilities aren’t the only thing expanding in the Mesa State College athletic department.

The college announced Wednesday the addition of three more intercollegiate sports in the next two years, bringing the total to 19.

Men’s golf, men’s swimming and diving and women’s lacrosse are the newest sports on the horizon.

The two men’s sports will begin competition in the fall of 2009 and women’s lacrosse will be added in the fall of 2010 and play in the spring of 2011.

“We look forward to bringing these sports on board and the opportunity it brings to our students enrolled and potential student-athletes considering Mesa State,” Mesa State Athletic Director Butch Miller said in a news release. “The level of interest that golf and swimming have in this community, surrounding counties and across the country will enhance the opportunities for the college-bound student to partake in collegiate athletics and receive a quality education.”

The announcement comes as Mesa State’s attempts to reduce its spending for the 2009-10 school year because of a lack of state funds. Miller has been asked to reduce travel expenses, including training trips for the swimming team. The women’s team had half of the allowed number of meets this season.

Mesa is the 11th school in the RMAC to sponsor men’s golf and sixth to offer men’s swimming and diving. Lacrosse is not sponsored by the RMAC, but it is an NCAA-sanctioned sport. 

Women’s swimming coach Brian Pearson will coach the men’s and women’s programs, and women’s golf coach Scott Hansen will add the men’s program to his duties.

“There are very few women’s programs that are nationally ranked that are women’s only
programs,” Pearson said. “Women’s teams benefit by having men’s programs. It’s healthy for swimming in general. Gender equity and Title IX is great in theory, but instead of doubling the athletic pie, they’ve cut it in half. There were 11 men’s programs in Colorado at one time.

“There’s definitely room for a men’s program, especially in the West. There’s been an upsurge in men’s programs in the last half-dozen years.”

Of the 288 NCAA Division II institutions, Mesa will be the 45th school with a women’s lacrosse program and one of only four that are west of the Mississippi River. 


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