MCLA: The Podesta Proposal

With the MCLA Executive board having met this last weekend in Dallas, TX and one of the big topics was the restructuring proposal. The proposal is headed up by Gary Podesta, former head coach at UC Santa Clara and Chair of the Competition Committee. This proposal, which I have come to call the Podesta Proposal, has a nice ring to it don’t ya think, mainly deals with separating the current 2 divisions into a new 3 division setup. If you have any interest in the MCLA you have probably already read some about this or at least heard about it.

Now the whole idea in general is a good I think. really what’s going to happen is that those perennial D1 powers like Colorado St., BYU, Cal Poly, and Michigan St., will have better competition and get a more national exposure. Here’s what the basics of the proposal say right now.

– Again, divisional choice would be up to the individual schools and/or conferences, except for fully-sponsored NAIA programs, which would have to be Division I.
– Teams would have to spend three years in a division before being eligible to apply for reclassification.
– Teams would have to keep and post a set of statistics mandated by the MCLA, as well as fill out game reports and official evaluations, to remain eligible for the postseason.
– This proposal would likely not go into effect until at least 2014, and probably 2015, if adopted.

Division I

– No automatic qualifying bids to the national tournament. All teams will be selected by the committee on an at-large basis.

– Teams must play at least 12 games, with eight of them being non-conference games and five of those being outside of the state/region.

– Dues would remain the same, and there would be a weekly poll, All-Americans, etc..
Division II

– Automatic qualifying bids to the national tournament would remain, with the at-large pool being selected by the committee.

– In order to be eligible for an at-large berth teams must play a minimum of 12 MCLA games (against either D-I or D-II), play four non-conference games, with two of those coming outside of the conference/region.

– In order for a conference to be eligible for an AQ, it would have to have seven teams (it’s currently six).

– Dues would remain the same, and there would be a weekly poll, All-Americans, etc.
Division III

– There will be no national tournament, weekly polls, All-Americans, etc. As such, there are no minimums for games played.

– No NAIA schools are eligible

– Junior college and community colleges are eligible to participate.

– Division I or Division II teams that wish to have a second or third team at their school (i.e., JV) could have those teams participate in Division III (the same eligibility rules would apply).

– Dues would be half of the standard for Divisions I & II.

My main hang ups with this idea are that for those teams that want to be on the national scene at the D1 level are now forced to find money that may not actually be available to them. Along with that I think that if a team only has the time, with schooling in mind, the idea of forced out of region games being upped that will cause problems for a number of teams that have a shorter Spring Break or other holiday weekends that have normally been used to go to those out of region games. This also will cause a problem with a team like Boston College who already has to quite a ways to get good competition. With that said the idea of not having AQ’s for D1 although a good idea, to get better competition, cause teams to HAVE to go coast to coast and still have to find the money to get to Greenville. We also need to remember that the MCLA is not the NCAA and the coast to coast stuff is barely plausible because these players are not really playing for the school and therefore have more responsibility to classes.

The MCLA is a pay to play league but forcing teams to either raise team dues or to an insane amount of fundraising is absurd to me. I played in the MCLA and I paid just under a grand to play and did have to do fundraising so we could do the trip over Spring Break and also to get to Nationals but the money only can go so far since a lot of the actual schools do not help the lacrosse teams because they do necessarily have the money themselves. I understand the idea for the Podesta Proposal but unfortunately I don’t see it working out for the MCLA mainly because of the money.