Dialed In: Your Lacrosse Fix for Thursday, Aug. 31


Good morning. Here’s the latest from around the lacrosse world:

1. College lacrosse coaches can start contacting high school juniors in exactly 16 hours. Will there be a rush of phone calls at midnight or a rash of commitments Sept. 2? Landmark NCAA legislation passed in April banned all recruiting contact with prospective student-athletes before Sept. 1 of their junior year. The lacrosse-only proposal certainly has the attention of other sports similarly seeking to stem the tide of early recruiting. Everyone is watching.

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2. The National Lacrosse League is coming back to Southern California — and there was plenty of buzz Wednesday as the NLL’s 10th franchise went public in San Diego.

Joseph Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba Group and a former Yale lacrosse player, bought the expansion franchise for a reported $5 million, another sign of the professional indoor lacrosse league’s health. Steve Govett, a longtime NLL executive who was instrumental in bringing the Mammoth to Colorado in 2002, will serve as president of the San Diego team, which will begin play in December 2018 and play home games at the historic Valley View Casino Center.

Govett did some barnstorming Wednesday, interviewing with several local media outlets and throwing out the first pitch at a San Diego Padres game — with a lacrosse stick.

3. Is Philadelphia next? Wednesday’s news in San Diego only ratcheted up rumors about other expansion teams in the works. College Crosse reported earlier this summer that the NLL planned to expand to San Diego (check) and Philadelphia in 2018-19. Sakiewicz said back in January that returning to Philadelphia — where the Wings played from 1987-2014 — is an “absolute must.”

A Saskatchewan reporter on Wednesday cited sources saying Miami, Edmonton and Halifax are the other cities on the NLL’s radar.

4. Stony Brook inked women's lacrosse coach Joe Spallina to a five-year extension, a wise decision considering the Seawolves are 103-20 in Spallina’s six seasons at the helm and were on the cusp of a final four before relinquishing a late lead at Maryland. In six seasons prior to Spallina’s arrival, Stony Brook’s record was 42-54.

“Joe has transformed Stony Brook women's lacrosse into one of the nation's premier programs while establishing a culture of success that is built to last,” Shawn Heilbron, the school’s athletic director, said in a press release. “His status as an elite coach is firmly solidified and now his future at Stony Brook is as well. I firmly believe that it is only a matter of time before he brings a national championship to the North Shore of Long Island.”

“This is a big-time commitment to me and my family and we couldn't be happier. Long Island is an incredible place,” said Spallina, who led Adelphi to three straight NCAA Division II titles from 2009-11 before coming to Stony Brook. “When I took over here I had a vision to turn Stony Brook women's lacrosse into a national power. We will continue to drive towards a national championship and we will achieve that goal. Our program is in a great place from top to bottom with some of the best student-athletes anywhere.”







WHAT WE’RE READING

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

How the lacrosse community is doing its part to help the people of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Let’s play ball.

WHAT’S ON TAP

  • More coverage of the looming Sept. 1 recruiting contact date.

  • Game 5 of the Major Series Lacrosse final between the Peterborough Lakers and Six Nations Chiefs. Peterborough holds a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, the winner of which advances to play the New Westminster Salmonbellies in the Mann Cup — Canada’s senior national championship for box lacrosse.

  • We’re featuring Denver Outlaws faceoff specialist Tom Kelly, who will be in action this weekend with the U.S. training team — and who bears the distinction of having never won a college faceoff.

  • More “Myth Busters,” with a special guest appearance by Moneyball Lacrosse’s Joe Keegan.

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