CLEMSON — Even with spring football over, there is still plenty going on at Clemson. Senior writer Matt Connolly is ready to answer whatever questions you might have. You can submit your question for the “Question of the Day” here. Today’s question is about Clemson adding women’s sports.
After seeing 2 ACC teams in the Women's Lacrosse NCAA Championship, will they consider adding Lax as the women's sport? Or shy away from it because of how good the ACC is?
— Amanda Keane (@AmandaKeaneTV) May 30, 2021
When Clemson announced in April that it would continue to sponsor men’s track and field and cross country moving forward, it also said that it would add at least one women’s sport in order to stay compliant with Title IX.
A Clemson official told ClemsonSports.com this week that the university is planning to add multiple women’s sports.
Clemson athletics needs to add approximately 50 female athletes in order to be compliant with Title IX.
The sports being added will likely be chosen out of a final six of lacrosse, gymnastics, equestrian, beach volleyball, acrobatics and tumbling and wrestling.
As for the question with lacrosse, adding it would seem to make sense. There are currently eight ACC teams that compete in women’s lacrosse, including national champion Boston College and national runner-up Syracuse.
North Carolina, Notre Dame, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Louisville also have women’s lacrosse programs.
Having to compete against elite programs shouldn’t make Clemson shy away from lacrosse. With that said, the fan base should also have realistic expectations.
This is unlikely to be a situation like softball where the Tigers were able to come in and win an ACC title right away. Programs are usually going to experience growing pains early on, and softball’s early success is an outlier more so than what should be expected.
Still, Clemson’s athletic department has enjoyed plenty of success in a variety of sports, and there’s no reason to believe the Tigers won’t eventually be successful in the new sports that are added as well.
An announcement is likely to be made in the next couple of weeks. Here is what Clemson AD Dan Radakovich told ClemsonSports.com about the situation last month:
“You know, we’re in the process of evaluating a number of women’s sports right now, and the factors that we’re looking at include the number of participants, scholarships, local interest, ability to compete within the ACC or the NCAA level, what type of facility will we need to give them the opportunity to be successful?
You can list the potential suspects of lacrosse and gymnastics and equestrian and beach volleyball and acrobatics and tumbling. All of those are there and all of those are being looked at.
I would hope by the end of this month we are able to kind of have the road map that we’re going to utilize moving forward.”