VCU to Add Women's Lacrosse in 2015-16
Virginia Commonwealth University will add women's lacrosse as a varsity sport beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. The university's board of visitors approved the addition Thursday. The Rams will offer 12 scholarships — the NCAA maximum for women's lacrosse — and will compete in the Atlantic 10, the school's home conference.
It is the first sport the school has added since 1995, when VCU debuted its women's soccer program. Title IX compliance was the primary motivation for the decision. While the Rams have eight men's varsity teams and eight women's varsity teams, and they do not sponsor football, and VCU has a student population that skews female.
A press release from the school announcing the addition of women's lacrosse stated that, "given that VCU has a greater proportion of women than men in the general undergraduate population, VCU athletics determined that adding a women's lacrosse team was necessary to help ensure the university is in compliance with Title IX."
The news of the addition was first reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The Times-Dispatch story notes that while women constituted 55% of VCU's 2012 undergraduate enrollment, only 49.9% of the student-athlete population was female.