The SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference (SELC) consists of 10 MCLA Division I teams and 14 MCLA Division II teams from Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. The conference is a part of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), which describes itself as “the preeminent non-varsity [men’s lacrosse] league in the country”. Members in Florida are:
MCLA Division I: UF, FSU, UCF and USF
MCLA Division II: UNF, FAU, FGCU and Miami
Sources indicate that pandemic-related restrictions currently enforced by the administrations at member schools have placed a conference-level season in jeopardy for Spring 2021. It becomes more likely by the day that the best these teams can hope for is the approval of one-off exhibition games before the semester ends.
Unlike varsity-status lacrosse programs in the NCAA and NAIA, MCLA lacrosse programs are not typically affiliated with a university’s athletic department. Rather, these “sport club” programs are generally governed by student affairs administrators along with other student organizations that may be athletic or non-athletic in nature.
The permissible activities for student organizations remain substantially limited due to the concerns that schools have over controlling the circumstances under which “clubs” travel to events. Despite the fact that many SELC teams have provided university administrators with a cohesive and thorough return-to-play plan that aligns with their resource levels and that would largely mitigate COVID-19 concerns associated with conducting a season, no administrations have granted approval to play at this time.
The MCLA has already granted additional eligibility to student-athletes for both the abbreviated 2020 season and the 2021 season. However, for many student-athletes in the MCLA, prolonging their time as a student in order to play more lacrosse is simply not practical. For those who are poised to graduate and move on to the next phase of life, time is running out to play some last meaningful games for their alma mater.
Hopefully the next few weeks will see some movement in a positive direction. But, for now, it looks like collegiate club lacrosse in the southeast will be skeletal at best this spring.