WINTER PARK, Fla. - The Sunshine State Conference (SSC) will begin sponsoring the sports of men's lacrosse effective with the Spring 2014 season.
The addition of lacrosse will increase the number of sports sponsored by the SSC to 17. The move was recently approved by the Sunshine State Conference Presidents Council.
League bylaws require that half of the conference's member institutions offer a particular sport before it may become a conference-sponsored sport.
At present, Florida Southern College, Florida Tech, Rollins College, Saint Leo University, and the University of Tampa field men's lacrosse teams. Additionally, Lynn University has announced its intention to add men's lacrosse beginning with the 2014 season.
"The entire conference is very excited that we are adding men's lacrosse to our conference-sponsored sport options," SSC Commissioner Jay Jones said. "We feel certain that the sport will bring a lot of positive attention and recognition to the SSC. As the sport continues its rapid growth throughout the country and in Florida, we believe that our conference institutions will quickly become Division II leaders in lacrosse and be able to attract some of the best student-athletes in the game to the Sunshine State."
League administrators and lacrosse coaches will soon begin work on formulating sport policies and schedules, among other things. The SSC is no stranger to that process, having added men's and women's swimming as conference-sponsored sports in 2010-11.
With women's lacrosse also growing among SSC institutions, it is anticipated the SSC will begin sponsoring that sport within the next few years.
Located in the SunTrust Plaza off Winter Park's famous Park Avenue, the Sunshine State Conference is the only NCAA conference headquartered in the state of Florida. Its nine member institutions, all private schools located within the state, are: Barry University (Miami Shores), Eckerd College (St. Petersburg), Florida Southern College (Lakeland), Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne), Lynn University (Boca Raton), Nova Southeastern University (Ft. Lauderdale), Rollins College (Winter Park), Saint Leo University (Saint Leo), and the University of Tampa.
The SSC currently sponsors 16 intercollegiate sports that compete in NCAA Division II. More than 2,000 student-athletes participate in men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, baseball, softball, and women's rowing.
Founded in 1975, SSC schools have won 79 NCAA Division II national championships. SSC teams have claimed at least two national titles for each of the past nine years.
SSC student-athletes are equally successful in the classroom. The league is the top-rated academic conference in Division II and has been each year since the NCAA started releasing annual academic rankings.