My daughters donʼt play lacrosse, but hereʼs why yours should:
Being an NFL player has more than its fair share of advantages. Advantages everyone can see and is aware of. Loft penthouses, rare and classic cars and marrying supermodels are just some of things that come with the advantage of having money, power and fame (Iʼm talking to you, Tom Brady.) But thereʼs also “microvantages”. The advantages that arenʼt seen by the naked eye or talked about on Twitter.
Let me explain.
Most NFL teams are located in big metropolitan cites and the advantages that come with living in Chicago, D.C., Miami etc, are abundant for black people — if you can find those advantages — one of them being the countryʼs best private schools. And pro athletes can afford to send their kids to those wonderful schools.
The all-girls private school my two daughters (ages 9 and 12) go to only has 600 kids, goes from pre-K to 12th grade, has a 20 percent minority enrollment, and I swear when you walk around the campus, looks like something out of an idyllic Winnie the Pooh book. And with the cost associated with the school, the students have the best of everything when it comes to education and facilities. But me being an athlete and having (what I hope are) athletic kids, I looked into sports just as much as I did the academics. Because I figured my kids carry on the Pryce family tradition that my UCLA-soccer-playing sister and I started by getting a great college education for free.
But the sports that my girls play, soccer and tennis, long time staples for girls sports in
Florida where I grew up are a distant second and third to two sports I didnʼt think existed in real life: Field Hockey and Lacrosse girls.
What? Lacrosse and field hockey are by far the most popular girls sports on the Mid-Atlantic and the East coast. And theyʼre both gaining popularity all over the country. But not fast enough for some.
Thatʼs why Iʼm writing this piece. If you have an athletic teenage daughter in high school … get her a lacrosse stick. Now, before the super-star point guard from the basketball team she rides the bench for figures it out.
Girls lacrosse has two “microvantages”: Title XI and Affirmative Action.Title XI helped even the playing field (literally) between boys and girls when it came to
sports, especially on the collegiate level. And with todayʼs tough economic climate
combining with the skyrocketing cost of tuition, books and boarding, a college education
is sadly becoming a moot point for a lot of kids across the country, especially girls in our
But thereʼs hope and millions in scholarship money tied to a funny looking sport that was invented by Native Americans and looks to all accounts, brutish. But thatʼs ok, she can handle it. If you combine NCAA Division I and Division II womenʼs lacrosse, there are 126 schools that award scholarships for Lacrosse, compared to only 90 for men.
Add NJCAA (junior colleges) and thereʼs another 16 schools, and all they give are 100 percent free rides! Now take into account that according to U.S. Lacrosse, in 2010 there were 149-thousand boys playing lacrosse, compared with only 100-thousand girls. Breaking that down even further, each year there are 25-thousand senior girls to pull from for 126 lacrosse teams that have 20 players each.
What does all of that mean? That according to the New York Times 2008 scholarship money breakdown 6.7 percent of all female lacrosse players will receive some sort of scholarship. Compare that with girls basketball, which hovers around 1.7 percent, and girls soccer which is about 3.3 percent.
Taking it even further, combine TITLE XI and university-mandated quotas that have to be filled with affirmative action and the number of African-American girls getting scholarships to play lacrosse hovers around 25 percent to 30 percent.
Now what goes without saying is that your daughter has to be good at sport…but not that good. Athletic ability usually trumps lacrosse skill. Programs like Northwestern emphasize athletic ability over skill because they play a “pressure the third” style of game. Whatever the hell that means.
All I know is that it means if your daughter has the God blessed advantage of being fast
and strong, take her off the track team and put a lacrosse stick in her hand so that advantage leads to the “microadvantage” of having some of the best schools in the country throwing money at her.
Or better yet, put her on a crew team. But thatʼs a whole other argument.