Grad students playing and team size

While watching some lacrosse games on TV yesterday (have I mentioned lately how much I hate the PAC 12 network? Nothing on, no access while the ACC games were excellent), I noticed how many people were on the sidelines (huge teams) and how many grad students were starting for the teams. They have freshmen, but they all have many more grad students than in the past.

I think this is going to be an issue for the next 3 years while everyone plays out their extra NCAA granted bonus years. My daughter pointed out that many players are 23-24 years old which really changes the style of play.


Wrestling is the same way. 20 is a young competitor. Lots of medals at D1s and D2s this year to kids who normally would have graduated. And it’s going to continue for a while.


Gymnastics is the same. Lots of 5th years who are in line ups and will stay in line ups at the expense of incoming freshmen. Agree that it will take a few years to shake out.

Yep. The NCAA changed eligibility rules to “make up” for COVID, which was great for current students, but had a very negative effect on younger athletes in the pipeline.

I was just surprised at how big the teams have become. Woman’s lax teams used to have about 35 players on the sidelines but now are at 45. Pitt has a new team (first year) and I think there were more than 5 grad students starting. That means they aren’t horrible this year, but how 'bout in 3 years?

Playing time was a big deal for my daughter. I don’t think freshmen are seeing a lot of field time. Can’t blame the coaches as would you want to have a 17 year old kid who doesn’t know all the college rules and is still growing, or a 22 year old with 4 years of college experience under her belt and maybe a tournament win on the field?