The MCLA is a weird place, man. Teams amass five or even six-figure budgets then vote their favorite 22-year-old to be in charge of it all. A good club president isn’t just a team captain; he’s a CEO. Every September, each MCLA conference holds a meeting where these fearless leaders are expected to represent their clubs. These meetings serve the purpose of outlining the requisite administrative tasks and payments due dates aaand you’re bored already. Here’s what really goes down.
Saturday evening: you arrive in the town of the college hosting the meeting. You might have your coach with you. If you’re lucky, you have a teammate, usually a fellow officer there with you. The meeting is at 9 am sharp the next day, so if you’re smart you’ll just grab dinner and turn in early.
But realistically, you’ll go out.
Sunday morning: Wake up with a headache but a smile on your face after experiencing the nightlife of a different college town. You hit the hotel breakfast hard. You roll into the conference room around 9:15. You’re one of the first ones there.
The league commissioner will get things started once most of the teams trickle in. He’ll probably lead with something like, “some quick housekeeping,” or “a couple administrative notes,” as if the whole meeting isn’t just housekeeping. The first hour will bore you to tears, offering very little to distract from the throbbing in your head. This is a great time to flip open your laptop and set your fantasy lineup.
But then comes the second hour and shit goes down. There are a few delinquent programs in the room who are facing disciplinary action for being late on payments or not publishing their roster or whatever it was that last year’s seniors messed up. The reps from those teams will have a chance to speak up for themselves before the room votes to put them on double secret probation or to completely expel them from the league.
Now this can go any number of ways. We saw one program bring a school administrator to deliver an eloquent and rehearsed argument for why they should be allowed to remain in the league. They were followed by another school that didn’t even know they were facing sanctions. We had done tequila shots with the same guys about seven hours prior and we knew they were not playing at 100%. But their prez stood up and gave an impassioned speech about how much club lacrosse means to him and how hard he’ll work to clean things up.
The other players present must have seen some of themselves in this guy because both teams received the same number of votes and were allowed to stay.
Sunday, noon: Time to break for pizza. Get ready for some intense schedule talk. The bulk of MCLA scheduling is already done at this point. Liberty probably announced their schedule on the MCLA site a month ago (nerds). So the clubs that are behind will be scrambling to add games in the spring. Proceed with caution. Do not agree to a game two states away on a Wednesday night in the middle of midterms.
After lunch it’ll take an hour or two for them to wrap up. It is totally acceptable to stream RedZone or do homework at this point. The important stuff is over.
When you head back to school, don’t expect the rest of the team to thank you for going. Half of them may not even know you left. Running a club program is a thankless job but in the end you’re happy to do it (and to put it on your resume).