Where was this when I was in college?
Lindenwood University in St. Louis has made men's and women's rugby a varsity sport. The 6,000-student liberal arts college, which is building a new football stadium for its MIAA-NCAA II Lions, is looking for players for the coming fall season.
Where's my application? (And please, don't ask for transcripts; that could be a deal killer.)
Besides "generous tuition assistance" including full scholarships, players are entitled to all the usual perks - bus and plane travel, two turf fields, trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, weight room, gear, uniforms, a travel meal per diem, et al.
A ground-breaking program such as this will be watched by other colleges that may want to get serious about their rugby clubs. Fortunately, Lindenwood has put the Lions' rugby program in the hands of an experienced and dedicated rugby man.
Ron Laszewski, who has coached local and territorial teams from high school age to Super League and is a former USA Eagle, is head coach for the men's team. He's the first American coach to complete the International Rugby Board's Level 3 certification program, a ridiculously serious and rigorous program. I've known Ron a bit and am envious of any players who get to play for him.
Jeanine Scrogum is head coach of the women's team; she's a former coach at Kansas and Gilford College and is the current coach of the St. Louis Crusaders.
Good luck to them all and here's hoping they start a trend.