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Gators 2nd in Director's Cup proves it is time for UF Men's Soccer

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The tremendous seasons by Gator Football, Baseball and Softball gave UF their best finish in the all-sports Director's Cup, but still second place to winner Stanford. The Cardinal scored 1508.50 points to Florida's 1237.25 and Virginia's 1189.25. It is Stanford's 16th consecutive win. UF won two national championships (Men's Indoor Track and Women's Swimming and Diving) and had 14 teams finish in their sport's top-10. UF has finished in the top-10 for 27 consecutive years and was third last year.

Here is the point in which we remind you Stanford has a truck load of sports. Florida, either because of funding concerns (likely) or because they play in the SEC (more likely) do not have enough sports to compete with Pac-10 or ACC schools that support men's soccer, women's rowing or men's wrestling. In fact, of Stanford's three National Championships this season, two were in sports UF does not sponsor; men's volleyball and women's lightweight crew. Since it was such a big deal for UF to step out and play women's lacrosse outside of the SEC, I can't imagine another such move is on the horizon.

But, with the crapton of money UF will make from new football and basketball contracts, it's time to expand again. I submit to the UAA a Gator Men's Soccer program.

Not only would we have a better chance at winning a Director's Cup (if we could add wrestling and women's rowing too), but Florida is a hotbed of soccer talent. Unlike women's lacrosse and to some extent volleyball, UF wouldn't have to spend the budget recruiting kids from cold climates. You could build a team just from North Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale. Plus, if the U.S. is serious about competing for more than the World Cup Round of 16, U.S. Soccer needs a deeper farm system. That includes more college soccer. Heather Mitts and Abby Wambach have already shown the Gators can produce World Cup players. It will happen on the men's team too.

The biggest barrier, other than the ass-backwardness of the SEC only sponsoring 19 sports, is Title IX. The federal law requires each gender to be given equal funding and opportunities as it relates to their population size (that's not the exact meaning, but close). With females increasing on campus, UF might need a 12th women's sport before it adds a 9th men's sport. Women's rowing could easily be that 12th women's sport. 

Jeremy Foley has done a fine job as athletic director and is just as deserving (if not more) of a statue in front of the stadium (the man is responsible for Billy Donovan and Urban Meyer). If Foley is worried about the local scene, he sticks with the current sports roster and continues to keep the SEC chasing him. If he wants to become a bigger national player, he expands and Men's Soccer should be his first target.