By JACQUI NEBER
News & Features Editor
The electric scooters purchased by members of the men’s lacrosse team have been the subject of University-wide fascination since they arrived on campus last spring.
Members of the team use the motorized scooters to move around campus quickly. The scooters are often seen locked up like bikes outside academic buildings.
Rumors have swirled around the origin of the scooters. Many students have asked if they were paid for by the University, if coaches bought them for team members and why only the men’s team has them.
Director of Athletic Communications Ernie Larossa debunked some of these rumors. He explained that the electric scooters are bought by individual members of the lacrosse team and are not provided by the University or lacrosse team coaches.
Larossa likened the team’s use of scooters to a new transportation trend.
“Each kid buys their own. This is just one of these new fads like when longboards replaced skateboards.”
D-I Lacrosse player Tal Bruno wrote in an email to The News-Letter that the scooters’ popularity spread through the team after the first player got one.
Larossa also spoke to the convenience and accessibility of the scooters and discussed their price, which in the past has been rumored by undergraduates to exceed $600.
“They appear to be easy to get around in. I’ve heard that they’re not that expensive…I couldn’t even tell you how much they are,” he said. “They’re pretty easy to find parking for.”
Larossa clarified that the idea that each lacrosse team member buys his own scooter is not just a cover-up for administration sponsoring: it’s a rule. If the team or University were to buy the scooters for the team, it would be a violation of National College Athletic Association (NCAA) rules.
“That would be a violation of NCAA rules because we’d be giving them something of value and you can’t just give student athletes something like that,” Larossa said.
Students had mixed reactions to the scooters’ presence on campus. A common point of interest among students is why only the men’s lacrosse team has these scooters, not women’s lacrosse or any other sports teams.
Freshman Nicole Demase, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, explained that she thought the scooters were a good addition to the Hopkins campus.
“I think the new lacrosse scooters were a great idea. They are very helpful for if you’re running late to class or want those couple minutes extra to sleep in the morning,” she said. “I kind of wish the girls’ team had thought of the idea. I know it would help me out a ton.”
Freshman Naadiya Hutchinson also said that she thought the scooters were a convenient way of getting around campus, and that she was willing to pay for a scooter of her own.
“I’m considering buying a scooter because they’re convenient. It’s a price I’m willing to pay,” Hutchinson said. “I’m from Florida, and there are no hills in Florida. Walking up these hills is hard. I’m considering buying a scooter because it’s convenient, and I think the lacrosse bros are smart.”
The men’s lacrosse coaches declined to comment on the scooters on campus.
Abby Shegelman contributed reporting.