The Washington Times - May 22, 2009, 09:02PM

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —- Picked up on a very curious development while over at Gillette Stadium this afternoon.

Besides multiple staffers from Inside Lacrosse, plenty of Syracuse student media and both Washington papers accounted for, there just weren’t many media members in attendance for the open practices.


Not that it’s a huge surprise. But it seemed like a worthwhile topic to ask about.

Turns out the NCAA issued about 330 credentials last year in New England. This time around, it’s about 220.

So, yes, the media turnout is cut by a third. And remember, that credential count combines print reporters, photographers, live broadcast (TV and radio), other electronic media (local TV) and assorted websites of varying degrees of credibility.

In short, you can roll up 220 media members quicker than you’d think, especially when Sunday’s D-II and D-III title games are factored in.

While the diminished media presence is a reflection of the economy (and, of course, fewer employed reporters), it would be no surprise if tomorrow’s crowd doesn’t come close to last year’s attendance figure of 48,224. 

Even with hordes of Syracuse fans en route —- and let’s face it, Syracuse fans can tip the attendance total by quite a bit —- there’s no guarantee things don’t dip by a few thousand on semifinal Saturday.

—- Patrick Stevens