Duke Rape Allegations Challenge Booming Sport

The number of lacrosse players in "under-15" leagues have more than tripled since 1999 to nearly 100,000, according to the U.S. Lacrosse.

It has also become more diverse. Stenersen notes that Kyle Harrison -- a black player -- was named the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Player of the Year and received the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2005 from Johns Hopkins University.

Stenersen worries that the type of visibility the current rape investigation at Duke may have a negative impact on a sport just beginning to gain national fans.

"Unfortunately the sport of lacrosse is not immune from the issues that affect our culture generally, [such as] underage drinking. I'm sure that there will be those that draw a conclusion based on this particular incident…making a sweeping generalization of the sport as a whole," he said. "All we can do is move forward."

For a sport still trying to carve its place in the world of college athletics, that may now be much harder to do.

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