The college lacrosse season among ACC schools officially began last Saturday, with North Carolina beating Colgate  and Duke losing a one-goal heartbreaker to the Air Force Academy.

Once upon a time, NC State would also have had a game scheduled in the sport considered to be among the fastest growing in the country.

The Wolfpack fielded a varsity lacrosse team from 1973-82 and rose to a national national ranking as high as No. 6 before the program was disbanded because of budgetary and Title IX concerns.

Given the recent expansion of the sport nationwide and the arrival of a new athletic director with a life-long connection to lacrosse, the subject of State returning it to its athletic roster has become a relevant one.

But according to Boo Corrigan, the school has no immediate plans to add any sport -- including men's or women's lacrosse.

"Sure, it would be something great to add personally," Corrigan said. "But it's not Boo Corrigan University, it's NC State University."

NC State AD Boo Corrigan accepts his father Gene's induction into the NC Sports Hall of Fame last summer

NC State AD Boo Corrigan accepts his father Gene's induction into the NC Sports Hall of Fame last summer

Corrigan's father Gene, the former ACC commissioner who passed away last week, was a lacrosse coach at Virginia and is a member of the sport's national hall of fame. His older brother Kevin is currently the lacrosse coach at Notre Dame and his wife Kristen was an All-South women's player for the Cavaliers.

"Obviously, it's a deep thing," Boo Corrigan said. "But right now with everything that's going on with the NCAA, with everything that's going on at NC State as it relates to ... a Title IX standpoint, it's not something we've got to make sure we look at."

That wasn't the case back in 1972 when an instructor in State's Military Science program, Col. Robert E. Conroy, organized a club team. A year later, the school elevated the team to varsity status in order to compete with Triangle rivals UNC and Duke -- both of whom had earlier introduced the sport.

The Wolfpack won only four games in its first two seasons combined under full-time coach Dr. Charlie Patch. Then after finishing at .500 in both 1975-76, the team took off with the arrival of Canadian Stan Cockerton and other talented players from the lacrosse hotbeds of the Northeast.

Cockerton tallied 193 goals and 280 points over his career at State, both NCAA records at the time of his graduation, while leading the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament for the first and only time in 1979. He was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2014 and the NC State Sports Hall of Fame two years later.

But just when it seemed as though State's lacrosse program was about to take off, it was abruptly discontinued because of excessive travel costs and disparity between the number of men's and women's scholarship sports.

":It's too bad we had to drop lacrosse, but we really had no choice," State' long-time sports information director, the late Frank Weedon, said in a 2011 interview with the Wilmington Star-News. "Travel expenses were a problem. there were no high schools playing the sport in North Carolina at the time, so all the recruiting had to be done out of state. Out-of-state aid cost three times as much as in-state did. 

"We would have kept playing if the other colleges in the South had agreed to play us twice every year, home and home. We were paying off a $3 million bond on Carter-Finely Stadium and (athletic director) Willis (Casey) had to do women's sports."

Times have changed and lacrosse has grown from a regional sport concentrated mainly in Maryland, Long Island and upstate New York into a national entity that has seen schools such as Notre Dame, Ohio State and 2015 national champion Denver have become perennial NCAA tournament participants.

Title IX is also less of an issue since the women's game has grown even faster than the men's game over the past decade.

The problem is, as Corrigan explains, is that cost of carrying two more scholarship programs is even more of a prohibition factor now than it was 38 years ago.

Not to mention labor intensive.

Unless an outside donor comes along with a big check, as Terrence Pegula did so that Penn State could launch an ice hockey program in 2010, men's and women's lacrosse will remain a part of Wolfpack history for the foreseeable future.

"If someone is willing to do that, we could add a couple of sports and make it work," Corrigan said, referring to Pegula's $88 million gift to the Nittany Lions.

"Who knows what 10 years, five years from now is going to bring. We're trying to deal with the here and now and maximizing where we are now.