So please explain why you would leave Johns Hopkins as the lone independent.
I see where you are going, but perhaps the ECAC would be a bit too large.
The "Eastern" in ECAC would certainly be a misnomer....
I like the idea of forcing all schools to play lacrosse in their home conference, if their home conference sponsors lacrosse.
So definitely Fairfield and Loyola belong in the MAAC.
However some of the 6-team conferences look a bit small relative to a proposed expanded ECAC, and could perhaps be 7 or 8 with a independent school in the geographic vicinity. Like the CAA has 2 guest schools PSU (Big Ten) and UMass (A-10). They could perhaps also take in St. Joe's (A-10) and / or VMI (Big South). What do you think ?
Pretty simple: Johns Hopkins wants to be an independent. They aren't in an all-sports conference that sponsors lacrosse, and forcing them to join (like Syracuse next year).
As for the size of the ECAC, it's simply because they are the lone conference that is a collection of independents. So if you sponsor lacrosse at the D1 level, and want access to a tourney autobid, you should be allowed to join the ECAC. It doesn't matter if it's 6 teams or 12, it's a chance at an autobid without having to expand the tourney.
The rationale for these conferences sponsoring lacrosse in 2010 is to increase their marketing visability. Look at the Big East and NEC. As for the CAA, they are following the model they have for football with associate members as the minority. Would the CAA be at 8-9 teams if they had 6 all-sports members? No. They would have no need for associate members.
So I only see the associate member path for conferences that don't have 6 all-sports members of their own.