CBS Sports Network's Dave Ryan enjoys the Patriot League and lacrosse

The veteran broadcaster respects the athletes in the Patriot League and sees lacrosse as a fast-growing sport.

Dave Ryan has done just about everything there is to do as a radio and television broadcaster over the past three decades, everything from professional bowling to the Little League World Series and from major league baseball to the NFL, NHL and NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four.

If you've watched a lot of sports over the years, chances are you've seen and heard Ryan.

The former ESPN broadcaster is now in his fifth year with the CBS Sports Network and you might think something like the Patriot League men's lacrosse tournament this weekend at Lehigh would be a ho-hummer for him.

But you'd be wrong.

Ryan appreciates the student-athletes on display in the Patriot League and recognizes lacrosse as one of the fastest growing sports in this country.

"I've done basketball and football in the Patriot League and it's what college athletics are all about," Ryan said. "The student-athletes in this league are going to be national and worldwide leaders in the business and military when they're done with their schooling, so it's kind of fun to be part of their lives at this level.

"I've done a lot of different conferences going back to my time at ESPN … the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 … and the Patriot has a different athlete and attitude. The bigger conferences are more about revenue and commercialization. This league has a different message. They say to kids, families and sports fans all around that the classroom is first. It's nice to see the priorities in the right place."

As for lacrosse, Ryan doesn't have to be sold.

He has done six Final Fours for ESPN and the last two on the Dial Global Radio Network and he also had one year working the Division II and III finals. He sees lacrosse growing in every way possible.

"There are now 63 Division I teams and it's growing on a large scale," Ryan said. "They've changed the rules to make it more offensive and help with the flow of the game. If people would give it a chance, it combines everything most sports fans like … hard-hitting contact, end-to-end action, a lot of scoring … it's football, basketball, hockey and soccer all wrapped into one."

The CBS Network (dial position 421 on RCN, 176 on Service Electric and 204 on Blue Ridge) will have live coverage on Friday when Bucknell plays Army at 3:30 p.m. and No. 14 ranked Lehigh plays Colgate at 7:30 p.m.

The championship game is set for Sunday at 3 p.m.

Ryan will come back to this area to work the NCAA Final Four in Philadelphia for Dial Global radio over Memorial Day weekend.

But Ryan will stay busy all year as part of a flourishing sports TV/radio industry that seems to have every conference in every sport covered.

"It has grown incredibly and the good news for us in live, remote production is that there will always be a large marketplace for live events," Ryan said. "Now with iPads, tablets and smart phones and the ability to live stream events, TV is available everywhere for fans. As long as people want to watch games, we'll give them an outlet to do that. The future is very bright for all of us."

BOXING IS BACK

The NBC Sports network is another entity trying to build up its event inventory and it will be at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center on June 14 for another "Fight Night" series card.

Bethlehem welterweight Ronald Cruz, coming off the first professional loss of his career last September at the Sands, will be on the card as he takes on Jaime Herrera of Illinois.

The other feature attractions to be shown on the NBC Sports Network include a light heavyweight contest between Sergey Kovalev and Cornelius White and a heavyweight battle between Philly's fast-rising Bryant Jennings and Russian Andrey Fedosov.

SUMMING UP SUMMERALL

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