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  1. #1

    Default Shooter: Buzz St. Thomas goes D1 quickly; builds hoops program like Xavier/Creighton

    per Shooter:

    There’s some buzz now that the University of St. Thomas, because it was squeezed out of the Division III MIAC, may seek an exemption to move to Division I sooner than the required 12 years. And word is if the Tommies can get to Division I, they might emphasize men’s basketball over football, hoping to build a program comparable to those of other Catholic programs such as Creighton, Marquette, Villanova and Xavier.

    https://www.twincities.com/2019/06/1...uch-for-twins/

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

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    This would add an interesting dimension to Minnesota basketball. I would hope they don’t give up on football though.

  3. #3

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    Pioneer League (non-scholarship football) would be my guess. Drake, Butler, Valpo, Dayton.

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    I think it would be cool to have St Thomas go D1, even though I think I would be rooting against them having success. Fun to see different teams play in town.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkAz View Post
    This would add an interesting dimension to Minnesota basketball. I would hope they don’t give up on football though.
    Watch St Thomas be better than the Gophers by 2040 with all the in-state guys the Gophers didn't take and used to leave the state.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ope3 View Post
    I think it would be cool to have St Thomas go D1, even though I think I would be rooting against them having success. Fun to see different teams play in town.
    Thinking about it more, I don't think I would be rooting "against them having success", but I also would not be rooting for them.

    Happy to clear that up for everyone.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ope3 View Post
    Thinking about it more, I don't think I would be rooting "against them having success", but I also would not be rooting for them.

    Happy to clear that up for everyone.
    I'd be rooting strongly against them. In most cases I think competition actually helps programs. I think Wisconsin gets more donations because they want to be better than Marquette. Iowa and ISU are examples as well where the direct competition probably helps them.

  8. #8

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    I'd love to know who the "buzz" is coming from. It doesn't make much financial sense for UST to go D-1 in basketball or football. Their basketball arena seats 1,800, football stadium holds 5,000. It's going to be extremely difficult to get ticket revenue to afford a D-1 athletic budget, and that's even after one couple wrote a check for their newer athletic facilities and student center.

    I'm UST Class of 2004 and spent a ton of time around athletics. I remember asking the old AD (Fritz) if they would ever explore going D-1. At the same he said "highly unlikely." They'd lose money.

    It makes more sense for them to join the WIAC.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NWMetroGopherFan View Post
    I'd love to know who the "buzz" is coming from. It doesn't make much financial sense for UST to go D-1 in basketball or football. Their basketball arena seats 1,800, football stadium holds 5,000. It's going to be extremely difficult to get ticket revenue to afford a D-1 athletic budget, and that's even after one couple wrote a check for their newer athletic facilities and student center.

    I'm UST Class of 2004 and spent a ton of time around athletics. I remember asking the old AD (Fritz) if they would ever explore going D-1. At the same he said "highly unlikely." They'd lose money.

    It makes more sense for them to join the WIAC.
    Why not DII? That truly seems like the correct fit for them in my eyes. I look at UST as more of an Augustana/Concodia St-Paul than a Hamline or UW River Falls

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by NWMetroGopherFan View Post
    I'd love to know who the "buzz" is coming from. It doesn't make much financial sense for UST to go D-1 in basketball or football. Their basketball arena seats 1,800, football stadium holds 5,000. It's going to be extremely difficult to get ticket revenue to afford a D-1 athletic budget, and that's even after one couple wrote a check for their newer athletic facilities and student center.

    I'm UST Class of 2004 and spent a ton of time around athletics. I remember asking the old AD (Fritz) if they would ever explore going D-1. At the same he said "highly unlikely." They'd lose money.

    It makes more sense for them to join the WIAC.
    Bingo. D-1 is a horrifically expensive venture and the UST community as a whole would oppose it on those grounds, I would think. I keep hearing all these intimations that they are loaded with money and they aren't. As has been mentioned before, few D-1 programs make money, but there are probably donors/influencers who think the D-1 profile will help the institution as a whole. I have my doubts. D-11 would be doable, but expensive. D-1 would be a major headache.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by NWMetroGopherFan View Post
    I'd love to know who the "buzz" is coming from. It doesn't make much financial sense for UST to go D-1 in basketball or football. Their basketball arena seats 1,800, football stadium holds 5,000. It's going to be extremely difficult to get ticket revenue to afford a D-1 athletic budget, and that's even after one couple wrote a check for their newer athletic facilities and student center.

    I'm UST Class of 2004 and spent a ton of time around athletics. I remember asking the old AD (Fritz) if they would ever explore going D-1. At the same he said "highly unlikely." They'd lose money.

    It makes more sense for them to join the WIAC.
    Well....they received a $50 million donation about a year and a half ago....but that was for business major scholarships. Someone posted an article not too long ago on the football board about Ignatius Aloysius O’Shaughnessy who was kicked out of St. Johns for a rule violation and was taken in at St. Thomas. He played on the football team. After graduation, he became a wealthy oil tycoon and was well known for donating vast amounts of money.....not only to St. Thomas......but many other schools.......including St. Johns.

    He passed away in the 70's at 88 and Father Theodore Hesburgh, then president of Notre Dame, gave the funeral eulogy. He reflected on how St. Thomas Aquinas had said that a good man is one who knows the right things to have faith in, to hope for and to love.

    “How did I.A. O’Shaughnessy meet this test?” Hesburgh asked. He talked about O’Shaughenssy’s faith in God, family and friends, his hope “to do good for others” and his love of God.

    “All of us can be very proud that he was a dear part of our lives,” Hesburgh said. “While we will all miss him greatly – those twinkling eyes, that spontaneous smile, that great heart – both our lives and our institutions have been enriched by his presence and his great spirit, and we will long be reminded that he passed this way on his path to heaven and eternal life.”

    Now....I'm not positive how exactly wealthy the family is.....since it is reported that O’Shaughenssy gave away lots of his fortune.....but since he played football for St. Thomas.....it's possible that his family could be a wealthy donor willing to help if St. Thomas tried to make the jump to D1. Just a thought.

  12. #12

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    They would have to play their games at a larger arena for sure. Target Center? Excel? Those would be pretty spendy for rent. Would the owners give them a deal in order to help them get established? After they sorted that out, they would need only to get a couple of sweet recruiting classes in order to rise in the ranks.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by NWMetroGopherFan View Post
    I'd love to know who the "buzz" is coming from. It doesn't make much financial sense for UST to go D-1 in basketball or football. Their basketball arena seats 1,800, football stadium holds 5,000. It's going to be extremely difficult to get ticket revenue to afford a D-1 athletic budget, and that's even after one couple wrote a check for their newer athletic facilities and student center.

    I'm UST Class of 2004 and spent a ton of time around athletics. I remember asking the old AD (Fritz) if they would ever explore going D-1. At the same he said "highly unlikely." They'd lose money.

    It makes more sense for them to join the WIAC.
    Joining the WIAC would be near impossible. That conference has ties to state taxes, pensions and is literally part of the UW system.If they were D1 in basketball they could find a conference and in the long run would be great for Minnesota basketball. More exposure means more kids playing, means more talent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by builtbadgers View Post
    Joining the WIAC would be near impossible. That conference has ties to state taxes, pensions and is literally part of the UW system.If they were D1 in basketball they could find a conference and in the long run would be great for Minnesota basketball. More exposure means more kids playing, means more talent.
    I'll agree on it being good for Minnesota basketball if UST goes D1.

    Disagree on the plausibility of them joining the WIAC. The WIAC already has plenty of affiliate members in various sports (Hockey - Northland College, Women's Gymnastics - Gustavus/Hamline/Winona State, Baseball - Finlandia) so I think there would be a path for UST to join. It would benefit the WIAC as well, as the WIAC is a team or two short of having enough members for an auto bid to the NCAA tournament in some sports. In terms of undergraduate enrollment numbers UST is a much better for for the WIAC than the MIAC.

    I don't have a clue what they are going to do, but I know people close to the UST athletic department who say ultimately they want to be D1.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by bizzle22 View Post
    I'll agree on it being good for Minnesota basketball if UST goes D1.

    Disagree on the plausibility of them joining the WIAC. The WIAC already has plenty of affiliate members in various sports (Hockey - Northland College, Women's Gymnastics - Gustavus/Hamline/Winona State, Baseball - Finlandia) so I think there would be a path for UST to join. It would benefit the WIAC as well, as the WIAC is a team or two short of having enough members for an auto bid to the NCAA tournament in some sports. In terms of undergraduate enrollment numbers UST is a much better for for the WIAC than the MIAC.

    I don't have a clue what they are going to do, but I know people close to the UST athletic department who say ultimately they want to be D1.
    Perhaps your right but the sports you mentioned were short of teams and it was a win win. In Basketball and Football i think they can pick up 3-4 games easy but in a full blown member i am not seeing it. I have zero insight into what will happen but would love to see them D1

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