NCAA Ruling Allows D-III St. Thomas to Make Unprecedented Leap to D-I

MplsGopher

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Accepted invites to: Summit basketball/main, Pioneer (non scholarship) FCS football, WCHA women’s hockey.

Still assessing men’s hockey. They either didn’t have an invite on the table from new CCHA (not sure if it formally exists yet to extend one?) or they’re planning to axe it.
 

Livingat45north

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Good for the Tommies, nice to see it work out for them. Why the hesitation with the men's hockey program? Will they also be joining the WCHA?
 

Schnauzer

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I can’t help but think back to my irritation level when the MIAC made the decision to show UST the door. It was such an easy narrative to jump on in social media... “wow, the school won too much so their snowflake conference asked them to leave.”

UST had outgrown the conference and had become a bad fit for it long ago. If they had stayed D3 I could entertain the argument but with this immediate jump to D1 I feel a lot of hot reactionary twitter fingers owe the MIAC an apology. Or, perhaps Macalester and Carleton need to step up to the plate, compete, and go D1 too?
 

GopherGuy8

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Accepted invites to: Summit basketball/main, Pioneer (non scholarship) FCS football, WCHA women’s hockey.

Still assessing men’s hockey. They either didn’t have an invite on the table from new CCHA (not sure if it formally exists yet to extend one?) or they’re planning to axe it.
The pioneer league was the smartest decision they could have made. Not as much talent as the Missouri valley conference(even though they will still get there ass kicked for the first 3+ years) and not as much spending.
 

Some guy

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The pioneer league was the smartest decision they could have made. Not as much talent as the Missouri valley conference(even though they will still get there ass kicked for the first 3+ years) and not as much spending.
For sure
UST doesn’t have the money to support scholarship d1 football.

If basketball does well and donations ride...that could be the road in to building an athletic base to eventually jump to scholarship football.


I think this is really good for high school basketball in Minnesota
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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For sure
UST doesn’t have the money to support scholarship d1 football.

If basketball does well and donations ride...that could be the road in to building an athletic base to eventually jump to scholarship football.


I think this is really good for high school basketball in Minnesota

They need ... fans.

Like if they want to be a BBall school that makes sense... but man bringing football along kicking and screaming / bleeding $$$ would be pretty rough without a big pickup in fan attendance or something to drive that.

Maybe there's enough donors to float it but that would be, interesting.
 

Tommyboy

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This will be good for the state and the players in our state. You will see our top players stay home instead of going tho the Dakota's. If they work this right they should shine in a few years. Good luck!
 

Word

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This will be good for the state and the players in our state. You will see our top players stay home instead of going tho the Dakota's. If they work this right they should shine in a few years. Good luck!
Will your son consider playing for them?
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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With the Pioneer League being a non-scholarship league (and a 1-bid league), can St. Thomas vs St. John's continue?
 

Some guy

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With the Pioneer League being a non-scholarship league (and a 1-bid league), can St. Thomas vs St. John's continue?
Good question.

imagining a year where st Thomas plays against a big ten team in a buy game and against St. John’s in the same season
 

MplsGopher

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They need ... fans.

Like if they want to be a BBall school that makes sense... but man bringing football along kicking and screaming / bleeding $$$ would be pretty rough without a big pickup in fan attendance or something to drive that.

Maybe there's enough donors to float it but that would be, interesting.
All the Pioneer schools used to play DIII football while being DI in b-ball. That used to be allowed.

DIII kicked them out, got the NCAA to say they had to be at least FCS. So they created the Pioneer League as the compromise (since FCS has no scholarship minimum).

The rules for the league are basically you have to run your program like a DIII program.
 

MplsGopher

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With the Pioneer League being a non-scholarship league (and a 1-bid league), can St. Thomas vs St. John's continue?
There is no rule against an FCS team scheduling a DII or DIII team, it does happen.

As you point out, Pioneer teams only make the playoff if they win the league anyway, so it wouldn’t hurt. Hope they can figure it out.
 

4four4

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I can’t help but think back to my irritation level when the MIAC made the decision to show UST the door. It was such an easy narrative to jump on in social media... “wow, the school won too much so their snowflake conference asked them to leave.”

UST had outgrown the conference and had become a bad fit for it long ago. If they had stayed D3 I could entertain the argument but with this immediate jump to D1 I feel a lot of hot reactionary twitter fingers owe the MIAC an apology. Or, perhaps Macalester and Carleton need to step up to the plate, compete, and go D1 too?
IMO, this was a set up by the MIAC to help UST make the D1 jump.
 

4four4

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They need ... fans.

Like if they want to be a BBall school that makes sense... but man bringing football along kicking and screaming / bleeding $$$ would be pretty rough without a big pickup in fan attendance or something to drive that.

Maybe there's enough donors to float it but that would be, interesting.
NDSU president Dr. Dean Bresicani said, there are over 40,000 Summit League alumni living the Twin Cities. I am guessing for the first few years the Tommies will have mostly road fans at their games.
 

SKOOKM

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IMO, this was a set up by the MIAC to help UST make the D1 jump.
You beat me to it. That's my thoughts as well. They did them a favor by kicking them out of the conference like that, I'm sure that was a big factor in getting this waiver. It might have all been set up.
 

50PoundHead

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I can’t help but think back to my irritation level when the MIAC made the decision to show UST the door. It was such an easy narrative to jump on in social media... “wow, the school won too much so their snowflake conference asked them to leave.”

UST had outgrown the conference and had become a bad fit for it long ago. If they had stayed D3 I could entertain the argument but with this immediate jump to D1 I feel a lot of hot reactionary twitter fingers owe the MIAC an apology. Or, perhaps Macalester and Carleton need to step up to the plate, compete, and go D1 too?
Agree. I went to an MIAC school in the 1970s and back then it was a fairly competitive conference. St. Thomas and St. John's had the best all-around programs, but the rest of the conference could put decent teams on the fields/courts and even teams like Macalester had a couple of solid entries (early-to-mid-1970s Macalester hoops teams were pretty good). Augsburg vs. St. Thomas in basketball during that era was dogfight after dogfight. Really good teams. St. Thomas usually came out on top, but those games were knock-down/drag-out affairs.

Even St. John's legendary football run under Gagliardi had peaks and valleys. It certainly has been a different flavor at St. Thomas since Caruso took over. Good for him and good for St. Thomas, but, like you say, they had simply outgrown the league in football with the occasional exception of St. John's, Bethel, and Concordia-Moorhead.

I was talking with a St. Thomas grad of early-1970s vintage a couple of months back and I asked him what he thought would happen and if any of the current guys on the St. Thomas roster could play D-1. In a nutshell, he hopes Tauer keeps his job and gets a shot to make it work, but he was skeptical that anyone currently on the St. Thomas roster is a true D-1 contributor. Should be interesting to watch develop.
 

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They were happy and contented as an increasing big football fish in an ever smaller pond.
Then their pond mates decided the big fish belonged in a bigger pond.
So now everyone should be happy.
From my point of view if the schools not in the power five dropped football completely I would never notice that it happened except for the lack of non conference cup cakes served up for entertainment purposes..
 

Herd

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Good question.

imagining a year where st Thomas plays against a big ten team in a buy game and against St. John’s in the same season
As a 0-scharship, they better stay away from B1G games in FB.
 

tjgopher

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Still assessing men’s hockey. They either didn’t have an invite on the table from new CCHA (not sure if it formally exists yet to extend one?) or they’re planning to axe it.
They definitely know they are welcome to join the CCHA, but there is speculation they are also waiting to see what the NCHC might do, so holding off for awhile. Could be some interesting times ahead for the NCHC.

St. Thomas will not axe men's hockey.
 
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Schnauzer

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You beat me to it. That's my thoughts as well. They did them a favor by kicking them out of the conference like that, I'm sure that was a big factor in getting this waiver. It might have all been set up.
I agree that it was certainly possible the MIAC ejection was all by design.

I'm just annoyed the league was given a repeated black eye on social media and elsewhere by the pitchfork mob shaping the narrative as if this was some sort of sign of the times where everyone wants a trophy and the member institutions pushing for this needed to step up and invest like St. Thomas had over recent decades. This "outrage" even reached a national level because it was a perfect water cooler talker "Did you hear there is a college conference that is kicking out one of its schools because they win too much? What is this world coming to?"

In reality, UST had long ago outgrown the league and simply no longer fit in it. This move to D1 shows how obvious that actually was. The league literally would have disbanded if UST had stayed, with some of the schools needing to seek out other conferences.
 

MplsGopher

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Anything's possible, but without a smoking gun (which probably wouldn't exist), I think it's a bit silly to suggest it was all a show and that UST asked the MIAC to kick them out.

The simpler explanation would be: small, elite academic liberal arts colleges Mac and Carleton, I think were just tired of having to compete against a fairly large, fully comprehensive university that should've be in DI, and got enough of the smaller liberal arts colleges in the MIAC to agree.
 

MplsGopher

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They definitely know they are welcome to join the CCHA, but there is speculation they are also waiting to see what the NCHC might do, so holding off for awhile. Could be some interesting times ahead for the NCHC.

St. Thomas will not axe men's hockey.
Do you know of any speculation that either: 1) Big Ten hockey might be interested in adding some of the NCHC as affiliate members, or 2) the NCHC is interested in expanding past 8 members?

It would make sense to me to add Mankato. If St Thomas commits to building a new arena on-campus that is capable of hosting hockey, perhaps something similar to UDenver's arena, then maybe they'd be interested?

Would also like to see the NCHC pick up the WCHA name, again, since it's being abandoned.
 

4four4

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You beat me to it. That's my thoughts as well. They did them a favor by kicking them out of the conference like that, I'm sure that was a big factor in getting this waiver. It might have all been set up.
I believe they went to MIAC and laid out a plan with their friends to make the move. STU will still work with their old MIAC/ACTC rivals.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Anything's possible, but without a smoking gun (which probably wouldn't exist), I think it's a bit silly to suggest it was all a show and that UST asked the MIAC to kick them out.

The simpler explanation would be: small, elite academic liberal arts colleges Mac and Carleton, I think were just tired of having to compete against a fairly large, fully comprehensive university that should've be in DI, and got enough of the smaller liberal arts colleges in the MIAC to agree.
I don't think they asked.

I think they did wear out their welcome.

I think as they grew everyone assumed "oh they're going to grow and move on eventually" and so nobody minded because yeah that's fine they'll be leaving soon. Really it had been a common rumor / theory for a while.

Then like that relative who moves in for a while just so they can go somewhere else announces how happy they are living with you ... things changed ... ಠ_ಠ

I forget who at St. Thomas made quote to the tune of being happy where they are and not planning on leaving. Were they trying to poke the MIAC to create a situation where they could argue for a faster move to D1 because they had 'no place else to go' (Officer and a Gentlemen) ? Maybe, or maybe they were just not ready to announce anything at that point and that was just the wrong words at the wrong time.

I think many schools in the MIAC were all "wait wut?" and were just done with St. Thomas at that point.

I don't blame the MIAC, conferences are 100% just schools that want to play regular games together and many shools decided they didn't want to.
 
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