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

MplsGopher

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In all honesty, UST’s program should continue to look much the same as it has.

Pioneer is DI and FCS in name only. Its league rules are specifically designed to require each member to operate the team as if they were playing in DIII. Only need based financial aid is allowed. Probably limits on coaching staff similar to DIII, and limits on off season workouts, etc.

They don’t need to expand their stadium, for this league. Or pay the coaching staff more. Or recruit nationally, even if they claim they can. The main increase in spending should be related to travel/hotel/catering for away games. They’ll probably have a minimum of two charter plane trips per regular season.
 

Panthadad2

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Pioneer leauge is fake d1 football
Definitely not at the same level as scholarship D1. Honestly, if you're a D3/D2 level recruit, would you be more excited about playing football at Drake/Dayton (with no chance of national aspirations) or a top D3 like Whitewater/UMHB/MU/SJU with a chance for a national title and probably more fans? I don't think non-scholarship D1 would be a slam dunk win in recruiting over top D3.
 

MplsGopher

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Definitely not at the same level as scholarship D1. Honestly, if you're a D3/D2 level recruit, would you be more excited about playing football at Drake/Dayton (with no chance of national aspirations) or a top D3 like Whitewater/UMHB/MU/SJU with a chance for a national title and probably more fans? I don't think non-scholarship D1 would be a slam dunk win in recruiting over top D3.
That’s a really interesting question.

SJU and UST going head to head for a metro recruit. Before, might be an easy choice for UST. Now, as you put it, the best you can do is win the Pioneer and get a ticket to lose in the first round of the FCS playoff.

I think UST will “try this on” for a few years, and then they need to make a decision to “take a dump or get off the pot” with full scholarship Missouri Valley level football.

Obviously Caruso will push for that. Will admin and donors put up the bucks?
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Definitely not at the same level as scholarship D1. Honestly, if you're a D3/D2 level recruit, would you be more excited about playing football at Drake/Dayton (with no chance of national aspirations) or a top D3 like Whitewater/UMHB/MU/SJU with a chance for a national title and probably more fans? I don't think non-scholarship D1 would be a slam dunk win in recruiting over top D3.

Recruiting is weird.

But yeah I agree, unless the label "D1" means something to a player, and some it really might, for many there are other concerns that likely are a bigger deal.

Like maybe they still do pick St. Thomas, but it probably has more to do with St. Thomas than say "D1" or whatever.
 

AtTheLibrary

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In all honesty, UST’s program should continue to look much the same as it has.

Pioneer is DI and FCS in name only. Its league rules are specifically designed to require each member to operate the team as if they were playing in DIII. Only need based financial aid is allowed. Probably limits on coaching staff similar to DIII, and limits on off season workouts, etc.

They don’t need to expand their stadium, for this league. Or pay the coaching staff more. Or recruit nationally, even if they claim they can. The main increase in spending should be related to travel/hotel/catering for away games. They’ll probably have a minimum of two charter plane trips per regular season.
Also, I don’t believe wins against Pioneer teams count toward FBS bowl eligibility. That is why we see so few buy games for pioneer teams although it did happen to Iowa St a few years ago I believe that was a scheduling emergency.
 

RodentRampage

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I think this will be good for the U. It will let them bring in a D-I opponent for non-conference games and we can pay them less because there won't be travel expenses. I think a basketball game vs Saint Thomas might be more interesting than a game against a non-conference opponent that we've never heard of.
 

goldengophers

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That’s a really interesting question.

SJU and UST going head to head for a metro recruit. Before, might be an easy choice for UST. Now, as you put it, the best you can do is win the Pioneer and get a ticket to lose in the first round of the FCS playoff.

I think UST will “try this on” for a few years, and then they need to make a decision to “take a dump or get off the pot” with full scholarship Missouri Valley level football.

Obviously Caruso will push for that. Will admin and donors put up the bucks?
Agreed, I don't think the long term plan is to stay in Pioneer. I think they spend some time building the program further and then move up to begin taking away the talent going to the Dakotas. They are moving to D1 because of football, not to play for years in a geographically uninteresting league like the Pioneer.
 

MplsGopher

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Also, I don’t believe wins against Pioneer teams count toward FBS bowl eligibility. That is why we see so few buy games for pioneer teams although it did happen to Iowa St a few years ago I believe that was a scheduling emergency.
Correct. My understanding is an FBS can only count games against full scholarship FCS teams.
 

MplsGopher

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Agreed, I don't think the long term plan is to stay in Pioneer. I think they spend some time building the program further and then move up to begin taking away the talent going to the Dakotas. They are moving to D1 because of football, not to play for years in a geographically uninteresting league like the Pioneer.
Very few DI schools make money or have significant fan interest in FCS football. Probably only a handful or two. Dakotas, Montana’s, N Iowa, James Madison, Delaware, a few others.

That alone is not a great reason to move up, although it pretty much is why NDSU did.

The true reason is b-ball. And for UST, they might have a legit chance to join the Big East one day.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Next question is going to be facilities. The current basketball arena is pretty small for D1 standards - even at that level of D1. The hockey programs have been playing in a HS rink.

Someone at St. Thomas is going to have to come up with the money for a new hoops/hockey arena with enough seating.

my suspicious nature tells me that some wealthy alumni have already been contacted as part of this process. would not be surprised if someone announces a major gift to STU in the near future.
 

MplsGopher

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Next question is going to be facilities. The current basketball arena is pretty small for D1 standards - even at that level of D1. The hockey programs have been playing in a HS rink.

Someone at St. Thomas is going to have to come up with the money for a new hoops/hockey arena with enough seating.

my suspicious nature tells me that some wealthy alumni have already been contacted as part of this process. would not be surprised if someone announces a major gift to STU in the near future.
In his STrib column today, Reusse said the rumor is a 3k b-ball/hockey arena on the south campus.
 

tjgopher

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Next question is going to be facilities. The current basketball arena is pretty small for D1 standards - even at that level of D1. The hockey programs have been playing in a HS rink.

Someone at St. Thomas is going to have to come up with the money for a new hoops/hockey arena with enough seating.

my suspicious nature tells me that some wealthy alumni have already been contacted as part of this process. would not be surprised if someone announces a major gift to STU in the near future.
Have to also understand the "level" of Division I that St. Thomas is entering. When you hear "Division I" don't immediately think Big Ten or Big 12.

St. Thomas basketball arena has about 1800 capacity. At some point they may need to upgrade, but it will likely do the trick for most of the games in relation to the rest of the league:

SUMMIT League Home MBB Attendance Average – Overall
1. North Dakota State – 2,676
2. Oral Roberts – 2,398
3. Omaha – 2,393
4. South Dakota – 2,221
5. South Dakota State – 2,177
6. North Dakota – 1,551
7. Purdue Fort Wayne – 1,109
8. Denver – 991
9. Western Illinois – 485


Pioneer League football averaged 3300 fans per game last year for home games. St. Thomas' O’Shaughnessy Stadium seats almost 6,000 with standing room getting it to 8,000.

Hockey will likely need to build a new rink, although the "high school rink" you speak of is the St. Thomas Ice Arena, which seats 1000 (which isn't the smallest D-I men's hockey facility, but close). However, it has some great amenities for dry land training and such, so they could use it until a new one is built.

The AD has already suggested for bigger games they could rent out larger facilities around the cities.
 

MplsGopher

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^^^ although it does make you think about the long standing question: at what point does it stop making sense to have a single “Division” that ranges from the Big Ten and SEC down to the Summit League??
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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^^^ although it does make you think about the long standing question: at what point does it stop making sense to have a single “Division” that ranges from the Big Ten and SEC down to the Summit League??
Yeah the P5 is kinda its own thing.
 

50PoundHead

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Pioneer leauge is fake d1 football
I had never heard of the league and man, is that conference spread out all over the place. With the addition of St. Thomas, the now have teams in states that border three of the four U.S. continental boundaries (Pacific Ocean--San Diego), (Atlantic Ocean--Stetson and Davidson), and now St. Thomas with the Canadian border.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I had never heard of the league and man, is that conference spread out all over the place. With the addition of St. Thomas, the now have teams in states that border three of the four U.S. continental boundaries (Pacific Ocean--San Diego), (Atlantic Ocean--Stetson and Davidson), and now St. Thomas with the Canadian border.
There's a few leagues like that.... they seem kinda like leftover leagues.

Probably need a few of those.
 

MplsGopher

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The soccer stadium would be perfect for football if they want to move up
Unless they make a move to scholarship one day, I really think their on-campus stadium is just fine. Could add more seating to the visitor side, but how many away fans are realistically going to travel to St Paul to watch teams like Butler, Valpo, Dayton? Probably a few, but guessing well less than a thousand. Drake could get some fans driving up. I’m sure they’d love to start a football rivalry there.
 

Lakeville Goldy

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Also, I don’t believe wins against Pioneer teams count toward FBS bowl eligibility. That is why we see so few buy games for pioneer teams although it did happen to Iowa St a few years ago I believe that was a scheduling emergency.
Correct. To count the team has to spend 75% of the max scholarship amount. The U will never play them in a game (maybe a scrimmage) unless they start offering scholarships. Being Fleck has seemed to be reluctant to invite non-U of M athletes to pro days (wants U to be focus), I'd be surprised if he had any desire to promote UST.
 

highwayman

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Next question is going to be facilities. The current basketball arena is pretty small for D1 standards - even at that level of D1. The hockey programs have been playing in a HS rink.

Someone at St. Thomas is going to have to come up with the money for a new hoops/hockey arena with enough seating.

my suspicious nature tells me that some wealthy alumni have already been contacted as part of this process. would not be surprised if someone announces a major gift to STU in the near future.
We'll see. PSU's hockey arena was $90 million. They might be able to do a D-1 arena for half that that seats 5,000. An upgrade to the football stadium would in the range of $25-50 million.

UST could do all these things quickly and carry enormous debt, or take 20 years and do it right.
 

Some guy

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Definitely not at the same level as scholarship D1. Honestly, if you're a D3/D2 level recruit, would you be more excited about playing football at Drake/Dayton (with no chance of national aspirations) or a top D3 like Whitewater/UMHB/MU/SJU with a chance for a national title and probably more fans? I don't think non-scholarship D1 would be a slam dunk win in recruiting over top D3.
Then you’ve never met 90% of high school football players.

there are players who turn down full ride d2 to play at drake or walk on at a scholarship d1 program just to say they are d1

not saying they are smart but that’s just the way it is
 
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