Thanks for sharing your thoughts.This is really a broader topic, it has hurt, not only the MBB & WBB programs, but the entire UMN-TC athletic department: the reduction and diminishing of UMN's reputation. It started, in earnest, during my years at the school and subsequent generations have just shrugged their shoulders in apathetic acceptance.
Everyone loves to spout the free market, competition lines, but no one addresses the residual erosion to UMN. This erosion has been in the willingness of the middle class alumni to support UMN, financially and in spirit.
This erosion in middle class alumni contributions has made the atmosphere more contentious, confrontational and desperate. It has raised the negative vibe (for lack of a better word/phrase) about anything UMN. It affects recruiting, game attendance, and student participation on campus.
When the recruiting threads pop up, posters are less and less likely to argue for coming to UMN because, not only has the "cool" factor for supporting your school shriveled to microscopic size, but UMN makes it easier and easier to be disgusted by behaviors exhibited on campus by all aspects of tge school.
UMN needs to stop punching itself in the face, and reputation, and start putting forth a better public image. That will help the MBB & WBB recruiting "easy to walk away" factor when coaches come calling.
UST is not run by a flippant, whimsical, play to the trendy crowd kind of administration. This kind of an athletic departmental change, and the expanding scope & size of it, means going bigger is a 100% sure thing within their conservative mindset. Blowing off the importance and potential damage to UMN Athletics is a fools decision.
Maybe you’re right. But if so, it will still take UST some time to make it up there. So the U has that time to fix its problems.