STrib: MIAC rivals plot ouster of St. Thomas

BleedGopher

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per STrib:

There have been complaints from selected MIAC rivals for nearly a decade over the enrollment gap and the athletic success that considerably favors St. Thomas. Now those complaints have turned into a full-fledged effort to have St. Thomas expelled from the league.

There will be a meeting of the 13 school presidents on April 18 to decide whether to move forward with this action, according to sources close to the situation. The school presidents would then take a final vote in late May, with nine votes required to expel St. Thomas. If it passes, the Tommies could be forced out after the 2020-21 school year.

First, however, the MIAC schools must vote to change the league bylaws. Currently, the lone reason for expelling a school is unethical or illegal conduct, and there are no such claims against St. Thomas. The anticipated strategy for the anti-St. Thomas votes would be to add a clause — perhaps a limit on enrollment — and then declare St. Thomas as not fitting the league’s profile, two sources said.

St. Thomas has 6,200 undergraduates, double the number of St. Olaf, the next-largest of the nine football-playing schools.

http://www.startribune.com/miac-rivals-plot-ouster-of-st-thomas/508145182/

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fmlizard

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Hmm. Does overall student enrollment really correlate that strongly with small private college athletic success? It's not like they are just pulling kids from the neighborhood to play.
 

Livingat45north

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Hmm. Does overall student enrollment really correlate that strongly with small private college athletic success? It's not like they are just pulling kids from the neighborhood to play.
They're three times the size of most MIAC schools, so yes, that does give them an advantage in terms of paying for facilities and such. St. Thomas is becoming too dominant in the league, size is one of the reasons. It really is time for them to move up to another conference. It'll be interesting to see how the vote goes.
 

SJUgopher

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Hmm. Does overall student enrollment really correlate that strongly with small private college athletic success? It's not like they are just pulling kids from the neighborhood to play.
Cpl things, USTd is not a liberal arts school. And not all MIAC members are, but all are private. Liberal arts colleges generally have enrollments around 2,000. Even most of the DI schools fall in this range.

My guess is that since football generates minimal revenue for most schools, except SJU, USTd, and wherever SJU plays at, their primary source of funds are through tuition and student fees. Higher enrollment = higher budget.

But the MIAC is digging its own grave if they kick out USTd.


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WoodburyTim

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If this comes to pass, I wonder what St. Thomas's options are? There are no other local D-III conferences that will take them. Make the investment and move up?
 

Gophers_4life

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UST is the opposite of a liberal arts college.

It’s an urban, comprehensive university. It’s the only place in the metro that you can get an engineering degree, besides the U.


It’s pathetic that they, along with the WIAC schools, have been allowed to stay in DIII.

Kick them out of the division altogether! They would fit in VERY well in the North Central in DII. Augustana is leaving for DI anyway. They can take that spot.
 

STPGopher

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Cpl things, USTd is not a liberal arts school. And not all MIAC members are, but all are private. Liberal arts colleges generally have enrollments around 2,000. Even most of the DI schools fall in this range.

My guess is that since football generates minimal revenue for most schools, except SJU, USTd, and wherever SJU plays at, their primary source of funds are through tuition and student fees. Higher enrollment = higher budget.

But the MIAC is digging its own grave if they kick out USTd.


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St. Olaf should be very careful. Slippery slope.
 

short ornery norwegian

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The big difference is money. At the risk of igniting a religious war - St. Thomas, a Catholic institution, has been VERY successful with fund-raising. They have more money than another other MIAC school. In turn, the money has allowed them to develop facilities that dwarf all other conference schools. St. Thomas literally has better facilities than some DII schools.

and it all becomes a vicious circle - more money +better facilities + athletic success = success in recruiting. St. Thomas gets the best recruits, which leads to more success, more fund-raising, more money, and better facilities. Which leads to more success in recruiting.

Hey - St. Thomas has been very successful. But they are in a vastly different situation than any other conference school. They have the money and facilities to go DII, but up to now, they have been content to stay in D3 and beat the bleep out of the lower half of the conference. Now, that lower half of the conference is getting fed up, and they may be ready to try a power play to push St. Thomas out of the conference, and put them in a situation where they almost have to go DII - because their options in D3 would be very limited. I suppose they could go independent, but that would lead to some wacky travel situations.
 

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I can’t possibly see how they would not go into the NCC. They’d probably compete right away in most sports.

The REAL interesting question would be their hockey teams. There is no DII in hockey, but I’m not sure if there is a provision to allow DII schools with varsity hockey to play down in DIII. The current NCC schools with varsity hockey are all the ones we know playing big time college hockey.


Would they have the guts to take on moving to DI?? Football could possibly play some games at Allianz. Hockey to the WCHA. Football to Pioneer? Would be quite an investment, regardless.
 
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Word

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I can’t possibly see how they would not go into the NCC. They’d probably compete right away in most sports.

The REAL interesting question would be their hockey teams. There is no DII in hockey, but I’m not sure if there is a provision to allow DII schools with varsity hockey to play down in DIII. The current NCC schools with varsity hockey are all the ones we know playing big time college hockey.


Would they have the guts to take on moving to DI?? Football could possibly play some games at Allianz. Hockey to the WCHA. Football to Pioneer? Would be quite an investment, regardless.
Pretty sure you can't play down a level in anything, including hockey. So they would either need to cut hockey or play D1 if that is correct.
 

hungan1

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If they kick St. Thomas out, how long will be before they kick out St. John's too?
 

highwayman

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Sour grapes. This has nothing to do with but jealousy and lack of forethought or innovation. I invite the other schools to drop all athletics and leave the MIAC. That will save them a ton of money and they can focus solely on academics and intramural sports.
 

50PoundHead

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If they kick St. Thomas out, how long will be before they kick out St. John's too?
St. Thomas has lapped the MIAC in a number of areas. They were the first of the MIAC schools to put together a wide variety of post-graduate degrees and their fund-raising across-the-board is really impressive. I went to Augsburg in the 1970s and all the MIAC schools were comparable in a lot of ways academically and athletically in that era. I think each of the schools still puts out a good (not necessarily great) product academically (and St. Thomas has more programs), but St. Thomas has really pulled away on the athletic front.

In or out doesn't matter much to me.
 

Some guy

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If this comes to pass, I wonder what St. Thomas's options are? There are no other local D-III conferences that will take them. Make the investment and move up?
St Thomas isn’t going d2

It would be a huge financial commitment for literal no financial upside
 

Gopherphile

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St Thomas isn’t going d2

It would be a huge financial commitment for literal no financial upside
Yep. There is nothing to be gained on their end by competing with UMD and Mankato State....beating the Johnnies and....well, the Johnnies is their raison d’etre.

If they were booted from the MIAC, the MIAC would lose its deepest pocketed member and the Tommies would be faced with some interesting choices. I did my undergrad there in the early 90’s and even then there were rumblings about going D1 even though their admin never encouraged the conversation. Interesting times, but a mistake by the other MIAC schools if they follow thru.


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oak_street1981

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Yep. There is nothing to be gained on their end by competing with UMD and Mankato State....beating the Johnnies and....well, the Johnnies is their raison d’etre.

If they were booted from the MIAC, the MIAC would lose its deepest pocketed member and the Tommies would be faced with some interesting choices. I did my undergrad there in the early 90’s and even then there were rumblings about going D1 even though their admin never encouraged the conversation. Interesting times, but a mistake by the other MIAC schools if they follow thru
.

I looked this up a couple of years ago and do not have the energy to do it again, but I am pretty sure MAC, and Carleton have massive endowments relative to lowly St. Thomas. I think even Gustavus might have deeper pockets relative to St. Thomas.

I realize endowments do not directly relate to spending on athletics, but St. Thomas is not wealthy my any means. The St. Thomas on campus facilities were bare bones compared to even St. Olaf (much better fieldhouse, Gym, and campus plant) and the long overdue UST improvement finally happened just in the last ten years.

St. John's kicked the hell out of the MIAC in football for 40 years before Caruso finally awakened St. Thomas. Concordia (the real one up by Fargo)used to challenge them a bit, yet not one tried to kick out SJU and their 150 man roster, as SJ steamrolled the lower half by the MIAC by 50 plus points for years. Their basketball teams were pretty good as well, holding their own vs. St. Cloud and other DII teams over the years, but there was no push to kick out St. Johns.

If the MIAC pulls this off, there will be some blow back. St Thomas is great in sports because they hire good coaches and recruit lots of students that actually like playing sports, and are decent enough at it. Some of their better football players probably are not even recruited, they just show up and happen to have talent.
 
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Livingat45north

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Yep. There is nothing to be gained on their end by competing with UMD and Mankato State....beating the Johnnies and....well, the Johnnies is their raison d’etre.

If they were booted from the MIAC, the MIAC would lose its deepest pocketed member and the Tommies would be faced with some interesting choices. I did my undergrad there in the early 90’s and even then there were rumblings about going D1 even though their admin never encouraged the conversation. Interesting times, but a mistake by the other MIAC schools if they follow thru
.

I looked this up a couple of years ago and do not have the energy to do it again, but I am pretty sure MAC, and Carleton have massive endowments relative to lowly St. Thomas. I think even Gustavus might have deeper pockets relative to St. Thomas.

I realize endowments do not directly relate to spending on athletics, but St. Thomas is not wealthy my any means. The St. Thomas on campus facilities were bare bones compared to even St. Olaf (much better fieldhouse, Gym, and campus plant) and the long overdue UST improvement finally happened just in the last ten years.

St. John's kicked the hell out of the MIAC in football for 40 years before Caruso finally awakened St. Thomas. Concordia used to challenge them a bit, yet not one tried to kick out SJU and their 150 man roster, as SJ steamrolled the lower half by the MIAC by 50 plus points for years. Their basketball teams were pretty good as well, holding their own vs. St. Cloud and other DII teams over the years, but there was no push to kick out St. Johns.

If the MIAC pulls this off, there will be some blow back.
St. Thomas has an endowment of a bit over $400M, Carleton's is about $850M, St. Olaf is around $500M and Mac is about $700M. St. Olaf has some really nice facilities now, including a new on-campus hockey arena. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.
 

Gophers_4life

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St Thomas isn’t going d2

It would be a huge financial commitment for literal no financial upside
1) however minor, DII certainly gets you more than they make in DIII. At worst, it’s the same.
2) there are no scholarship minimums in DII. They could spend exactly the same budget as they do now, in DII. Would probably be middle of the pack in NCC in football and b-ball budget, taking a wild guess
3) how do costs in the NCC compare to being a DIII independent and having to go all over the country just to get games???


Wild card scenario would be if the WIAC or IIAC would consider taking them.
 

oak_street1981

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1) however minor, DII certainly gets you more than they make in DIII. At worst, it’s the same.
2) there are no scholarship minimums in DII. They could spend exactly the same budget as they do now, in DII. Would probably be middle of the pack in NCC in football and b-ball budget, taking a wild guess
3) how do costs in the NCC compare to being a DIII independent and having to go all over the country just to get games???


Wild card scenario would be if the WIAC or IIAC would consider taking them.
There is a lot going on with St. Thomas and the MIAC regarding football that seems to be below the waterline.

Caruso is clearly a great recruiter and motivator, almost like a DIII Lou Holtz. I am surprised he has stayed at DIII St. Thomas so long. I thought an under achieving FCS program might have taken a run at him.

Despite all the success at St. Thomas, there seems to be a lot of turnover in the coaching staff. There might even be one HC, but there are many former St. Thomas assistant coaches and players coaching against Caruso now within the MIAC. At least two or three are fairly high profile.

Caruso seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way, inside St. Thomas as well as outside, but as long as he keeps winning it stays under the radar.
 
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50PoundHead

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There is a lot going on with St. Thomas and the MIAC regarding football that seems to be below the waterline.

Caruso is clearly a great recruiter and motivator, almost like a DIII Lou Holtz. I am surprised he has stayed at DIII St. Thomas so long. I thought an under achieving FCS program might have taken a run at him.

Despite all the success at St. Thomas, there seems to be a lot of turnover in the coaching staff. There might even be one HC, but there are many former St. Thomas assistant coaches and players coaching against Caruso now within the MIAC. At least two or three are fairly high profile.

Caruso seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way, inside St. Thomas as well as outside, but as long as he keeps winning it stays under the radar.
I am surprised Caruso hasn't been scooped up by another program as well.
 

Herd

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For DII Conf in the area, there is only the NSIC. The oft referred to in this thread, NCC, does not exist. It is extinct.
 

gregbrady

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Where would they go?

The B1G?
They go D1 and go Big East. Look who they hired as AD and that will tell you something. It’s a long play to go D1 and requires tons of money but they can do it. Go Non-Scholarship football and compete against the Drakes of the world in football. Perfect fit for Catholic Big East, west division with Marquette, DePaul, & Creighton.


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Spoofin

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For DII Conf in the area, there is only the NSIC. The oft referred to in this thread, NCC, does not exist. It is extinct.
Not surprising that you are well versed at low level football.


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WoodburyTim

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1) however minor, DII certainly gets you more than they make in DIII. At worst, it’s the same.
2) there are no scholarship minimums in DII. They could spend exactly the same budget as they do now, in DII. Would probably be middle of the pack in NCC in football and b-ball budget, taking a wild guess
3) how do costs in the NCC compare to being a DIII independent and having to go all over the country just to get games???


Wild card scenario would be if the WIAC or IIAC would consider taking them.
I think it would almost have to be DII or DI. The WIAC is all state schools and they want it that way and the IIAC or I guess it is the America Rivers conference now, is even less equipped to compete with St. Thomas as the MIAC is. As others have said DIII independent is probably unworkable as you would be all over the country to fill a schedule because the MIAC teams, with the exception of St, John's won't put them on the schedule after they booted em out.

If you are gonna spend the money maybe go all the way and go D-I. Big financial commitment, but so is D-II for a much less limited return.
 

Some guy

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1) however minor, DII certainly gets you more than they make in DIII. At worst, it’s the same.
2) there are no scholarship minimums in DII. They could spend exactly the same budget as they do now, in DII. Would probably be middle of the pack in NCC in football and b-ball budget, taking a wild guess
3) how do costs in the NCC compare to being a DIII independent and having to go all over the country just to get games???


Wild card scenario would be if the WIAC or IIAC would consider taking them.
Why would a school move to d2 and then not give any scholarships?
You think st Thomas wants to move up to d2 to lose?

There is zero extra revenue that comes from being d2 and all kinds of extra costs if you actually want to be competitive.
 

Some guy

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So what do they do. Independent D3?
My guess is they stay in the MIAC and none of this actually anything more than rumor.


If they did get the boot, I would guess they would try to join Wisconsin conference and get turned down.
They then would play independent football and try to find some other conference for non-football sports.


Independent football schedule would be:
St Johns
Bethel
Concordia Moorhead
1-2 other MIAC schools (even macalester scheduled st Thomas non-conference as recent as 2009)
2-3 Wisconsin schools
1-4 random schools.


The big deal of them playing 4-6 MIAC schools as an independent instead of a conference member is st Thomas wouldn’t get the MIAC automatic bid and St Thomas would likely pay to play in 2-4 of those games. Which is why I don’t see them getting kicked out. Even if there is smoke here, it is more likely smoke to deal with some new money deal between the schools.
 
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