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/

Go Gophers!!
 

Holy Man

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These things happen in high school all the time. Not sure I've ever seen it on the college level. Usually it's the other direction. Conferences compete to attract better teams. Seems bizarre to me. Don't all conferences have teams that float around the top most of the time in most sports? Sounds like petty jealousy. For 30 years, St. Thomas had slightly smaller enrollments but bigger than the rest, and a lot of advantages in terms of location and football was middling. No gripes then. They upgraded their coaching. Maybe all teams that hire really good coaches should get bounced from the league.
 

goldengophers

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Glenn Caruso is underemployed which is the primary issue and why this has reached this point. I think the rest of the MIAC could handle dominance in basketball, but their performance in both sports has made it a tough sell to the other schools.

BTW was Olaf complaining when Meidt was HC?
 
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SelectionSunday

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These things happen in high school all the time. Not sure I've ever seen it on the college level. Usually it's the other direction. Conferences compete to attract better teams. Seems bizarre to me. Don't all conferences have teams that float around the top most of the time in most sports? Sounds like petty jealousy. For 30 years, St. Thomas had slightly smaller enrollments but bigger than the rest, and a lot of advantages in terms of location and football was middling. No gripes then. They upgraded their coaching. Maybe all teams that hire really good coaches should get bounced from the league.
Amen.

If you can't beat 'em, kick 'em out of your conference. Weak, weak move by the MIAC presidents.

Not surprised at all St. Olaf and Carleton are two of the main schools behind this push to punt Tommies out of the MIAC. Wussies.
 

Ope3

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I would have thought a more sensible option would be for football to break into divisions.
 

bizzle22

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It's just that St. Thomas is an odd fit with the MIAC. Much larger in terms of enrollment (and yes, that matters in D3 sports) and spend a lot more money on athletics than the other schools. The other schools have different philosophies when it comes to athletics and it is becoming increasingly clear that UST isn't a good fit. There is nothing wrong with the way UST approaches things, it just doesn't align with the rest of the conference.

Carleton, Macalester, and St. Olaf have been looking into forming an athletics conference with the other ACM schools (Luther, Grinnell, Cornell, Coe, Ripon, Lawrence, Beloit, Lake Forest, Knox, Monmouth, and Colorado College) for years and the only hold-up is that they'd have to travel 3-4 hours to most schools vs the 45 min or less commute they have to most right now. If there isn't a change made I could see the MIAC breaking up in the coming years.
 

bizzle22

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I would have thought a more sensible option would be for football to break into divisions.
It's not just about football, it's applies to pretty much all sports.
 

Moonlight

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A few questions come to mind, having attended a MIAC school that excelled in some sports:
There are a lot of mid-majors with enrollment levels less than St. Thomas.
Why is the U the only D1 in Minnesota?
Isn't St. Thomas more comparable to Drake than St. Olaf? or Carleton?
I think it would be great if St. Thomas became a mid major program, and it fits their focus.
 

goldengophers

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A few questions come to mind, having attended a MIAC school that excelled in some sports:
There are a lot of mid-majors with enrollment levels less than St. Thomas.
Why is the U the only D1 in Minnesota?
Isn't St. Thomas more comparable to Drake than St. Olaf? or Carleton?
I think it would be great if St. Thomas became a mid major program, and it fits their focus.
St. Thomas likely goes Big East if they ever become D1.
 

bizzle22

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St. Thomas likely goes Big East if they ever become D1.
I don't think they'd make that kind of jump right off the bat. Going from D3 (even though they already are more similar to some D2 programs in many sports) to a Power 6 conference would be a huge leap, and there would be a ton of money involved. Missouri Valley would make a lot of sense with Drake/Loyola/Valpo as fairly comparable schools.
 

Ope3

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It's not just about football, it's applies to pretty much all sports.
True, but football is the sport that poses a health risk. St Thomas 3rd string would (and does) mop up the Oles & Knights starters.
 

Holy Man

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A few questions come to mind, having attended a MIAC school that excelled in some sports:
There are a lot of mid-majors with enrollment levels less than St. Thomas.
Why is the U the only D1 in Minnesota?
Isn't St. Thomas more comparable to Drake than St. Olaf? or Carleton?
I think it would be great if St. Thomas became a mid major program, and it fits their focus.
Will not happen. That conversation happens outside the university once in a while and people with no connection think its a good idea. Few if any in the university have the same idea. It's a massive undertaking in time and money that they don't, understandably, want to invest. St. Cloud, Duluth, and Mankato would be far better candidates for mid-major D-1 sports than St. Thomas.
 

xyz1

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St. Thomas and the schools on the lower end of the MIAC are simply playing different games, reflecting different and both entirely defensible philosophies; it's simply not a good fit any more, and I think the St. Thomas people have to know that. The question is whether they can avoid having this blow up the entire conference in every sport.

IIRC, St. Thomas actually did a study on moving up and decided it wasn't really feasible for them. An obvious reason would be facilities - they would need to expand their football and basketball facilities quite a bit, and they are landlocked and in a pretty much constant state of war with St. Paul neighborhood groups as it is over their expansions (and the problems caused by their drunken students).
 

MinnGopher

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It's just that St. Thomas is an odd fit with the MIAC. Much larger in terms of enrollment (and yes, that matters in D3 sports) and spend a lot more money on athletics than the other schools. The other schools have different philosophies when it comes to athletics and it is becoming increasingly clear that UST isn't a good fit. There is nothing wrong with the way UST approaches things, it just doesn't align with the rest of the conference.

Carleton, Macalester, and St. Olaf have been looking into forming an athletics conference with the other ACM schools (Luther, Grinnell, Cornell, Coe, Ripon, Lawrence, Beloit, Lake Forest, Knox, Monmouth, and Colorado College) for years and the only hold-up is that they'd have to travel 3-4 hours to most schools vs the 45 min or less commute they have to most right now. If there isn't a change made I could see the MIAC breaking up in the coming years.
Even if they don't align, why should the conference care what one individual member's values are? Or do they just want to kick them out so they can have a crappy league with inflated records that get destroyed in the playoffs?
 

FatNTired

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It's just that St. Thomas is an odd fit with the MIAC. Much larger in terms of enrollment (and yes, that matters in D3 sports) and spend a lot more money on athletics than the other schools. The other schools have different philosophies when it comes to athletics and it is becoming increasingly clear that UST isn't a good fit. There is nothing wrong with the way UST approaches things, it just doesn't align with the rest of the conference.

Carleton, Macalester, and St. Olaf have been looking into forming an athletics conference with the other ACM schools (Luther, Grinnell, Cornell, Coe, Ripon, Lawrence, Beloit, Lake Forest, Knox, Monmouth, and Colorado College) for years and the only hold-up is that they'd have to travel 3-4 hours to most schools vs the 45 min or less commute they have to most right now. If there isn't a change made I could see the MIAC breaking up in the coming years.
One could argue the endowment of Macalester and Carleton is just as "unfair" as UST having a higher enrollment. I work at an ACM school and don't understand how enrollment = success. UST's an urban school that benefits from the metro population.
 

Ope3

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Will not happen. That conversation happens outside the university once in a while and people with no connection think its a good idea. Few if any in the university have the same idea. It's a massive undertaking in time and money that they don't, understandably, want to invest. St. Cloud, Duluth, and Mankato would be far better candidates for mid-major D-1 sports than St. Thomas.
The same can be said for Augsburg, Carleton, Hamline, Macalester & St Olaf as far as being competitive with St Thomas, St John's or even Bethel in D3 football.

When the going gets tough, "Quit", as Jim Rome likes to say.
 

bizzle22

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Will not happen. That conversation happens outside the university once in a while and people with no connection think its a good idea. Few if any in the university have the same idea. It's a massive undertaking in time and money that they don't, understandably, want to invest. St. Cloud, Duluth, and Mankato would be far better candidates for mid-major D-1 sports than St. Thomas.
How about becoming D2 and joining the NSIC when Augustana goes D1?

I'd bet the MIAC would be willing to keep Tommie hockey and men's soccer if it meant the rest of the UST athletic teams moving up to D2. I think they'd be successful there in many sports.

It's really more like the parents of a 24 year-old who has a good job are telling their kid it's time to move out. You can still come home to do laundry and get a good home cooked meal every now and then (aka keep your hockey and men's soccer in the MIAC), but you've outgrown us and it's time.
 

bizzle22

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Even if they don't align, why should the conference care what one individual member's values are? Or do they just want to kick them out so they can have a crappy league with inflated records that get destroyed in the playoffs?
Because in D3 it is more about school values. It's a completely different world than D1 in that respect. D3 teams want to compete against their peers. St. Thomas isn't really comparable to the other MIAC schools in most ways. Other than location they don't have a lot in common.
 

short ornery norwegian

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St. Thomas is really at a different level in terms of fund-raising and facilities. Their facilities right now are as good or better than some DII schools.

My impression is that St. Thomas could move up to DII, but they would rather beat up on the lower half of the conference as opposed to moving up and not being as dominant.

This is being driven primarily by football. I think St. Thomas could play with a lot of the state DII schools right now, like SW State in Marshall, Morris, Crookston, etc.

In a perfect world, they would pass some by-law that allows St. Thomas to move up to DII in football, but remain D3 for other sports. I just don't know if the NCAA would allow that.
 

MennoSota

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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/

Go Gophers!!
Check out the enrollments for Wisconsin (WIAC) Universities. St Thomas would be at the bottom. School enrollment size is irrelevant as to success in sports and what division a school is participating. The other MIAC schools need to raise their competitive level or get out of sports like Macalester did.
 

bizzle22

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One could argue the endowment of Macalester and Carleton is just as "unfair" as UST having a higher enrollment. I work at an ACM school and don't understand how enrollment = success. UST's an urban school that benefits from the metro population.
Mac and Carleton don't spend their money on athletics. Never have and never will. St. Thomas spends far more than both. It's a difference of priorities. Beyond the fact that they are private schools in Minnesota, Mac and Carleton have very little in common with St. Thomas. No one is saying there is anything wrong with that, or that St. Thomas is breaking any rules, just that St. Thomas isn't a good fit for the MIAC and hasn't been for some time.

Enrollment isn't the only factor by any means, but it is absolutely a factor when it comes to D3 athletics. Many students on the athletic team rosters of D3 schools had no intention of playing sports in college.
 

bizzle22

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Check out the enrollments for Wisconsin (WIAC) Universities. St Thomas would be at the bottom. School enrollment size is irrelevant as to success in sports and what division a school is participating. The other MIAC schools need to raise their competitive level or get out of sports like Macalester did.
Enrollment is not irrelevant to success in D3 sports. It's by no means the only factor, but it absolutely is a factor.

The WIAC schools spend as little as possible on athletics. UW-Oshkosh cut their men's soccer team a couple years ago even though it was one of the more successful men's soccer programs in the region. (And it was one of the most successful despite getting very little funding, because they could bank on getting some good players thanks to their gigantic -- by D3 standards -- enrollment and lower admissions standards.)
 

Ope3

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Check out the enrollments for Wisconsin (WIAC) Universities. St Thomas would be at the bottom. School enrollment size is irrelevant as to success in sports and what division a school is participating. The other MIAC schools need to raise their competitive level or get out of sports like Macalester did.
Of course enrollment matters. More students mean more student fees to go towards the athletic budget. More students, means more alumni which results in a bigger pool for fund raising and again a bigger budget.
 

FatNTired

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St. Thomas is really at a different level in terms of fund-raising and facilities. Their facilities right now are as good or better than some DII schools.

My impression is that St. Thomas could move up to DII, but they would rather beat up on the lower half of the conference as opposed to moving up and not being as dominant.

This is being driven primarily by football. I think St. Thomas could play with a lot of the state DII schools right now, like SW State in Marshall, Morris, Crookston, etc.

In a perfect world, they would pass some by-law that allows St. Thomas to move up to DII in football, but remain D3 for other sports. I just don't know if the NCAA would allow that.
Macalester and Carleton raise money better than anyone in the state.
 

bizzle22

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Macalester and Carleton raise money better than anyone in the state.
Look at how much of it they spend on athletics. Mac/Carleton have different priorities than St. Thomas. Not saying one is better than the other, just that at the D3 level it doesn't make sense for schools with different priorities to be in the same conference.
 

MennoSota

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Of course enrollment matters. More students mean more student fees to go towards the athletic budget. More students, means more alumni which results in a bigger pool for fund raising and again a bigger budget.
Yet we see larger enrollment schools at the D3 level that suck in multiple sports.
Ultimately it comes down to the priority that particular school places on athletics.
I recall, at the high school level, when East side schools attempted to oust St Thomas Academy from the conference because they kept winning the football title. Instead of upping their level of play, they wanted to kick STA out. I don't subscribe to the "lower the bar" approach to setting up conferences.
 

bizzle22

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Yet we see larger enrollment schools at the D3 level that suck in multiple sports.
Ultimately it comes down to the priority that particular school places on athletics.
I recall, at the high school level, when East side schools attempted to oust St Thomas Academy from the conference because they kept winning the football title. Instead of upping their level of play, they wanted to kick STA out. I don't subscribe to the "lower the bar" approach to setting up conferences.
Which larger schools at the D3 level suck at multiple sports?

And keep in mind, the largest schools at D3 are largely public schools that make basically no commitment to sports whatsoever. But most of the large public D3 schools are still pretty good at some sports, they just limit the amount of sports they offer and tend to be better at the ones that require more student-athletes.
 

MinnGopher

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Look at how much of it they spend on athletics. Mac/Carleton have different priorities than St. Thomas. Not saying one is better than the other, just that at the D3 level it doesn't make sense for schools with different priorities to be in the same conference.
Why not try to compete at both levels? I don't see St. Thomas complaining about the other schools kicking their ass in academics. Should they have to do something different? It's literally one game a year they get their ass kicked and they want to remove them because of it?

Imagine if this was our mindset towards academics lol, we would be in big trouble then.
 

Swede

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Will not happen. That conversation happens outside the university once in a while and people with no connection think its a good idea. Few if any in the university have the same idea. It's a massive undertaking in time and money that they don't, understandably, want to invest. St. Cloud, Duluth, and Mankato would be far better candidates for mid-major D-1 sports than St. Thomas.
.

I respectfully disagree. Any DI jump would need to be funded by outside fundraising. St Cloud can immediately be removed from this discussion. It explored dropping football within recent memory and seems to have endless budget issues. I don't know about Duluth but I can't imagine the regents being too wild about a second DI University when the first stays afloat financially from B1G tv money. Where's Duluth's moneybag? Mankato enjoys a fieldhouse and arena funded by the Bresnan and Taylor families but other than hockey, play in front dozens of fans of lucky. Budgets are otherwise not much better than St cloud. All 3 hang their hats on DI hockey for prestige.

Mankato explored DI when the Dakota schools were transitioning but surmised the support just isn't there. In just the last year, one of the Dakota "major" papers covered the issue on light of Augie's rumored and later confirmed reclassification attempts. Mankato officials admitted to the reality that DI was a dead letter for them.

St Thomas on the other hand has robust fundraising, a relatively large alumni base nearby and geography at it's advantage. Although Big East is a stretch at least initially, I think that it could have it's choice beetween Missouri Valley and Summit League if it decided to jump. Although the present members might begrudge the advantages ST would enjoy, it would bring a stable institution and a good market into the fold.

ST could join the Pioneer League for football. Non scholly and facilities are really irrelevant.

DII has become a wierd collection of misfit schools. The NSIC is exhibit A to that statement. Larger regional universities on one hand like MSU, StCSU, and tiny crappy privates, like Mary, on the other. In that regard, ST would fit in by standing out. But if ST has to jump, why not make it a big one? For the casual and rabid ST supporter, what makes more sense? An annual game with Morris, or DI competition?

If ST gets bounced from the MIAC DI makes much more sense.
 

bizzle22

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Why not try to compete at both levels? I don't see St. Thomas complaining about the other schools kicking their ass in academics. Should they have to do something different? It's literally one game a year they get their ass kicked and they want to remove them because of it?

Imagine if this was our mindset towards academics lol, we would be in big trouble then.
No one is telling them they have to do something different in athletics. The other schools are just tired of them putting a stronger focus on athletics, and are telling St. Thomas that they need to find a more comparable group of athletic departments to compete with.

And it's not one game a year. This isn't just football. Look at all the sports.

In D3 sports the conferences are totally different than D1. It's not about making money (heck, I'm pretty sure there are 0 D3 schools where the athletic department turns a profit), but it is about surrounding yourself with your peers. A school that has more than twice the enrollment and spends nearly twice the amount of money on athletics is not a peer.
 
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