Likely announcement today that UST will be leaving the MIAC, according to news report in Minneapolis paper...
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The Star Tribune states that the announcement expected at the top of the hour is that St. Thomas is involuntarily leaving the MIAC by Spring 2021, with their destination still unknown.
Our @Patrick_Reusse reporting that MIAC will announce at 11 a.m. that St. Thomas is "involuntarily" leaving the conference by the spring of 2021. More details to come.https://t.co/d89mZK5DVf pic.twitter.com/QNaehHhSMQ— Star Tribune Sports (@StribSports) May 22, 2019
Official statement from the MIAC that St. Thomas is being involuntarily removed from the conference as of the end of the Spring 2021 semester.
Statement from St. Thomas President Dr. Julie H. Sullivan. Sullivan announced that AD Phil Esten will lead the search for their new conference.
St. Thomas has published an FAQ on leaving the MIAC. Among the questions addresses, it says that "should the conference we join not offer a sport that we have currently, we will explore all options (e.g., affiliate memberships) in order for all our varsity sports to continue playing."
Is there any chance that they could replace Northland in the NCHA?
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I was there for 27/92.
The WIAC has to be one of, if not the, premier football conference in all of D3. St Thomas seems pretty committed to their football program. The WIAC has stated that they are open to the idea of non-Wisconsin state schools joining, and even with the addition of Northland for hockey they still need one more team to secure a NCAA AQ in that sport. I would be pretty surprised if that is not where UST ends up.
I would also wager that the NCHA would prefer to get smaller rather than bigger. UST joining the NCHA would mean more travel for them compared to the WIAC, and wouldn’t provide a home for all of their other sports. The WIAC could.
Last edited by altazo; 05-22-2019 at 05:15 PM.
Here is a letter that St Thomas just set out:
Dear St. Thomas Community,
Today is a difficult day for our community. The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) announced that St. Thomas will be involuntarily removed from membership in the MIAC effective at the end of spring 2021. You can find its official statement here.
As a founding member of the MIAC, St. Thomas has had a long history with these competitors, and we believe our strong presence and success in the conference has made it a better and more competitive one. This history holds importance to our entire community, including our students, coaches and alumni.
St. Thomas expended tremendous effort to remain in the MIAC and stabilize the conference. However, the presidents came to a consensus that the conference itself would cease to exist in its current form if St. Thomas remained. The primary concern cited by the other MIAC presidents is the lack of competitive parity within the conference, across many sports. They stated that St. Thomas has not violated any MIAC or NCAA rules and leaves the conference in good standing.
While this decision is extremely disappointing, we will continue to prioritize the welfare and overall experience of our student-athletes. They embrace and represent both academic and athletic excellence and are important contributors to our university’s culture. Additionally, our coaches share the values of advancing comprehensive excellence and are among the best in the country.
Although our athletic conference will change, one thing will not: our commitment to continued academic and athletic excellence. I am confident in our campus leadership who will guide us forward and optimistic that we will continue to celebrate great success.
Led by our Vice President and Director of Athletics, Phil Esten, and involving members of our community, we will immediately begin a deliberative process to explore other options. The strength of our athletic programs, our institutional commitment to excellence and our location in the metro area will make us an attractive candidate to other conferences. For answers to more questions about this transition, please click here.
I am proud of our success in athletics and of our student-athletes, who excel in the classroom as well as in competition. We have a strong and proud athletic history at St. Thomas – and I am certain we also have a bright future!
Julie H. Sullivan, Ph.D.
I can't confirm but rumor has everybody voted against St. Thomas.
What a clown show.
Now this story is making national mews. Mike and Tony on Pardon the Interruption called out the rest of the MIAC. They told them to suck it up and get better. Called them cowards. Lol
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I guess I can see it both ways. UST’s undergrad enrollment is about 3X greater than just about every other school in the conference.
Is there any other way to read this other than they're too good - they have to go? Enrollment size wouldn't seem to affect athletic teams, as those athletes are specifically recruited to come to the college, not recruited from the existing enrollment. Right? I suppose the 98-0 was a horrible thing to do and St. Thomas (specifically the football coach) can take his share of the blame for this), but doesn't this reflect more negatively on the other MIAC members than it does St. Thomas?
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